June 17, 2010 — The University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs will bring together those who work to preserve the lives and work of U.S. presidents June 21 through June 24 at a Presidential Sites and Libraries Conference, which will feature speeches by Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential biographers.
Among the expected conference participants are directors of presidential sites and libraries, government officials, presidential scholars and members of the media. They will explore the relevancy of presidential history to 21st-century programming and outreach.
At the conference, Miller Center scholars will lead a discussion on presidential oral histories, including what oral histories contribute to knowledge about the presidency, and on the center's distinctive method of interviewing. The Miller Center has conducted, or is in the process of conducting, the official oral histories of every president from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush.
Scholars from the center's Presidential Recordings Program, who are transcribing the secret White House tapes of every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Richard Nixon, will discuss how archival materials can be used in the classroom to engage students.
The conference is closed to the general public, but live webcasts of select sessions will be available at www.millercenter.org. They will also be archived approximately two weeks after their initial presentation. Those sessions are:
• Approx. 7-8 p.m.: Joseph Ellis, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, speaking at U.Va.'s Rotunda
• 9-10:45 a.m.: "Presidential Oral Histories"
• 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: "Presidents and Diversity: 21st-Century Perspectives"
• 1:45-3:15 p.m. – Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek and Pulitzer Prize-winning author
• 10:30-11:45 a.m. – Michael Beschloss, leading presidential historian
For a complete conference schedule, including session descriptions, visit www.aaslh.org/pressites.
The conference is sponsored by the American Association for State and Local History, James Madison's Montpelier, the Miller Center of Public Affairs, Monticello, the National Park Service, the National Archives and Records Administration, President Lincoln's Cottage and the White House Historical Association.
The Miller Center of Public Affairs is a leading nonpartisan public policy institution aimed at bringing together engaged citizens, scholars, members of the media, and government officials to focus on issues of national importance to the governance of the United States, with a special interest in the American presidency.