DALLAS — The moving-in process is under way at the George W. Bush Library and Museum, where about 43,000 artifacts from the former president's eight years in the White House will be kept and displayed.
The roughly 227,000-square-foot George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas houses the library, museum and Bush's policy institute. The library, which includes his archives, will hold artifacts including the bullhorn Bush used when he visited ground zero after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the pistol taken from Saddam Hussein when he was captured.
Bush and his wife, Laura, who earned her bachelor's degree from SMU, live in Dallas. The dedication ceremony for the center will be held April 25 and it will open to the public May 1.
Alan Lowe, director of the library and museum, said that as of Tuesday, the 70 million nonclassified paper records that include memos, letters and reports from Bush's time in office will have been moved from a warehouse in suburban Dallas to the new center.
By the end of next month, all of the artifacts will have been moved to the center. The archives also include gifts sent from the public to the first family, including quilts sent after Sept. 11.
"You can almost read the history of the time by seeing what was important enough for people to send into the president," Lowe said.
In addition to the museum's permanent exhibit, temporary exhibits will begin in 2014 to allow the public see more of the vast archives, Lowe said.
After Bush left office in January 2009, he and his wife moved to Dallas. They broke ground on the George W. Bush Presidential Center in November 2010. Last fall, the landscaping was completed on the center's 15-acre park, which will recreate a Texas prairie. The move-in process began in November.