Millions Of Pages Of Bush Archives Now Available To Public
January 20, 2014 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
DALLAS (UPI) — Millions of pages of documents stored at the George W. Bush Presidential library in Dallas became public Monday as a Federal law kicked in, officials say.
On the fifth anniversary of his departure from office, the time lines of the Freedom of Information Act will now allow access to his Presidential papers, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The library, on the grounds of Southern Methodist University, contains 43,000 artifacts, 4 million photos, 70 million pages of documents, 200 million emails and 80 terabytes of data, archivists say. Workers have spent the last five years sorting, indexing and figuring out how to manage the massive collection.
Not every document generated during Bush’s two terms can be seen now. Certain documents, such as confidential communications with Presidential advisers, will be restricted for seven more years. During that time Bush, and the current President, can review the documents and forbid their release on the basis of executive privilege.
Even though the library’s research room has 15 desks and four public access computers, archivists don’t expect an immediate flood of requests from historians, academics or journalists. Ronald Reagan’s library had five FOIA requests the first day of access in 1994. Bill Clinton’s Presidential library got 10 when its archives became available in 2006.
That is expected to change. The Reagan library got 62 requests last fiscal year; Clinton’s, 84.