Barbara Bush's scrapbooks at presidential library give insight into family's legacy

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Barbara Bush's scrapbooks offer insight into history of her family life (KTRK)

Former first lady Barbara Bush's love for crafts created gems that helped her family's legacy live on.

Inside an off-limit area sits a collection of books. On Thursday, Eyewitness News was given special access to that collection

"I mean, it's a little bit mind-boggling. And you can tell I'm a little bit biased, I think it's the best stuff in the world," said audio-visual archivist Mary Finch.

Finch is careful as she handles books that are normally sealed in acid-free boxes and stored in a climate-controlled room.

The scrapbooks were cut, glued and put together by Barbara.
"The first scrapbook we have from Mrs. Bush is from 1943 when they got engaged," Finch said.

For more than 70 years, she kept going.

"I'd say she put together about 100 (books)," Finch said.

The scrapbooks served as time capsules that highlight their family life, time in office, and creative ways that got Bush elected.

"This is an example of what she used to call her Bush bags," Finch said.

As Barbara's husband climbed from Congress, to an ambassadorship, and to the White House, the elevated roles never slowed down Barbara's passion to capture it all.

Finch believes Bush did so because even at 19, she knew her marriage would be special. These are priceless artifacts that will continue to educate people about her family.

"We've always been fortunate that the Bushes have given themselves to the country...for all these years, and this was just another way they've given back," Finch said.

The scrapbooks were digitized, so scholars don't have to handle the books often. They aren't on display, but visitors can still see contents. Many of the photos and artifacts are replicas from Bush's scrapbooks.
Related Topics:
politicsbarbara bushgeorge h.w. bushtexas a&m universityCollege Station
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