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Harry S. Truman Library & Museum

U S Highway 24 & Deleware Street
Independence, Missouri

Phone: (816) 833-1225 -- 1 (800) 833-1225
TTY: n/a

Statement of Purpose:

Since 1957 the Harry S. Truman Library has provided information, through its collections, and its exhibitions, special events and educational programs about Harry S. Truman and his Presidency. It is one of nine Presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and houses more than 14 million pages of documents, including President Truman's own papers relating to his life and Presidency and nearly 500 other manuscript collections related to his career.

Houses personal papers. Government records, still photos, audio/video tapes, memorabilia on Head of State gifts.


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Highlights & Collections:

If you want to understand our world today, step into the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri. While you're learning history, you can also have some fun. You can walk right into the most powerful office in the world--the White House Oval Office. You can scan President Truman's mail. You can see the remarkable story of how Harry S. Truman rose from being a failed businessman and obscure local politician to become one of America's most popular presidents.

Through its permanent and changing exhibitions, the Truman Library museum fulfills President Truman's wish that his Library help you understand American history and the American Presidency. The newly refurbished Oval Office replica looks like President Truman just stepped out for a brisk walk in the Rose Garden. It's a precise re-creation of his office, down to the Dumont television near his desk, the first TV in the White House.

The adjacent White House Gallery lets you sneak a peek at the President's hectic daily routine and the odd requests he often received. You can also see the original "Buck Stops Here" sign that President Truman made famous. Other exhibitions share insights into President Truman's life as a farmer, soldier, merchant and local politician. The exhibitions are filled with original documents, films, photographs and artifacts that illustrate the character, common sense and deciseveness with which he faced the complex issues of war, peace and the dawn of the nuclear age.

You can also spend a quiet moment by the gravesite of President and Mrs. Truman, reflecting on the simple inscription that President Truman requested for his gravestone.

The Truman Library collections include more than 14 million pages of manuscript material, 94,000 photographs, 63 miles of motion picture film, 700 hours of audio recordings and more than 25,000 museum objects. These collections have attracted scholars and students from all over the world to the Library to conduct research.

The Harry S. Truman Library is one of nine Presidential Libraries operated and maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Major Collections: The Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1910-1972.
President Truman donated his papers to the United States government through a letter of gift dated February 12, 1957, and his will of January 14, 1959. The entire collection totals over 7 million pages. Truman's early life and career in Jackson County Missouri as farmer, entrepreneur, soldier, businessman, community leader, politician and local government official is not as well documented in his papers as is his later career.

Most of Truman's senatorial papers from his first term, from January 1935 through January 1941, were presumably destroyed after being removed from Truman's office and sent into storage somewhere int he Senate Office Building. The papers from Truman's brief tenure as Vice President are filed with those from his second senatorial term.

An important feature of Truman's papers is a remarkable collection of correspondence with his wife, daughter and other relatives, and of autobiographical and diary-like writings. Truman was a prolific letter writer throughout his life and his frequent absences from home and family gave him strong reason to write many letters.

The Presidential Papers include;
The President's Secretary's Files, 1945-1953.
President Truman instructed his personal secretary, Rose Conway, to keep several categories of documents, including the most sensitive ones that came to his desk, in a special file located near the Oval Office. The president's Secretary's Files include national security and intelligence information, the President's most sensitive correspondence, his speech file, and the miscellaneous notes and memorandums that contitute his diary.

The White House Central files include:
The Official File, 1945-1953.
Composed of about 3,500 numbered files pertaining to government departments and agencies, the operations of the Executive Office of the President, individual countries, broad subject areas, and organizations and individuals having business with the federal government. The documents in this file were interpreted by the staff of the White house Central Files as pertaining to the official business of the government of the United States.

The President's Personal File, 1945-1953.
Composed primarily of files on individuals and organizations who were in correspondence with the White House on matters interpreted by the staff of the White House Central Files as being more political, social or ceremonial in character than those treated in the documents filed in the Official File.

The General File, 1945-1953.
Composed of materials not considered by the White House Central Files unit to be important enough to be classified by subject or name and filed in the Official File or the President's Personal File. The General File also contains cross-references by name and organization to correspondence filed in the Official File and the President's Personal File and to correspondence that was referred to other agencies and departments for response. The General File serves as an index, primarily by name, to most of the materials received by the White House Central Files unit, and in particular to all the documents that were filed in the Official File and the President's Personal File.

In addition to the White House Papers and the Truman Papers, over the years the Truman Library has accumulated about 400 collections of personal papers of President Truman's relaties, friends and associates.

The more significant collections include papers of :
Dean Acheson, Secretary of State, 1949-1953
Charles Brannan, Secretary of Agriculture, 1949-1953
Clark Clifford, Special Counsel to the President, 1946-1950
George Elsey, Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve, and duty officeer, White House Map Room, 1941-1946; Administrative Assistant to the President, 1949-1951
Robert Hannegan, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, 1944-1947
Samuel Roseman, Special Counsel to the President, 1945-1946
John Snyder, Secretary of the Treasury, 1946-1953
Stuart Symington, Secretary of the Air Force, 1947-1950
Fred Vinson, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1946-1953

The Truman Library also has several oral history interviews available in transcript form. The Library's oral history program was begun in 1961. Just over 460 interviews have been conducted and opend to research over the last 30 years. Most of the interviews have been individually indexed by name and subject. Many of the people whose personal papers are here, also were interviewed and their transcripts are available, including most of those named above.


Description of the Event: Exhibition on President Truman's 1948 campaign in four themes: the issues, the campaign, election night, and the inauguration. President Truman's dramatic election upset over Thomas E. Dewey is recalled in this exhibit which features unique artifacts and photographs from the campaign and a large map showing the route Truman took during his extensive "whistle stop" train tour.


Admission & Directions:

Located on U.S. Hwy 24, 1 ? miles west of Hwy 291 and 3 miles east of I-435. Both 291 and 435 can be accessed from Interstate 70. We are located 12 miles east of downtown Kansas City, Missouri.



Check with us at a later date.

Key Personnel:

Larry J. Hackman, Director
Dr. Raymond Geselbracht, Supervisory Archivist Mr. Clay Bauske, Museum Curator

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