Presidential Records

Records Management in the White House

Within the White House, the Office of Records Management supports the incumbent administration in identifying and transferring presidential records to the National Archives. The National Archives provides records management guidance and assistance with transferring presidential records based on its institutional knowledge and expertise to the incumbent administration. The National Archives has no authority to enforce records management within the White House.

Presidential records are defined as: “documentary materials, or any reasonably segregable portion thereof, created or received by the President, the President’s immediate staff, or a unit or individual of the Executive Office of the President whose function is to advise and assist the President, in the course of conducting activities which relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President.” [44 U.S.C. § 2201(2)].  These records can be in any format, including textual, audiovisual, and electronic records. Presidential records are governed by the Presidential Records Act (PRA), which applies to records from the Reagan administration forward.

Learn more about the laws that govern presidential records

Learn more about Presidential Transitions and the role of the National Archives