The National Archives, as an Executive Branch, Agency administers and oversees the federal Presidential Library system starting with President Hoover. These archives house the papers of the Presidents which are then made available for research.
The physical buildings that house the records are built by private funds and are donated to the National Archives upon completion.
Each library has its unique approach to their online presence. If you assign students to research at a particular library, please keep in mind that some are highly digitized, and others are less so, providing less access to some information for some.
Here, we highlight - Starter Pack style - some of the most fun. Send students out to each library to dig deeper. There's a rabbit hole awaiting!
TIP: consider exploring each of the Administrations using the Circle of Viewpoints. For every action within a presidential term, policies were created, enforced, or deleted. Each of these affected citizens across the country in a different way. Social Justice perspectives fit in well here - let's dive in to see where/how we got to where we are today.
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum & Library
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum
John F. Kennedy Library and Museum
Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
Ronald Reagan Library and Museum
Jimmy Carter Library and Museum
William J Clinton Presidential Library
George H Bush Presidential Library and Museum
The Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
George W Bush Presidential Library and Museum
Barack Obama Presidential Library
Donald J. Trump Presidential Library
Here are some exhibits to jumpstart your thinking. Use exhibits to model what 'curation' means by asking students to create their own exhibits on a topic from within a Presidential Library.
Try out the Roosevelt Rap for a timeline of FDR's life. Then head to the library's YouTube channel for all kinds of content.
Listen to Eleanor's Human Rights Speech.
Teach about the Cold War with the Spy's Dilemma.
Explore Kennedy's Desk.
Follow the path of Nixon's downfall in the Watergate files.
Listen to Nixon's call to the astronauts on the moon.
Dig into the list of musicians who played at the Clinton White House.