Post 14- White House Oral History

There is an influx of information being sent out of the White House but it is heavily edited and almost useless to historians who want to recorded the administrations. When looking at the information being put out of the White House it is important to be able to see what is not being mentioned or what is the focus of it. As the administrations keep going it is getting harder to obtain good and insightful information on what is going on in the White House. Reasons for this include officers no longer keeping the same type of notes, changing press, and the back log of information that has been sorted and made available by previous presidents. The issues involving the press and White House history is the problem of determining what news is and how to differentiate rumor from fact. Leaks of information from the White House can be hard to determine as truth or just a rumor that is hear. There also runs the issues of someone overhearing something meant as a joke and thinking it is up to them to tell the public. Because of this the issue of claiming responsibility for the leak and the backlash is an issue. Internal documents are a great source of information for historians to look at to see how the administration worked and processed but can be difficult to get ahold of. Reasons for this include the process to get the documents, which include many legal papers and issues. Thought these can be bypassed when the administration hands over the papers at the end of the president’s service. Though this may look like a solution it causes more issues because of the amount of information that is handed over and then has to be looked through and archived, creating a backlog of papers and information that are hard to look over and must be postponed. In these papers included notes written by staff members, emails, and recordings that have to be handled differently. When the staff know the papers will be handed over they may omit or take out information because they don’t want it to be know eventually or it is not important to them but would have been good information to have in archives for research purposes. Oral histories in the White House are getting more popular due the oral culture of the White House and how people are writing things down less and less. It is important to look at and be able to get the oral recordings of the administration because they may be able to show more than the paper documents. In obtaining the interviews for this thought it can be difficult to not lead the interview with specific questions and to not go in thinking you will get all the information wanted because they narrators could have their own motive and want to keep certain things out.

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