President John F. KennedyState Department AuditoriumWashington, D.C.December 12, 19624:00 PM EDT (Wednesday)332 In Attendance
QUESTION: Mr. President, your speaking of historians induces me to ask you this: Most former Presidents have put their official papers in libraries in their home states where they are not readily available to scholars and historians who come here to work with the Library of Congress and other agencies here. Have you decided where to put yours and would you consider putting it in Washington?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I am going to put it in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Let me say I know that we have a library now in Independence, Hyde Park, Mr. Hoover's library at Stanford, and Mr. Eisenhower's library at Abilene. There are advantages and disadvantages. In some ways it helps stimulate scholarship in those areas, and in addition, through scientific means of reproduction, microfilms and all the rest, it is possible to make documents available generally here in Washington, and through the Archives, the Library of Congress, and at the libraries. The number of scholars who deal with these subjects in detail, it seems to me, will find it possible in a central place to get the kind of documents that they need. So that while there is a problem, as you suggest, Miss Craig, I think that we can, and this will certainly be increased as time goes on, we will find it possible to reproduce the key documents so that they will be commonly available, I would hope in Washington. There are a great many other advantages to a library, if you have gone to Franklin Roosevelt’s library, and Harry Truman's library. It offers a good deal of stimulus to the study of American history, besides being a place where you can keep for a long time documents. There are many other things of interest which I think are rather advantageous to have spread around the country, particularly as it stimulates the study of the Presidency.
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