Sarah Haldeman, Presidential Archivist

Mar 28, 2013

by Jason Sheeler

[published on texasmonthly.com in April 2013]

Sarah Haldeman, a California native who has lived in Texas since 2004, earned a graduate degree in public history from Arizona State University. She worked at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library before becoming an archivist at the George W. Bush Center, which is scheduled to open on the campus of Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, on May 1, 2013.

Information is withheld only for a good reason. That might be the most important thing I’ve learned in my nine years as an archivist.

As a child, I wanted to work in a library. I figured I’d be able to read all the time—I just wanted to be alone and read. Now that is exactly what I get to do; I read really fascinating things. Before I came to Dallas, I worked for seven and a half years at the LBJ Presidential Library, in Austin. That’s a very established library, and I learned a lot there, working in the reading room and helping students conduct their research.

The George W. Bush Center isn’t open yet, so at the moment I spend my days in a big warehouse in Lewisville. There are about twenty archivists and thousands of boxes of paper. We are reading every single document created either by former president Bush or by his staff during his eight years in office and determining what needs to be opened to the public. read more