Precious memories preserved in Barbara Bush's scrapbooks

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Much of Barbara Bush's life has been documented in well-kept scrapbooks. From letters, to newspaper clippings, photographs and even dried flowers. They're all treasures carefully kept in scrapbooks put together by Barbara Bush herself.

"I think for her, it's a way to relax," Director of the George Bush Library and Museum Warren Finch said.

Mrs. Bush began scrapbooking in 1943, shortly after she and George Bush became engaged.

"She pastes letters, invitations, Christmas cards and a lot of photographs. She loves taking pictures," according to Finch.

She continued keeping the books during her husband's time in Congress, at the U.N., in China, the White House and beyond.

Finch added, "There's a lot of family with the kids growing up and now the grandkids, and her life with President Bush and a lot of events they did."

There are more than 100 scrapbooks now, and about 15 years ago, the former first lady donated them all to her husband's presidential library.

"When you go out in the museum, a lot of the stuff you see out there came from her scrapbooks. If she hadn't kept them, there's a lot of this material and photos and stuff we wouldn't have," Finch said.

What started as a hobby is now a part of history.

"The letters to him, the letters from him to her. That stuff just wouldn't have survived if she didn't put in a scrapbook."

The library says the scrapbooks are in good condition, but they have scanned everything to preserve them digitally.