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A Genealogist In The Archives: Presidential Libraries

Monday, February 19, 2018

Presidential Libraries

Since this is President's Day, I thought I would highlight our wonderful Presidential Libraries all across the United States.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Fourteen of the Presidential Libraries are under the auspices of the U.S. National Archives. They describe the libraries as:

Presidential Libraries and Museums promote understanding of the presidency and the American experience. We preserve and provide access to historical materials, support research, and create interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire.

These fourteen libraries have websites and the links can be found on the U.S. National Archives site:

William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum

Five of the Presidential Libraries are operated by private foundations, historical societies or state governments. They are:

William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museum

Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum

Many of you may be thinking that these Presidential library would be of no help to the genealogy research that you are doing. I admit that not everyone will find their ancestors in the records at these libraries, however, how will you know if you don't try?

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Think about where these Presidents lived, who they were related to and who they may have interacted with during their lifetime. Presidential libraries hold more than just papers and records from the Presidency, many of them hold personal papers, diaries, photographs and records about their ancestors. These records could include friends, associates and neighbors (F.A.N. Club)!

Do not discount these Presidential libraries. Check out their websites, records indexes, manuscript collection finding aids and anything else that might tell you what these repositories hold.

You might just be surprised what you find at a Presidential Library!

Happy President's Day!



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  1. Few people around here are aware of the Coolidge room. Just walking in there is initially quite "underwhelming." Once you begin to realize the historical importance of what is there from "Silent Cal," you have a greater appreciation of the value and quality of the collections there. There are records there from his days as the Mayor of Northampton to his time as President.

    Forbes is directly across the street from the Smith College
    campus and just a few blocks up from the center of Northampton, a city chock full of history! I took a bus load of NERGC 2017 attendees there last spring.

    1. Thanks for sharing Dave! I hope one day to visit ALL the Presidential Libraries! Thanks for reading my blog!

  2. This is so true.... The Gerald R. Ford Library in Ann Arbor Michigan has, for some reason, a large number of resources, records and files on Monroe County MI. I don't know why. It's a county south of the library's location, and has no association with Pres. Ford.
    But it was invaluable!

    1. Linda, Thank You so much for sharing that information. As genealogists we should never overlook any records archives, they may have stuff we want! LOL! Thank You for reading my blog!

  3. Thank you for valuable information.