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By Natalie Valdés and Tammy Leitner
COLLEGE STATION, Texas ̵
1; It was a love story that spanned decades, presidency and albums.
Former first lady Barbara Bush is kept scrapbooks of each year of the couple’s life together, from their dedication to their last years.
In total, she made 118 of them.
The memory of memory is carefully preserved here at the George Bush Presidential Library and has rarely been seen by the public. Mary Finch, audio and video archive for the library, gave NBC News a tour of the second floor, over four locked doors to where scrapbooks are in temperature controlled rooms and acid-free boxes.
Archivist Mary Finch opens one of the 118 Bush family banners at the George HW Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas. Natalie Valdes / NBC News
“The whole scrapbook is a microcosm,” Finch said. “It is a microcosm of the Bush relationship, from President and Ms. Bush meeting and marrying through the family throughout the 20’s and into the 21st century. It is a microcosm of American history from this timeframe.
Finch has worked at the Bush Library since it is a major opening in College Station, Texas in 1993. She has seen every story now archived in the library, but scrapbooks are one of a kind.
“I said to Mrs. Bush, in the White House Year, you have probably not set up in residence and glue these pictures. And she said, “Oh, I really did,” Finch said. “This is her pride and possession and they are all her. They are not anyone else. They are not auxiliaries or family members or anyone else. They are her and President Bush.”
By looking at the tattered rock books, with Pages that fall out, President and Mrs Bush led a family and friends life. Over the years before their presidency, their days were filled with tennis games and boat trips around Kennebunkport, all documented in their rock books, with handwritten notes.
More than just pictures, the pages are filled with napkins, menus, playing cards, and even a wishbone from their first thanksgiving together;
The official wedding announcement appeared in the newspaper, shows Barbara Bush in her wedding dress. Natalie Valdes / NBC News
“It’s consistent. They always said that the three most important things to them are family, faith and friends, and it’s only proof of pudding in the case of the scrapbooks,” says Finch.  A key goes away from being sifted through years of the Bush family, Finch has learned how competitive the pair was when it came to any kind of game, from tennis to backgammon.
Most notable of the album is the couple’s engagement scrapbook, filled with letters to each other and from friends and family.  In a letter, Barbara’s father, Marvin Pierce, writes “he is a swallowing guy” referring to Bush shortly after the young couple’s involvement.
President Bush also maintained several albums of themselves during their school years at the Andover Yale University Preparations in the late 1930s and early 40s. In this album there is a letter from his love.