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Bush Administration revisited, online

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By Jill R. Aitoro May 20, 2009

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Ever wonder what happened to all of the information that was housed on whitehouse.gov before the Obama Administration took over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, when former President George W. Bush was still in office? We were promised the Web pages would be preserved for historians, researchers and the public, and it seems that promise has been realized with georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov.

The archive of Web pages from the Bush Administration was launched quietly, and is not to be confused with the Web site of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, which is maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration and holds millions of pages of official records documenting the two-term administration.

Instead, this site is a snapshot of whitehouse.gov as it appeared before President Obama took office, with the main picture portraying President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush walking out on the North Portico the morning of the inauguration to welcome President-Elect Barack Obama to the White House. Visitors can click through the links to view news items from that time, the Bush Administration's executive orders and proclamations, and synopses of the policies that influenced U.S. politics from 2001 to 2009. A highlighted note that runs across the top of the Web pages reminds visitors that "this is historical material, 'frozen in time.' The web site is no longer updated and links to external web sites and some internal pages will not work."

Still, only four months to the day after the inauguration, the archive is already an interesting look at history, particularly when compared to the current version of the site, which the Obama Administration has promised will be more citizens focused.

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