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News to History Offers Window into U.S. Presidency

Tapping into the Briscoe Center’s vast photographic archive, a new exhibit spotlights public and private moments of 13 American presidents. Watch a slideshow.

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Showcasing the unparalleled photographic collections at the Briscoe Center for American History, a new exhibit called News to History: Photojournalism and the Presidency highlights 13 presidential administrations, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Barack Obama. The show, up now at the LBJ Presidential Library, features the iconic images that captured the interaction of each president with his era.

“Historians use a wide variety of sources to interpret the past, but the still photographs shot by photojournalists are among the most compelling sources we have for documenting and understanding our history,” says Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. “The photographs we are displaying in News to History are an outstanding example of the value of this resource for teaching and research.”

Since 1992, the Briscoe Center has conducted an ambitious program to collect and preserve the historically valuable imagery produced by photojournalists. The photographers whose work is displayed in News to History have placed their archives with the Briscoe Center, which preserves the largest single collection of photographs of the U.S. presidency outside of Washington, D.C.

In addition to photographic holdings (such as slides, negatives, prints and tear sheets), the photojournalism collections comprise such archival materials as personal papers, correspondence, diaries, news stories and three-dimensional artifacts. The combination of these materials provides researchers with remarkable primary source evidence for interpreting history.

The exhibit is on view now at the newly renovated LBJ Presidential Library and will run until Oct. 1, 2013.