JFK Library and Museum Receives $150,000 Save America's Treasures Grant to Preserve Jacqueline B. Kennedy Collection

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2011 
Further information: Rachel Day (617) 514-1662, rachel.day@jfklfoundation.org  
Virgil McDill (202) 294 9187, virgil_mcdill@nthp.org 

BOSTON—The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation today announced that it has been awarded a $150,000 Save America’s Treasures grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior to preserve the Jacqueline B. Kennedy Papers housed at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. The collection, donated by Caroline Kennedy, President of the Kennedy Library Foundation, chronicles Mrs. Kennedy’s significant contributions to the nation’s cultural and historical heritage. The awarding of the grant requires that the Kennedy Library Foundation raise a dollar-for-dollar non-Federal matching share. 

“The Jacqueline Kennedy materials are among the Library’s greatest treasures,” said Tom Putnam, Director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. “Conserving this collection will allow greater public access to thousands of previously unseen documents, artifacts, and photographs relating to Mrs. Kennedy while also attending to their long-term preservation needs ensuring their availability for years to come. We are very grateful to the Department of the Interior for this award.” 

The Save America’s Treasures grant will support a two-year project to address the preservation needs of the collection in order to stabilize it and conserve the most historically significant items. The conservation efforts will focus on items from following John F. Kennedy’s election through 1963 – the period of Mrs. Kennedy’s tenure as First Lady. Work will include professional conservation of several historically valuable scrapbooks and albums that are severely threatened; conservation of other significant items, including photographs, letters, and dozens of original paintings, drawings and sketches made for or by Mrs. Kennedy; and basic preservation and care of the collection. The entire collection, including more than 50,000 pages of documents, 8,000 photos, and over 70 scrapbooks, will be arranged, preserved, and described. Digital images of delicate and deteriorating scrapbook pages will be made available for researchers for the first time. 

Notably, the Jacqueline B. Kennedy Papers contains extensive records of Mrs. Kennedy’s pioneering historic preservation efforts, including the restoration of the White House and the creation of the White House Historical Association, both of which drew unprecedented attention to the historical home as a national symbol of democracy. Items that may receive intensive conservation work include, but are not limited to, the following three albums and scrapbooks: 

• The White House “Usher’s Book” (1960); 
• Making of a Garden Scrapbook (1962); 
• The White House Entertaining Scrapbook (1963), including annotated records of all sixteen State Dinners held during her tenure as First Lady. 

Jacqueline B. Kennedy was one of the most influential women of the late 20th century. She was the youngest First Lady and according to the New York Times the nation’s “unofficial Minister of Culture.” 

In his eulogy, Senator Edward M. Kennedy captured her national significance saying: 

“No one ever gave more meaning to the title of ‘First Lady.’ The nation's capital city looks as it does because of her. She saved Lafayette Square and Pennsylvania Avenue. The National Cultural Center was her cause before it was the Kennedy Center. [She] brought the greatest artists to the White House, and brought arts to the center of national attention. Today, in large part because of her inspiration and vision, the arts are an abiding part of national policy.” 

The grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior is administered by the National Park Service in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and SAT’s private partner the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information about the dollar-for-dollar non-Federal matching share, interested parties may contact the Kennedy Library Foundation at (617) 514-1580. 

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 Fitzgerald 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. 

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and is supported, in part, by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The Kennedy Presidential Library and the Kennedy Library Foundation seek to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service.

Read the full announcement made by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.