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Clinton Library Opens in Little Rock

Clinton Library Opens in Little Rock

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A glass hallway in the Clinton Library. The bridge at left spans the Arkansas River. www.clintonfoundation.org hide caption

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The design of the Clinton Library is meant to evoke a "bridge to the 21st century" -- a recurring theme of President Clinton's speeches in office. www.clintonfoundation.org hide caption

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  • The Clinton Library and Archive contains nearly 2 million photographs, 80 million pages of documents, 79,000 artifacts and 21 million e-mails.
  • The center was designed by Polshek Partnership Architects; the landscape architect is Hargreaves Associates.
  • Full records of the Clinton administration will be open to historians and scholars in 2005.
  • The center's cost is estimated at $165 million, raised from contributions from some 100,000 donors.

Bill Clinton's presidential library opens in the River Market area of Little Rock, Ark., in a ceremony that includes speeches from President Bush and former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Clinton himself.

The glass-walled library jutting out over the Arkansas River is meant to echo the "bridge to the 21st century" that Clinton often evoked in his speeches calling for investment in technology and social programs.

Exhibits in the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park also touch on major events that defined Clinton's two terms in office: an economic boom and a budget surplus, as well as the Monica Lewinsky scandal and impeachment proceedings related to the Whitewater investigation.

NPR's Mara Liasson reports on the library's opening ceremonies.

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