C-SPAN recording of a session at the 2010 Presidential Sites and Libraries conference.

Sharon Fawcett discusses the presidential libraries and the challenges of presenting controversial issues in an objective way and talks about the shifting balances between preserving a president’s legacy and presenting political history.

Focusing on bringing the private Nixon Library and Museum into the National Archives Presidential Library system, Tim Naftali describes how the Nixon museum undertook to create an impartial presentation about Watergate through the use of oral histories.

Engaging Controversial Topics: The Watergate Exhibit at the Nixon Presidential Library was part of the fifth Presidential Sites and Libraries Conference, Renewing Ideals and Engaging the Public, hosted by The University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs. The other sponsors were the American Association for State and Local History; James Madison’s Montpelier; Monticello; the National Park Service; the National Archives and Records Administration; President Lincoln’s Cottage, a National Trust Historic Site; and the White House Historical Association.

Watch the full recording.