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Press Release ยท Thursday, April 10, 2003

Press Release
April 10, 2003
Creation, Preservation of Louisiana Purchase Documents Focus of Spring Prologue Article

College Park, MD. . .The American purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France 200 years ago this month and the documents created to complete the deal are the subjects of the cover story in the Spring issue of Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration.

In "Jefferson Buys Louisiana Territory and the Nation Moves Westward," National Archives staff Wayne T. De Cesar, an archivist, and Susan Page, a senior paper conservator, follow the paper trail that was created during the year of negotiations between America and France to complete the purchase of the Louisiana Territory.

In the article, De Cesar and Page also give a behind-the-scenes look at the conservation treatment conducted on more than 30 of the Louisiana Purchase documents in the National Archives Document Conservation Laboratory in preparation for the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase. A number of them are on exhibit at various locations around the country throughout the year, and a listing accompanies the article.

In another article, Raymond Geselbracht of the Truman Library uses original documents and oral histories to give lively accounts of how President Harry S. Truman used the card game of poker as a way of relaxing and enjoying his friends--before, during, and after his tenure in the White House. Winston Churchill joined in one of Truman's poker games during his visit to the United States in 1946; Churchill lost.

Archives Renovation team member Richard Blondo describes the restoration process and the reinstallation of the Barry Faulkner murals. Installed in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building in 1936, the murals suffered progressive damage and deterioration over the years. Measuring 13' x 36', they are among the largest single-piece oil on canvas murals in the United States. The Rotunda will be reopened in September, with the Charters of Freedom back in place in new state-of-the-art encasements.

In his regular column, John W. Carlin, Archivist of the United States, repo