|Bill Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock|
But where the library is situated or who designs it is less important than whether Mr. Obama will follow the grandiose example of his predecessors, or chart a new course
A presidential library is an archive, museum and shrine, rolled into one. The archive preserves presidential papers (which are the property of the government) for the benefit of future scholars. The museum contains educational exhibits. The shrine is represented by displays of personal mementos: the Bible on which Harry S. Truman took his oath of office, the extra-long sofa from Lyndon B. Johnson’s Senate office, Gerald R. Ford’s college football trophies. A centerpiece of the Kennedy Library, on Boston Harbor, is his sailboat, the Victura. The Eisenhower and Nixon libraries include the presidents’ boyhood homes. The sprawling Reagan Library houses the largest of all presidential artifacts: Air Force One.