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Alan Lowe - Historians Speak

Alan Lowe began his career with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in 1989 as an archivist at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. From 1992 to 2003 he worked for NARA in Washington, D.C., then served as the director of the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee. In 2008 President George W. Bush selected Lowe to be the director of his Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Alan discusses the creation and operation of that Library and Museum at great length.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

First Meeting With Bush in the Oval Office

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Background and Alan's early years with NARA

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Howard Baker Center for Public Policy

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

Discussion on George W. Bush Presidential Museum exhibits

Interview Session 04 (Audio)

More on museum exhibits, construction, grand opening and early events

Videos





Photos

Caption

Three-year old Alan Lowe with his big sister, Debbie in 1967. The photo was taken in what Alan referred to as “the little white house on the farm” outside Millersburg, Kentucky, where their father farmed.

Where:

Millersburg, Kentucky

When:

1967

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Alan’s father, Roy Allen Lowe, pulls him on his sled on the front lawn of their farmhouse near Millersburg, Kentucky, circa 1969.

Where:

Millersburg, Kentucky

When:

Circa 1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Alan plays with his Smokey the Bear and Snoopy stuffed animals on the floor of the family’s farm house, circa 1970.

Where:

Millersburg, Kentucky

When:

Circa 1970

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This sketch is of Alan’s fraternal grandparent’s house on the family farm. It was touted to be the oldest house in Bourbon County, Kentucky, and contrary to the sketch, thought to have been built in the 1780s. Alan’s family moved there in 1980.

Where:

Bourbon County, Kentucky

When:

1980

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Alan celebrated high school graduation in May, 1982 with his maternal grandmother, Marie Conner, at his sister’s home in Paris, Kentucky.

Where:

Paris, Kentucky

When:

May, 1992

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Alan’s father, Roy Allen, proudly stands next to his son on the occasion of Alan’s graduation from the University of Kentucky in the spring of 1986, on the University’s Lexington campus.

Where:

Kentucky

When:

1986

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Alan on his 1986 college graduation day with sister Debbie and mother Dee Dee. They are on the University of Kentucky campus.

Where:

Kentucky

When:

1986

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

In 1989 Alan worked at the Reagan project in Los Angeles (prior to the construction of the Reagan Library). His fellow archivists were Warren Finch and Kelly Barton (front) with Greg Cumming, Kate Sewell, Ernie Emrich, Linda Fischer and Alan in the back.

Where:

Los Angeles, California

When:

1989

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Kathy Ecton and Alan at Kathy’s Lexington, Kentucky apartment while they were dating in 1988.

Where:

Lexington, Kentucky

When:

1988

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

In 1989 Kathy and Alan joined President Reagan in celebrating Christmas while he worked at the Reagan Project (the building where Reagan artifacts and documents were sent prior to the construction of the Library) in Los Angeles.

Where:

Los Angeles, California

When:

1989

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

President Ronald Reagan and Alan share a moment during Alan’s first year as an archivist for the Reagan Presidential Library in 1989. Alan counted himself as fortunate to start his working career at the Reagan Library.

Where:

Los Angelos, California

When:

1989

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

In 1989 Alan attended the Career Intern Development System class for new archivists. The class gathered for this photo at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. He is on the steps, far right.

Where:

Washington, D.C.

When:

1989

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Alan’s maternal grandmother Marie Conner is seated in front of her three children, Dee Dee (Alan’s mother), Uncle Tommy Conner and Aunt Doris Gray in the early 1990s in Paris, Kentucky.

Where:

Paris, Kentucky

When:

1990's

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

By 1992 Alan was working at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., specifically at the central Office of Presidential Libraries.

Where:

Washington, D.C.

When:

1992

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Alan’s stepfather Harry Otte and his mother at his sister’s home in Paris, Kentucky during the Christmas season in the late 1990s.

Where:

Paris, Kentucky

When:

1990's

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Alan joined other members of the Millersburg Disciples of Christ Church congregation for a church celebration in the late 1990s.

Where:

Millersburg, Kentucky

When:

1990's

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

In 1998-1999 Alan served as the interim director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York. He split his time between Hyde Park and his National Archives office in Washington, D.C. during this period.

Where:

Hyde Park, New York

When:

1998-1999

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Alan had just been hired to be the director of the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy when he met Ambassador Baker at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan in 2003.

Where:

Tokyo, Japan

When:

2003

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Senator Fred Thompson (on the right) narrated an orientation video for the Baker Center in 2003 at Senator Thompson’s office in Nashville, Tennessee.

Where:

Nashville, Tennessee

When:

2003

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Alan met former Vice President Al Gore in 2005 when Gore came to speak at the Baker Center on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville for a conference on climate change.

Where:

Knoxville, Tennessee

When:

2005

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Alan met with Vice President Dick Cheney in November, 2005 for the groundbreaking of the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville, TN. Vice President Cheney was the keynote speaker for the event.

Where:

Knoxville, TN

When:

November, 2005

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Kathy and Alan Lowe were all smiles while attending a fund-raiser in 2006 in Knoxville in partnership with the Churchill Archive Center.

Where:

Knoxville, Tennessee

When:

2006

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Alan was excited to be a member of the Leadership Knoxville class of 2007. He is in the third row, sixth from the left.

Where:

Knoxville, Tennessee

When:

2007

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

President and Mrs. Bush interviewed Alan in January, 2009 for the position of director of the President’s Library and Museum. They conducted the interview in the White House Oval office, with Anita McBride, Mrs. Bush’s chief of staff, also attending.

Where:

Washington, D.C.

When:

January, 2009

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Alan, Carolyn and Kathy met with President and Mrs. Bush in late 2009, prior to the construction of Bush’s presidential library. Carolyn had been asking her father when she would be able to meet the President.

Where:

Washington, D.C.

When:

2009

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Alan makes a point while at his desk in the Lewisville, Texas office in 2010. This was prior to the completion of President Bush’s new Library and Museum.

Where:

Lewisville, Texas

When:

2010

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Alan was proud to attend the Parish Episcopal School’s Father – Daughter Dance with Carolyn in 2013. The school was in the metro-Dallas area.

Where:

Dallas, Texas

When:

2013

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

This photo of the Lowe family, (Carolyn, Kathy and Alan with the family dogs, Rex and Lincoln) was taken at the Castle Hills Community Center for “Castle Hills Magazine” in 2016, shortly before Alan made the decision to head north to Springfield, IL.

Where:

Castle Hills Community Center

When:

2016

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

President and Mrs. Bush hosted a going-away dinner for the Lowes in June, 2016 at the Bush’s private quarters located in the Presidential Museum in Dallas.

Where:

Dallas, Texas

When:

2016

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.



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