FRANKLIN Launches

Marist, FDR Presidential Library, National Archives, IBM team up to provide public access to important historical documents and photographs

HYDE PARK (Dec. 19, 2013) – Earlier this month, in a public ceremony at the Henry A. Wallace Center, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum launched FRANKLIN, a partnership of the FDR Presidential Library, National Archives and Records Administration, Marist College, IBM, and the Roosevelt Institute. FRANKLIN is a virtual research room and digital repository that provides free and open access to the digitized collections of the Roosevelt Library. This new web-based repository of digitized material can be accessed at the Roosevelt Library’s website, hosted by Marist at www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu


 Watch video of the FRANKLIN launch event


 

President Dennis Murray at Franklin launch

"Whether you are a lover of history, a student working on a school project, or a scholar, FRANKLIN allows you to keyword search for archival documents and photographs and to search, browse, and view whole files, just as you could if you came to the Library's research room in person," said library Director Lynn Bassanese (Marist '75), speaking at the launch event.  

 "As one of only six colleges and universities nationwide to be affiliated with a presidential library, Marist is particularly proud to have collaborated with its longtime partners the Roosevelt Library and IBM on this important project," said Marist President Dennis Murray (right), who also spoke at the event. "Through their work on FRANKLIN, Marist students, faculty, and staff have helped make accessible to the world some of the 20th century's most important historical records, while keeping Franklin Roosevelt's legacy alive for future generations."

Marist is a longtime partner of the FDR Library, hosting its digital archives on the Colleges servers and lending its technology expertise to the building and implementation of FRANKLIN.

"Over 70 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for 'the duplication of records by modern processes' to ensure the long term survival and accessibility of our nation's historical heritage," said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. "With the launch of FRANKLIN, the Roosevelt Library – in partnership with Marist College, IBM, and the Roosevelt Institute – has taken a huge step in realizing FDR's vision."

Now available online are some of the most important documents of the 20th century – primary source documentation of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s experiences leading the nation through the Great Depression and World War II. 

What can you find in FRANKLIN?

Digital copies of significant documents and photographs from the archives of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum. FRANKLIN launched with 350,000 pages of archival documents and 2,000 historical photographs, along with many detailed descriptions of archival collections not yet digitized. Users can search the digital collections by keyword or directly browse the full lists of digitized archival folders in a virtual research room environment. Documents include Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt's New Deal and wartime correspondence with world leaders, government administrators, and regular Americans. Photographs include public domain images of the Roosevelts throughout their respective lifetimes, as well as subject areas like the Great Depression, New Deal, and World War II. 

Is everything digitized?

Not yet. FRANKLIN launches with two of the major collections of FDR's Papers as President, along with selected Eleanor Roosevelt correspondence and several smaller batches of in-demand archival materials. The Roosevelt Library has an ongoing and ambitious digitization program and will post additional historical materials to FRANKLIN on an ongoing basis. A list of fully digitized collections appear on FRANKLIN's home screen.

About this project

FRANKLIN is the result of a special cooperative effort – a unique combination of public, nonprofit, and corporate support. The Roosevelt Library and its parent agency, the National Archives, worked with nonprofit partner the Roosevelt Institute to digitize a large amount of microfilmed archival documents. The Library's digital partner and web host, Marist College, then developed and implemented FRANKLIN's underlying database infrastructure based on the Archon platform. Marist runs the system using powerful servers manufactured by Marist and Roosevelt Library corporate partner, IBM.

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