Travel

The Best Presidential Libraries in the United States

A presidential library is built to reserve papers, records, and collections dedicated to every single president of the United States since Herbert Hoover.

The US is home to numerous presidential libraries dedicated to the country’s presidents, a trend that started with Herbert Hoover and has continued ever since. On display in the libraries are historical records, presidential papers, official records, and personal documents. The libraries also offer museum services by displaying artifacts associated with a particular president. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the nation’s 32nd President, is credited with creating the framework for the establishment of the libraries. The presidential libraries are under the jurisdiction of the Office of Presidential Libraries.

5. Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum - Austin, TX

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to the nation’s 36th president, Lyndon Baines Johnson. It sits on 14 acres on the grounds of the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. The library's design was done by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The library attracts an estimated 125,000 visitors annually, and it is home to 45 million pages of historical documents, artworks, and other exhibits.

4. Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum - Hyde Park, NY

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum occupies an area of 16 acres in Hyde Park, New York. It was built from 1939 to 1940 and dedicated to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was the first presidential library to serve the public in the US. The library preserves volumes of photographs and Presidential and personal papers in addition to artifacts and media technology.

3. William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum - Little Rock, AR

The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum prides in having the largest archives. Preserved in it are 80 million pages of documents, 79,000 artifacts, 2 million photographs, and 21 million emails. Construction of the library began on November 5, 2001, with funds from private donations. Its size is 152,000 square feet, and it is situated in Little Rock, Arkansas. The library was dedicated in 2004 to William J “Bill” Clinton.

2. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum - Boston, MA

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum sits on 10 acres of land in Boston, Massachusetts. It was constructed as a memorial to John F. Kennedy who was assassinated while still in office on November 22, 1963. The library's design was done by I.M. Pei, and it was subsequently built in 1977. Housed in the library are official papers of the Kennedy’s administration. The museum displays exhibits ranging from photographs, film, speeches, and clothing associated with the President and his family.

1. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum - Simi Valley, CA

The library preserves the legacy of Ronald Reagan, who was at the helm of the country’s administration from 1981 to 1989. The library was built from 1988 to 1991, and at 152,847.53 square feet, it became the country’s largest of the 14 presidential libraries. The library’s construction was financed by private donations at a tune of $60 million equivalent to $137 million in 2015. It has preserved presidential documents numbering 50 million pages, thousands of video and audio tapes, photographs that are in excess of 1.6 million, and half-million feet of motion picture film. Additionally, the library is home to personal papers such as the documents of eight years of Reagan’s leader as the governor of California. Located in the library are exhibits related to his life and a complete replica of the Oval Office. The library like all other presidential libraries was built with funds from private donations.

More in Travel