Presidential Records

Presidential Daily Diaries

The present-day Presidential Daily Diary is the official record of the presidents’ travel, meetings, and telephone calls. The Presidential Daily Diaries include daily appointments calendars, lists of attendees at official functions, and passenger manifests for presidential transport.

Over the years, there have been different versions of the Presidential Daily Diary, and formats have included appointment books, schedules, and long hand diary entries. For example, President Herbert Hoover and his staff maintained a daily appointment calendar, while President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s calendars and schedules were recorded by the White House Usher and the official White House stenographer. Versions of this model continued through President Lyndon B. Johnson, whose secretaries began compiling a Daily Diary for him in 1959, when Johnson was the Senate Majority Leader. 

President's Daily Diary online from the Presidential Libraries:

President Herbert Hoover's Daily Schedule (not yet available)
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Daily Schedule
President Harry S. Truman's Daily Appointments
President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Daily Appointments
President John F. Kennedy's Appointments
President Lyndon B. Johnson's Daily Diary
President Richard Nixon's Daily Diary
President Gerald R. Ford's Daily Diary
President Jimmy Carter's Daily Diary
President Ronald Reagan's Daily Diary
George Bush's Presidential Daily Diary
President William J. Clinton's Daily Diary
President George W. Bush's Daily Diary
President Barack Obama's Daily Diary (not yet available)
President Donald J. Trump's Daily Diary (not yet available)

The Presidential Diarist

The current Presidential Diarist is an employee of the National Archives detailed to the White House. This practice began during the Nixon Administration, the National Archives maintained a small staff at the old Executive Office Building referred to as the Office of Presidential Papers staff. Created on January 20, 1969, as a special branch of the Presidential Libraries Office of the National Archives and Records Service, the Office of Presidential Papers acted as a liaison between the White House and the National Archives to insure a smooth transition of Presidential papers, documents, and other archival material to the future Nixon Presidential Library. The Office of Presidential Papers had two major areas of responsibility. First, they compiled, indexed, and provided reference service on President Richard Nixon's Daily Diary, a minute-by-minute log of President Nixon's official and social activities. The second was planning and developing projects for the future Richard Nixon Library which included a range of activities.

The Ford Administration closed the National Archives' Office of Presidential Papers early in the administration and stopped the compilation of the Daily Diary for several months. In January 1975 the White House Staff Secretary's Office hired the former compiler for the National Archives directly to resume preparation of the Diary. They began the retrospective compilation of the missing 1974 Diaries in November 1975 and completed the project in January 1977. They continued compiling the President’s Daily Diary all throughout the Carter Administration, but once again as National Archives staff.

During the Reagan Administration the Presidential Diarist was a National Archives employee detailed to the White House. They continued the work of Presidential Diarist through the George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush Administrations. The current Presidential Diarist works for NARA and has been in that role since 2008.