Caroline Kennedy was in Washington Thursday for the launch of the first digital presidential archive, that of her father, the late President John F. Kennedy.
A formal unveiling was held at the National Archives, where Kennedy was joined by her husband, Edwin
Schlossberg and Archivist of the United States David
Ferriero, among others.
The digital library, available at www.jfklibrary.org, is the nation’s
largest online presidential archive, and features hundreds of thousands of papers, records, photographs and recordings
from President Kennedy's thousand days in office.
"My parents believed that history is one of our greatest teachers," said Kennedy, who serves as the president of the Kennedy Library Foundation. "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. And 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.”
The launch marks the culmination of a four-year project which was first announced by President Kennedy's brother, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). The effort to digitize the more than 50 million pages of Kennedy administration records is ongoing, and supporters hope it can serve as a model for presidential libraries and archives in the future.
The launch is also part of a year-long series of events marking the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's inauguration.