Presidential Libraries


Use these links to find information about presidential documents, the U.S. Presidents, and Presidential Libraries.


The American Presidency Project A study of the American presidency established in 1999 at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The site offers 104,792 documents related to the study of the presidency.

American President: A Reference Resource This site from the Miller Center at the University of Virginia gives biographical information about each of the presidents, a speech archive, and classroom resources.

"Escorting a Presidency into History: NARA's Role in a White House Transition" Nancy Kegan Smith's Prologue article describes how NARA collects transfers hundreds of millions of textual, electronic, and audiovisual records, and tens of thousands of presidential and vice presidential gifts.

POTUS: Presidents of the United States Biographies of the presidents. Includes "background information, election results, cabinet members, notable events, and some points of interest on each of the presidents."

Presidential Libraries Information about presidential libraries and the documents they maintain. Includes links to all of the presidential libraries administered by the National Archives.

"The Presidential Libraries Act after 50 Years" Raymond Geselbracht and Timothy Walch discuss legislation that provided for the establishment of presidential libraries in this Prologue article.

The Presidents This website from PBS provides documentaries on nine of the 20th-Century presidents. Also included are biographies of all of the presidents, articles, interviews, photographs, and educational resources.

Public Papers of the Presidents The Public Papers of the Presidents are available online through the Government Printing Office (GPO) beginning with George H.W. Bush in 1991. They contain papers and speeches of the President that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary, presented in chronological order.

"School House to White House: The Education of the Presidents" This Prologue article describes a NARA exhibit that reveals the report cards, homework, athletic prowess, and musical abilities of our modern presidents when they were students.

"Standing in for the President" This Prologue article by W. Dale Nelson looks at the role of the Presidents' press secretaries.


Facts, Firsts and Precedents The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies provides interesting pieces of information about presidential inaugurations.

History of Presidential Inaugurals In this 1993 C-Span interview, Philip Brooks discusses memorial presidential inaugurations.

"I Do Solemnly Swear...": Presidential Inaugurations This Library of Congress American Memory site is a collection of approximately 2000 digital files from all of the inaugurations from George Washington's in 1791 to the latest.

Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the U.S. Lists the presidents in chronological order.

Inauguration History Quiz This inauguration quiz is presented by the Washington Post.

Presidential Inaugurals: Historical Perspective A transcript of the PBS show in which the NewsHour's historians Michael Beschloss, Haynes Johnson, Steven Ambrose, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Roger Wilkins talk to Margaret Warner about the history of inaugurations.

Presidential Inaugurations Quiz Test your knowledge about past Presidential inaugurations in this activity, designed by the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library.

Records of Presidential Inaugural Committees Record Group 274, 1933-1989. Held at the National Archives.

Order of Succession

"Abrupt Transition" This article, published in the Winter 2000 issue of Prologue, discusses the change in inauguration fanfare when a Vice President must quickly been sworn into office.

Amendment XXV This site includes the text of the amendment that provides for procedures to fill vacancies in the vice presidency and clarifies presidential succession rules.

Order of Succession Ben's Guide to U.S. Government provides a list of government departments which will provide officials to assume the presidency if necessary, provided they are Constitutionally qualified to assume the office.

Presidential Illness and the 25th Amendment The National Institutes of Health website includes scanned copies of the original print version of this article. It is full of historical facts.

Presidential Collections

First Ladies

The Dolley Madison Project A complete on-line edition of her existing letters as a fully searchable digital archive. Dolley Madison was the first First Lady to serve in Washington, D.C.

The First Ladies of the U.S.A. Links to biographical information about each First Lady, including portraits. Published by the White House Historical Association.

National First Ladies' Library The website for the first and only facility of its kind, its purpose is to educate the world about the contributions of the First Ladies and other important women in history.

"Young Bess in Hats" In this Prologue article, Raymond H. Geselbracht writes about Bess Wallace before she became Mrs. Harry Truman.

Portraits and Photographs of Presidents and First Ladies

Chas Fagan: Presidential Portraits This site complements C-SPAN's television series, "American Presidents: Life Portraits."

Chronological List of Presidents, First Ladies, and Vice Presidents of the United States This list from the Library of Congress includes portraits of the presidents, first ladies, and vice presidents.

Portraits of the Presidents from the National Portrait Gallery This new online exhibit features 61 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other likenesses of the Presidents.

Salaries and Retirement Benefits of U.S. Presidents

Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Federal Benefits This Congressional Research Service report describes the pension and benefits granted to former presidents and policy implications.

Salaries and Retirement Benefits of U.S. Presidents and other Federal Government Employees This Internet Public Library website features salary and benefit information for the president, the vice president, and high ranking government officials.

Presidential Documents Online

Federal Digital System (FDsys) The Government Printing Office provides access to official text of various government documents, including Compilation of Presidential Documents, Economic Report of the President, and Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States.

Federal Register This website has links to Executive Orders, Proclamations, and other presidential documents.