Thomas Schwartz Named New Director of Hoover Library
Press Release · Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Washington, DC… Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero announced today the appointment of historian Thomas F. Schwartz as the new director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum. His appointment is effective July 5, 2011.
Dr. Schwartz is currently the Illinois State Historian. He serves as the chief historian for exhibits and content at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. He is also director of Research and the Lincoln Collection in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, IL, including the historical documentary editing project, “The Papers of Abraham Lincoln”.
In making the announcement, Mr. Ferriero said, “Mr. Schwartz’s extensive experience and knowledge of research library and museum practice will strengthen both the Hoover Library and the National Archives. We all look forward to working with him on new and exciting projects.”
Dr. Schwartz was appointed curator of the Henry Horner Lincoln Collection at the Illinois State Historical Library in 1985 and is an acknowledged authority on the Sixteenth President and his times. In 1993, Governor Jim Edgar named Dr. Schwartz to fill the post of State Historian. Among the many honors and awards Dr. Schwartz has received include Plank Owner, USS Abraham Lincoln (1989), Logan Hay Medal (2000), Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award (2006), Order of Lincoln (2009), and the Civil War Preservation Trust Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Education (2009).
In noting the appointment, Andrew Hoover, grandson of Herbert Hoover said, "On behalf of the Hoover Family and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association, Margaret and I are delighted by the appointment of Tom Schwartz as our new presidential library director. Tom's leadership at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, his respect among Lincoln scholars, and, most particularly, his experience making Lincoln understandable to popular audiences will be invaluable. Herbert Hoover’s life and legacy are still largely unknown and there is great opportunity to communicate his accomplishments to popular audiences in Iowa and nationwide. The depth and breadth of Tom’s experience makes him a wonderful fit for this position. We look forward to the years ahead with excitement.”
In accepting the position, Dr. Schwartz said, “The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is a distinguished research institution supported by an expert staff telling the stories of ‘The Great Humanitarian.’ I am honored by this appointment and l look forward to advancing the mission of the Library.”
Author of more than one hundred articles, reviews, chapters, and electronic reference entries and author of Lincoln: An Illustrated Life and Legacy (Fall River Press, 2009), Dr. Schwartz is senior editor of the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association and historical advisor for the Journal of Illinois History. He has appeared on the Today Show, C-SPAN, the History Channel, the Voice of America, NPR, and the BBC.
Among the many events and programs overseen by the State Historian include the King V. Hostick dissertation competition and the annual Conference on Illinois History. Dr. Schwartz also served on the advisory board for the state and federal Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial commissions. Among the other boards on which he serves are the Abraham Lincoln Association, Ford’s Theatre Advisory Board, The National Civil War Museum, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History President’s National Excellence Council.
Dr. Schwartz attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he received the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in history and international relations.
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The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum, located in West Branch, Iowa, was opened to the public on August 10, 1962, Mr. Hoover's 88th birthday. In the years since, more than 2.5 million visitors have toured the museum and more than 2,000 scholars from every state in the union and a dozen foreign countries have utilized the library's seven million pages of documentary holdings. One significant result has been an increased understanding of the life and times of America's 31st president, known around the world as the "Great Humanitarian."
In recent years, the Hoover Presidential Library & Museum has been transformed into a nationally recognized center for the study of twentieth-century history and the American presidency. Beginning in 1988, it has sponsored major exhibits featuring personal memorabilia from every U.S. President and First Lady, a pioneering look at World War I, an unprecedented display of presidential gifts and exciting exhibits on the "Roaring Twenties," the Civil War, and other subjects of broad public appeal.
The Hoover Library is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.
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