AT&T* was one of four corporate partners that joined today with David S. Ferriero, archivist of the United States, and Caroline Kennedy, president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation to unveil the nation's largest online digitized presidential archive, providing unprecedented global access to the most important papers, records, photographs and recordings of President Kennedy's thousand days in office. The announcement was made in the Archivist's Reception Room in the National Archives building in Washington, D.C.
Until now, the national treasure of historical material housed in the Kennedy Presidential Library's collection has been available only by a physical visit to the Library itself. With the launch of the new digital archive at www.jfklibrary.org, students, teachers, researchers and members of the public now need just an Internet connection to search, browse and retrieve original documents from the Kennedy Library's collection, gaining a first-hand look into the life of President Kennedy and the issues that defined his administration.
"My parents believed that history is one of our greatest teachers," said Caroline Kennedy. "As young people increasingly rely on the Internet as their primary source for information, it is our hope that the Library's online archive will allow a new generation to learn about this important chapter in American history. As they discover the heroes of the civil rights movement, the pioneers of outer space, and the first Peace Corps volunteers, we hope they too are inspired to ask what they can do for their country."
James W. Cicconi, AT&T senior executive vice president of External and Legislative Affairs, spoke at the event. "JFK embraced technology," Cicconi said. "From his well-known commitment to putting a man on the moon, to his prescient understanding that someday the documents in his library would be available to all, President Kennedy understood the importance of technology to the nation and to its people."
AT&T's involvement with the historic project started with financial support to help underwrite the hiring of experts who are specially trained to organize digital archives for preservation and then grew into providing technical expertise in webhosting and data security. AT&T is providing hosting services, via its AT&T Synaptic HostingSM solution. Synaptic Hosting's virtual servers can respond instantly to increased demand by bursting up to two times the processing and memory.
As the largest, most advanced digital archive created by a presidential library not "born digital," the project can serve as a model for other presidential libraries and national and international archival institutions. Included among the thousands of historical papers, documents and images that are now permanently preserved in the Library's new digital collection are precious and irreplaceable records of the nation's struggle for civil rights; its conflict with the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War; its efforts to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth; its commitment to public service through the creation of the Peace Corps; its prevention of a nuclear holocaust during the Cuban Missile Crisis; and its embrace of American art and culture under the guidance of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
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 Kennedy; the Kennedy White House Photograph Collection; the Kennedy White House Audio Speech Collection; and the Kennedy 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 Kennedy Presidential Library's research facilities are among the busiest of presidential libraries. Its archives currently include more than 8.4 million pages of the personal, congressional and presidential papers of John F. Kennedy, and more than 40 million pages of over 300 other individuals who were associated with the Kennedy Administration or mid-20th Century American history. In addition, the archives hold more than 400,000 still photographs; 9,000 hours of audio recordings; 7.5 million feet of motion picture film; and 1,200 hours of video recordings. Digitization efforts are ongoing and additional material will continue to be added to the archive as it is scanned and described.