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Mar 01, 2017 Washington, D.C. —
The White House Historical Association is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its Digital Library launch today. The free, public resource provides ready access to more than more than 5,000 images of the White House, the grounds and the surrounding neighborhood, with new collections being added regularly.
New initiatives are underway and the Association expects to make significant additions to the collection this year. Currently, the White House Art collection includes photographs of the portraits of all the presidents and first ladies back to the famous Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington that Dolley Madison saved from the burning White House in 1814.
The collection contains representative works from a number of major art movements, including the Hudson River School and the Harlem Renaissance. Landscapes cover the entire country, from the New England seashore to Yosemite, and the artists include the first African-Americans to be represented in the White House Collection, Henry Ossawa Tanner and Alma Thomas.
Extensive photo collections of the famous rooms in the White House allow visitors to explore how these familiar spaces have changed over time. Users can see how the Oval Office changes with each administration, or how the official White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room has looked in different eras. Images of the major alterations including the Truman renovation provide context for both the interior and exterior evolution of the Executive Mansion.
Galleries of events and entertainment at the White House let visitors see famous figures who have graced the building over the years as well as how the First Family has made the building into a home. Close up images show elaborate place settings for state dinners, and the Digital Library also holds photographs of the china services belonging to various presidents dating back to the early 1800s.
The sidebars and search tools make the Digital Library quick and easy to use, and interactive features accessible to registered users allow visitors to quickly save, share, and even download copies of images. Registration is free and takes only moments, and all registered users are allowed to download small versions of the images for personal or educational use without charge. The library can be accessed directly here.
About the white house historical association
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.
To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit WhiteHouseHistory.org.