The Archivist shall provide for the preservation, arrangement, repair and rehabilitation, duplication and reproduction (including microcopy publications), description, and exhibition of records or other documentary material transferred to him as may be needful or appropriate, including the preparation and publication of inventories, indexes, catalogs, and other finding aids or guides to facilitate their use. He may also prepare guides and other finding aids to Federal records and, when approved by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, publish such historical works and collections of sources as seem appropriate for printing or otherwise recording at the public expense.
44 U.S. Code § 2109 - Preservation, arrangement, duplication, exhibition of records
WHEREAS the executive departments and agencies of the Government, in discharging their various responsibilities, create a large volume of materials (including books, correspondence, documents, papers, pamphlets, works of art, models, pictures, photographs, plats, maps, films, motion pictures, sound recordings, and other objects of historical or commemorative value) which from time to time are incorporated into or reproduced for use in exhibits or other types of visual displays needed for use in carrying out their programs; and
WHEREAS under Chapter 21 of Title 44, United States Code, the Archivist of the United States is authorized to accept for deposit in the National Archives of the United States the records of any Federal agency or of the Congress of the United States that are determined by the Archivist to have sufficient historical or other value to warrant their continued preservation by the United States Government, as well as the papers and other historical materials of any official or former official of the Government, and to make provisions for the exhibition of materials transferred to him; and.
WHEREAS many of the exhibits and displays so prepared, produced, or otherwise created by the executive departments and agencies possess historical significance which warrants their preservation and exhibition as part of the archival and cultural heritage of the United States:
NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me, as President of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. The heads of all executive departments and agencies are directed—
(a) when initiating plans for the preparation, production, or other creation of exhibits and displays in furtherance of their program missions, to confer with the Archivist of the United States, or his designee, for the purpose of assuring that any such exhibits or displays which the Archivist finds appropriate for supplemental exhibition as part of the archival and cultural heritage of the United States are prepared, produced, or otherwise created in a manner which assures, to the maximum possible extent, their appropriateness, after they have served their primary program purpose, for such supplemental exhibition, and
(b) to transfer to the Archivist, without reimbursement, such exhibits or displays as he determines are appropriate for such supplemental exhibition after they have served their primary program purpose, subject to such conditions requiring return to the department or agency of all or any of the materials incorporated in the exhibits or displays as may be mutually agreeable.
Sec. 2. The Archivist of the United States is directed to—
(a) provide advice, counsel, and assistance to the heads of executive departments and agencies in the preparation, production, or other creation of exhibits and displays which he finds will have future value for exhibition as part of the archival and cultural heritage of the United States; and
(b) accept any such exhibit or display when it has served its primary program purpose and (1) arrange for its supplemental exhibition as appropriate, (2) preserve any such exhibit or display which possesses sufficient historical or other value to warrant continued preservation, or (3) dispose of any such exhibit or display when, in his judgment, the reasons for its continued preservation or exhibition cease to exist, all subject to the conditions agreed upon incident to transfer to the Archivist of the United States of the exhibit or display.
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