Presidential Libraries This and That

Until Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the first presidential library in 1941 and transferred it to the federal government, there were no official repositories designed especially to preserve and make accessible the records of Presidents. It was 16 years before another presidential library opened—this time under the provisions of the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955.

Since 1941, 10 more presidential libraries have opened around the country, with two more scheduled. One will be for President George W. Bush, and the other will result from the conversion of the private Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California, into a federal facility that includes records of Richard M. Nixon’s presidency, now with the Nixon Presidential Materials Staff at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

These libraries, all built with nonfederal funds then donated to the federal government, are operated and maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration and staffed by NARA employees who care for the archival records and the museum collections and make them available for research. Although the libraries are federal facilities, they also draw support from affiliated foundations or institutes that help underwrite research grants, outreach programs, exhibits, and other program and facility enhancements.

Source and more on the 50th Anniversary of the Presidential Libraries Act

This was the first I heard of the Nixon Library joining the system, thought I would have heard more about it in the news.  I know for the longest time it was trying to gain entry as a federal facility.

Here is a list of all the presidential libraries that have a webpage as provided by the National Archives:

  • Herbert Hoover Library
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
  • Harry S. Truman Library
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Library
  • John F. Kennedy Library
  • Lyndon B. Johnson Library
  • Nixon Presidential Materials
  • Gerald R. Ford Library
  • Jimmy Carter Library
  • Ronald Reagan Library
  • George Bush Library
  • William J. Clinton Library
  • A few observations:

    • The Nixon logo strikes me as a bit odd:
    • The Reagan Library’s website seems to be running off of the University of Texas’ system:
    • I would have thought that all of the websites would look extremely professional, but I think a lot of them come up short.  The worst of the bunch would have to be the George Bush Library.  All that red font on the home page is very distracting.


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