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Presidents of the United States

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Presidential Libraries and Museums 
The National Archives (NARA) is an Executive Branch Agency and as such oversees and administers the federal Presidential Library system starting with President Hoover. Within these Libraries, you will find the papers of the President which are made available for research. 

Beginning with the presidency of Herbert Hoover, each president develops the Library that houses the records of their administration. At the end of a Presidential term, according to the Presidential Records Act of 1976, the Archivist acquires the custody of the records as the new President takes the oath of office. Once acquired, the National Archives transfers them for cataloging and archiving. 

 While NARA oversees the records, the physical buildings that house those records are built by private funds which are then donated to NARA upon completion. Because many are funded by donations through private foundations, each Library presents its own unique view of the time period of the President. Many acquire documents, images, and artifacts that reflect the time covered and each institution builds its own exhibits, outreach, and events. 

Presidential Libraries are often overlooked as information destinations for students and teachers. Each library is a unique entity with a unique approach to its collection and online presence. The joy of Presidential Library research includes the serendipity of discovery that can be found within the range of materials housed within. Students will find many interesting topics through the online exhibits and specialized collections within individual presidential libraries. 

Note: if you assign students to research at a particular library, please keep in mind that some have lots of digitized records, images, online exhibits, etc. Others are less so, providing less access to some information for some.