Did you know that the 13 Presidential libraries are part of the National Archives?
The National Archives is a nonpartisan agency, and we care for all the paper and digital records—as well as Presidential gifts and other items—that are part of the President’s legacy. These documents are preserved and made accessible at the 13 Presidential library and museums.
Before the Presidential libraries were created by Franklin Roosevelt, the papers of each President met varying fates at the end of each term. Papers were divided up, given to private collections, and even destroyed.
In 1939, FDR donated his personal and Presidential papers to the Federal Government. He asked the National Archives to take custody of his papers and other historical materials and to administer his library. (For a full history of the creation of the Presidential libraries and how they operate, go to this Prologue article)
The buildings, grounds, museum, and collections of each library are as different as the 13 Presidents whose records they preserve—and now you can commemorate your visit to each one with an official “Passport to the Presidential Libraries.”
Each page features facts, pictures, quotes, and a description of that President and his library. They are available at any Presidential library and at the Archives Shop in Washington, DC, for just $5!
You can go chronologically—start with President Hoover and end with President Clinton—or wander across the country collecting stamps geographically.
Whichever way you do it, the Presidents are expecting you!