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National Museums & Archives: Presidential Libraries / NARA

Archives & Records for Government Entitites


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!

Try this in class!

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. 

Highlighted list of documents and media available @presidential libraries

1. Here are the available online documents from the Eisenhower Library. Includes: diaries, Hawaii statehood, civil rights, Korean War, McCarthyism and so much more.  

2. Watergate Tapes from the Nixon Library.

Fun stuff

 Lists of Highlights of Recordings of LBJ’s Telephone Conversations

History of Hoover Ball.

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.


Check out the Watergate Exhibit at the Nixon Library. Plenty of primary source materials here! 


Then head over to the Ford Library and dig into the Watergate Files: