You can visit the papers, collections and historical material of every U.S. President since Herbert Hoover; that’s 13 official presidential libraries in all. Located in interesting places around the country, they are a great excuse to hit the highway and explore.

The Presidential Library System began in 1939 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt donated his personal and presidential papers along with his Hyde Park, New York estate to the United States. FDR created a non-profit corporation to build and operate the library.  He believed that presidential papers should be available as part of the national heritage.  This is my personal favorite presidential library, and as the first of the libraries, is a great place to begin.

Visiting Hyde Park

When you visit Hyde Park, plan a meal at the Culinary Institute of America and a few hours at Val-Kill, Eleanor Roosevelt’s retreat nearby. For more information, read Nancy Better’s article in the New York Times about a visit friends organized for my birthday. FDR’s library.

To plot your course to the thirteen official Presidential Libraries, go to:

If your favorite president is one of the 31 who served before the creation of ‘official’ presidential libraries, you might find a museum dedicated to his Presidency by going to the bottom of this Wikipedia page. Find links to the collections of Lincoln, Adams, Hayes, McKinley, Wilson, Coolidge and Hoover.

If you are still curious about U.S. Presidents, you’ll find links to online resources at