Hoover Library & Archives Launches “HI Stories,” Dynamic Online Exhibits and Storytelling Features

Friday, September 18, 2020
Hoover Institution

The closure of the Hoover Tower and exhibit galleries as a result of COVID-19 has underscored the Hoover Institution Library & Archives’ efforts to expand its outreach to online audiences. With this objective in mind, in May 2020, L&A archivists began creating and publishing “HI Stories,” a series of dynamic storytelling features that showcase treasures from Hoover’s more than six thousand collections and one million library volumes and uncover their importance to the record of modern history.

The first “HI Stories” commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Hoover Institution’s founding and have featured the life and work of Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover, the history of the Hoover Institution, and Library & Archives’ most fascinating collections concerning the global struggle for freedom against authoritarianism, as well as peace movements and diplomatic achievements of the 20th century.  

Below are “HI Stories” that have launched in 2020:

The Hoover Institution: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow explores the Hoover Institution’s founding, its impact on public policy, and the direction it is forging in the 21st century. Among the featured artifacts is the April 1919 telegram sent by Herbert Hoover to his wife Lou Henry, which explained that he would like to underwrite an initial $50,000 for a “mission to Europe to collect historical information on war.”

An Uncommon Couple presents the inspiring lives of Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover and their shared passions for education, peace, and freedom. It explores their deep ties to their alma matter, Stanford University; their commitment to public service; and their humanitarian work that was grounded in their lifelong desire for a peaceful world. This story also features rare photos of Hoover’s humanitarian relief efforts in Europe and Russia, and posters issued by the Hoover-chaired American Relief Administration (ARA) calling on US citizens to help provide food and medicine to those afflicted by war and famine.

The Road to Freedom explores collection material related to ideas defining a free society, including contributions made by Hoover Institution fellows. Chapters feature the principles of economic freedom championed by economists Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman, the resistance against communist tyranny in Eastern Europe and modern China, and the effective use of Radio Free Europe as a weapon against Soviet propaganda. Artifacts and documents include the handwritten notes and final page proofs of Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, rare photos and posters from the Cold War era, and audio recordings from L&A’s Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty archive.

To Promote Peace examines Library and Archives’ collections that were inspired by President Hoover’s original directive to retain and study records so as to learn from past mistakes and avoid future cataclysms. Chapters detail 20th-century peace movements, diplomacy in the aftermath of the First and Second World Wars, and efforts at nuclear disarmament during the Cold War. Featured artifacts and documents provide insight into major events, including the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, the Nuremberg trials of 1945–1946, the adoption of the Japanese Constitution in 1947, the strike order to pilots for the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945, and the rise of the new left and protest movements beginning in the 1960s.

Click here to explore all current and upcoming “HI Stories.”