A new presidential library (and history) in the making

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Will George W. Bush be getting any ideas for his presidential library from his father's? The Dallas Morning News reports today that, "As far as anyone at Texas A&M can remember, the president hasn't stopped by his father's presidential library since the dedication 11 years ago."

But that doesn't mean his advisers haven't been keeping a careful watch.

The George H.W. Bush library at Texas A&M got a $10-million update last year and is now full of new technology – certain to be of interest to the designers of the George W. Bush library to be built at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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The library of Bush the son, however, will face some different challenges. E-mail, for instance, was not an important factor in the presidency of George H.W. Bush. In the George W. Bush library, however, the storage and display of electronic records will be a very significant matter.

Presidential libraries are a huge draw for archivists and tourists alike. However, ultimately, what comes out of presidential libraries is books.

In the next decade or two, some historian will come along and write the definitive book on the last eight years after poring through records in Dallas even as tourists tramp through the latest eye-catching exhibits, Larry Finch, director of the George H. W. Bush library told the Dallas Morning News.

"The archivists will make no judgments," concludes the Dallas Morning News story. "That will be up to history."

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