This week, a contingent from the Miller Center attended the Presidential Sites and Libraries Conference at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. This conference, held every four years, is a unique gathering of librarians, museum curators, fundraisers, public historians, and educators who are involved with presidential libraries, museums, sites, historic homes, and organizations. The Miller Center team presented a session at the conference about one of our newest programs, Connecting Presidential Collections (CPC).
CPC is a free centralized site for searching across presidential collections. The project is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and housed at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
The CPC project sets out to solve two problems:
-Currently, presidential materials are spread far and wide (geographically, technologically, and otherwise). This means researchers and learners must consult a large number and variety of resources if they are to have any hope of conducting comprehensive research, with no "map" to guide their way.
-Presidential sites and libraries are often isolated and on their own to publicize their wonderful materials and make them easily available online. In the age of internet research, it's increasingly difficult to be a small fish in a gigantic pond.
The CPC project seeks to remedy these challenges by providing a centralized website where researchers and learners can search across presidential collections. Once a visitor has found what they're looking for using the CPC search, they are then directed to the partner's website to view the chosen item(s), thus directing web traffic back to the partner's original records and elevating visibility of these essential collections. The site uses a Solr index and a Blacklight user interface.
At this time, the CPC is seeking presidential sites, libraries, or museums to be a part of the project. Read more at presidentialcollections.org.