The largest known Chuck Hagel archive is located here, at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. But good luck accessing it: Despite intense national focus on the defense secretary nominee’s record, this reporter was shunned from taking a look inside the trove of Hagel’s videos, audio recordings, documents, pictures, and artifacts.
James T. Shaw, director of collections and the government documents librarian here, insists Tuesday morning he is not “stonewalling” efforts to gain access to Hagel’s record. Preventing immediate access, he says, is imperative for the academic integrity of the institution. A trained archivist has not yet organized the entire record, Shaw explains.
The explanation is hardly convincing, so I ask to speak with a higher authority. Soon, Shaw’s boss, Stephen R. Shorb, joins us down in the basement level of the university’s Criss Library.
The collection was acquired by the university four years ago, in December 2008, upon Hagel’s retirement from the Senate. “The archives contain ~1700 boxes of documents, ~1000 audio and video recordings, ~1000 photographs and artifacts and hundreds of books from Sen. Hagel’s personal statement,” reads a statement I’m handed that’s attributed to Shorb, the library dean. “The archives are being organized so that they will be a resource for future researchers, and are not open to the public at this time.”
He says he hates estimating, but believes the archive will be available for access roughly two-and-a-half years from now. Continue reading via The Weekly Standard...