To help mark the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and Caroline Kennedy, President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, recently unveiled the nation’s largest online digitized presidential archive, providing access to the most important papers, records, photographs and recordings of President Kennedy’s thousand days in office. The archive is accessible via the Library’s website www.jfklibrary.org.
To manage a digitization project of this enormity, the archivists of the Kennedy Presidential Library prioritized the Library’s historic collections beginning with those that hold the highest research interest and significance. These collections include the President’s Office Files; the Personal Papers of John F. Kennedy; the Outgoing Letters of President John F. Kennedy; the JFK White House Photograph Collection; the JFK White House Audio Speech Collection; and the JFK White House Film and Video Collection. At launch, the archive features approximately 200,000 pages; 300 reels of audio tape, containing more than 1,245 individual recordings of telephone calls, speeches and meetings; 300 museum artifacts; 72 reels of film; and 1,500 photos.
The digitization initiative was made possible through a public/private partnership between the NARA’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the 501 (c) (3) non-profit that secured significant financial support from private donors in order to help fund the project.