Dead Presidents

Historical facts, thoughts, ramblings and collections on the Presidency and about the Presidents of the United States.

By Anthony Bergen

(I figured I might as well answer this in an actual post just in case others want to share this information.)


FDR started formulating plans for the first, official Presidential Library as we know and recognize those operated by the National Archives today, while he was still President.  Since then, every one of FDR’s successors (as well as Herbert Hoover, who was the only former President still alive during FDR’s term, survived until 1964, and also built a Presidential Library under the National Archives model) has built their own Presidential Library and Museum.  Richard Nixon’s was built and operated privately for many years because of a long-running dispute between Nixon and the federal government over his papers, but it is now under the auspices of the National Archives, as well.  In most cases, Presidents since Hoover are also buried on the grounds of their Presidential Library.

There are other Presidential Libraries throughout the country honoring Presidents, some of which are quite similar to the official Libraries and Museums operated by the National Archives, but which are operated by state governments, private foundations, corporations, or other organizations.  Since they are not operated or funded by the National Archives, they are not considered “official” federal Presidential Libraries, but it can be confusing to tell them apart.  I’ll list the various Presidential Libraries and Museums — those operated by the National Archives and those “unofficial” versions.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, West Branch, Iowa (President Hoover’s birthplace and burial site are also on the grounds of his Library)
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Hyde Park, New York (First Presidential Library; President Roosevelt is buried on the grounds of the Library and his birthplace is nearby)
Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Library, Independence, Missouri (President Truman is buried on the grounds of the Library)
Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Abilene, Kansas (General Eisenhower is buried on the grounds of the Library)
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, Massachusetts
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, Austin, Texas
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California (President Nixon is buried on the grounds of his Library, just a few yards away from his birthplace)
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Located on the campus of the University of Michigan)
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan (President Ford is buried on the grounds of his Museum)
Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Atlanta, Georgia
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley, California (President Reagan is buried on the grounds of his Library)
George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, College Station, Texas (Located on the campus of Texas A&M University; President George H.W. Bush will be buried on the grounds of his Library)
William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, Little Rock, Arkansas
George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Dallas, Texas (Located on the campus of Southern Methodist University)

(This list may be incomplete and does not include every single museum that simply calls itself a “Presidential Library”.  Those listed below are institutions operated by state governments, private foundations, or other organizations that largely resemble the Presidential Libraries and Museums operated by the National Archives.)
The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library, Biloxi, Mississippi (Operated by the State of Mississippi and the Sons of Confederate Veterans; Housed at Jefferson Davis’s former home, Beauvior; Archive of Davis’s public and private papers, as well as many government records of the Confederacy; Severely damaged in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina and required extensive rebuilding and renovationProbably the most similar and detailed institution of this sort in comparison to the “official” Presidential Libraries operated by the National Archives)
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, Illinois (Operated by the State of Illinois; High-tech, state-of-the-art, multimedia-filled museum; One of many historic Lincoln sites in Springfield including his pre-Presidency home, his law office, the old Illinois Statehouse, and Lincoln’s tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery)
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont, Ohio (Technically, the first Presidential Library, pre-dating FDR’s decision to build a library by nearly a quarter-century, but privately funded at the time; Includes Hayes’s Spiegel Grove estate, personal library, Presidential and private papers, thousands of 19th Century newspapers and magazines, genealogical archives, and Ohio historical archives; President Hayes is buried on the grounds of his Presidential Center)
William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, Canton, Ohio (Operated by the Stark County, Ohio Historical Society; Located near the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial; President McKinley is buried nearby)
Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, Staunton, Virginia (Operated by a private foundation; Housed inside the home that Wilson was born inside in 1856; Archive of President Wilson’s public and private papers, particular from World War I; Wilson’s famous Pierce Arrow Presidential vehicle is part of the collection on exhibit)
Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum, Northampton, Massachusetts (Operated by the State of Massachusetts; Housed in the Forbes Library; Features public and private papers from throughout Coolidge’s life; Coolidge’s mechanical horse, which he used for exercise in the White House is exhibited in the collection)
  1. kaiyves reblogged this from deadpresidents
  2. specialistdirective said: Are there Science books in the latest presidential Library?
  3. deadpresidents posted this