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Mar 01, 2019 Washington, D.C. —
Today, the White House Historical Association’s Digital Library turned three years old and now offers over 11,000 images and documents related to the history of the White House and continues to grow rapidly.
The Digital Library, which originally launched in March 2016 with just over 2,000 images, is open to the public at no cost. This free access enables users to access a comprehensive set of images of both the interior and exterior of the White House. Images include original plans dating from the 1700s through historic events in the present day. This online resource includes detailed descriptions of each image, references, tagged keywords, advanced search features, and other user-friendly tools. These features enable users to search and find images quickly and easily.
The Digital Library allow users to make a free account, which provides them access to the following:
- Free download of any 11,000 images for personal or educational use
- Pin images to save them
- Create and share albums of photos
- Share favorite images to Facebook or Twitter
"The Digital Library has allowed us to develop partnerships with other organizations and preserve the history of one of the most famous buildings in the world for future generations,” said Stewart D. McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association. “We are charting new territory with the use of cloud technology to bring the Executive Mansion to the people, as Mrs. Kennedy envisioned decades ago."
In 2018, the Digital Library was nominated for “The National Archives Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy” at the 2018 Digital Preservation Awards with its “Cloud-Enabled Preservation of Life in the 20th Century White House” project. Through this initiative with Amazon Web Services and Digital Divide Data, the White House Historical Association found numerous photographs that were not previously available to the public. Using cloud-based facial recognition technology, the Digital Library has been able to process thousands of images quickly, while identifying the most important images first.
Since its creation, the Digital Library has licensed photos to numerous media organizations, publishers, museums, films and television shows, including “Lincoln” and Netflix’s “House of Cards” and “Designated Survivor.” The Digital Library has a robust licensing program offering lower prices than the industry standard. View the Rights and Reproductions guidelines to learn more about licensing terms.
As it celebrates its third birthday, the Digital Library and the White House Historical Association look to the future as they continue to expand their groundbreaking work and digital presence to deliver education and awareness of White House history to the public.
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 nonprofit, nonpartisan 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.