History of the Presidents

This section of the History & Genealogy module focuses on resources for finding information on the Presidents of the United States.

Contents

Key Resources

  • Presidential Libraries
    The National Archives and Records Administration oversees 11 Presidential Libraries and the Nixon Presidential Materials. These libraries are really archives that bring together documents and artifacts outside the political affiliations associated with the President while in office. Each library varies in terms of materials offered online, but most provide detailed information about research materials within the Libraries themselves.
  • Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders, 1945-1989
    This source provides in one convenient reference source proclamations and Executive orders with general applicability and continuing effect. Proclamations and executive orders are legally binding documents issued by the President. This codification covers the period April 13, 1945, through January 20, 1989--a timespan encompassing the administrations of Harry S. Truman through Ronald Reagan. Proclamations and Executive orders issued before April 13, 1945, are included if they were amended or otherwise affected by documents issued during the 1945-1989 period.
  • Public Papers of the Presidents, 1929-2000 (University of Michigan)
    This is the official record of public papers from a President's term of office and provides a concise history of a nation through the actions of the Commander in Chief. Papers includes messages, speeches, announcements, proclamations, and executive orders. The University of Michigan site provides the papers for Presidents Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bus, Clinton, and George W. Bush.
  • Public Papers of the Presidents, 1991-present (GPO Access)
    This is the official record of public papers from a President's term of office and provides a concise history of a nation through the actions of the Commander in Chief. Papers includes messages, speeches, announcements, proclamations, and executive orders. GPO Access provides the papers for Presidents George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush.
  • Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1933-present
    Issued weekly by the Office of the Press Secretary and published by the Office of the Federal Register (NARA), this compilation provides a snapshot of the President's life through speeches, press conferences, statements, bill signings and vetos, appointments, nominations, proclamations, and executive orders. The Weekly Compilation has been included in the Public Papers of the Presidents since 1977.

Guides to Resources