Explore the history of the United States and the leaders who helped shape our society

Presidential Seal As Presidential candidates criss-cross the country and the workings of this 239-year old democracy are top of mind, there is no better time to experience Presidential history – first hand – than by visiting one of the Presidential Libraries.

The Presidential Libraries are not like a typical library. Instead, they are museums and archives. To date, thirteen Presidential Libraries compose the Presidential Library system, overseen by the Office of Presidential Libraries in the National Archives and Records Administration. They are found across the country, from Massachusetts to California.

Each library houses artifacts and documents of a President and his administration for future generations to view, study and discuss the administration and its era, without regard for political considerations or affiliations. These museums, like their holdings, belong to the American people.

Prior to this library system, many Presidential papers and records had been lost, destroyed, sold for profit, or ruined by poor storage conditions. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, during his second term, noted the huge amount of papers and materials already accumulated and looked for a better solution. Beginning a tradition that continues today, Roosevelt raised private funds for a new facility that would preserve and exhibit the evidence of the Presidency for future generations. He, then, turned it over to the United States government for operation through the National Archives.

Today, Presidential Libraries continue to preserve the documents and artifacts of each President, helping us learn about our nation, our democracy, and the men themselves. Whether a handmade quilt, an entire slab of the Berlin Wall, a cherished childhood toy, a favorite article of clothing, or a priceless gift from a foreign Head of State, the life and times of the President become real during a visit to these unparalleled museums. Things to see and do at Presidential Libraries include:

  • museums featuring interactive exhibits,

  • interesting and fun public programs,

  • important educational events,

  • vast archives available for scholarly research.

Presidential Library Locations

The Presidential Libraries and Museums are a perfect addition to any itinerary. For example, visitors to the Hoover Library may see President Hoover's Birthplace, his father's blacksmith shop, a Quaker meetinghouse, a pioneer schoolhouse, and the President's gravesite; they may also visit 76 acres of prairie located a few hundred feet south of the Library building. Other libraries are located in areas surrounded by other historic places, too. Visit one soon!

Official Presidential Libraries & Museums
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum
West Branch, IA (two locations)
Phone: 319 643-5301 Ann Arbor, MI
Years of Service: 1929-1933 Phone: 734 205-0555
  Grand Rapids, MI
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum Phone: 616 254-0400
Hyde Park, NY Years of Service: 1974-1977
Phone: 845 486-7770  
Years of Service: 1933-1945 Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum
  Atlanta, GA
Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum Phone: 404 865-7100
Independence, MO Years of Service: 1977-1981
Phone: 816 268-8200  
Years of Service: 1945-1953 Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library
  Simi Valley, CA
Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum Phone: 805 577-4000
Abilene, KS Years of Service: 1981-1989
Phone: 785 263-6700  
Years of Service: 1953-1961 George Bush Presidential Library & Museum
  College Station, TX
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum Phone: 979 691-4000
Boston, MA Years of Service: 1989-1993
Phone: 617 514-1600  
Years of Service: 1961-1963 William J. Clinton Presidential Center
  Little Rock, Arkansas
Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) Presidential Library Phone: 501 374-4242
Austin, TX Years of Service: 1993-2001
Phone: 512 721-0200  
Years of Service: 1963-1969 George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum
  Dallas, TX
Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum Phone: 972 353-0545
(two locations) Years of Service: 2001-2009
College Park, MD  
Phone: 301 837-3290 Barack Obama Presidential Center
Yorba Linda, CA Chicago, IL
Phone: 714 983-9120  
Years of Service: 1969-1974  

Reprinted from TRIPinfo Resource Atlas & Handbook.
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