This guide is designed to help American University users find the public and private papers—published and unpublished, print format or electronic—of U.S. presidents, It includes their letters, communiques (many previously classified), speeches, remarks and statements. This guide generally does not include books written by the presidents.
For a more complete list of publications by individual presidents, not just their papers, search for the president's name as AUTHOR, e.g. washington george, in the American University Library Catalog or WorldCat
This guide is still undergoing heavy construction.
Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (1929 onwards)
The Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States is the official publication of United States Presidents' public writings, addresses, and remarks of a public nature. More about the Public Papers.
Issued: Volumes are published approximately twice a year, and each volume covers approximately a 6-month period.
Compilation of Presidential Documents (1965 to present)
The Compilation of Presidential Documents is the official publication of presidential statements, messages, remarks, and other materials released by the White House Press Secretary. A companion to the Public Papers, the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents was started in 1965 to provide a broader range of Presidential materials on a more timely basis. From 1977 onward, all material appearing in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is incorporated into the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States. More about the Compilation of Presidential Documents.
Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents (January 20, 2009 to present)
The Daily Compilation replaced the Weekly Compilation on January 20, 2009 (Obama).
Citation: Daily Comp. Pres. Docs., 2009 DCPD No. 00001, p.3 means the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents in the year 2009, in the first document, on page three.
Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (1965 to January 29, 2009)
Official publication of presidential statements, messages, remarks, and other materials released by the White House Press Secretary. Replaced by the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents on January 20, 2009.
Issued: Weekly (Monday)
11. James Knox Polk, 1845-1849
Unpublished collections of Polk's papers.
12. Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850
The majority of Zachary Taylor's papers were destroyed in the Civil War.
Unpublished collection of Taylor's papers.
13. Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853
Unpublished collection of Fillmore's papers.
14. Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857
There are very few published collections of Pierce's papers.
Unpublished collection of Pierce's papers.
15. James Buchanan, 1857-1861
Unpublished collection of Buchanan's papers.
16. Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865
17. Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869
A selective edition of Andrew Johnson papers has published by the University of Tennessee Press.
Earlier edition of Johnson's papers.
Unpublished collection of Johnson's papers.
18. Ulysses Simpson Grant, 1869-1877
Digital Edition of the The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant from Mississippi State University Libraries.
Free online version of the comprehensive collection of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant that is currently being published by the Southern Illinois University Press.
Earlier editions of Grant's papers.
Unpublished collection of Grant's papers.
19. Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 1877-1881
Unpublished collection of Hayes' papers.
20. James Abram Garfield, 1881
Unpublished collection of Garfield's papers.
21. Chester Alan Arthur, 1881-1885
There are very few extant Arthur's papers.
Unpublished collection of Arthur's papers.
22. Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889, 1893-1897
Unpublished collection of Cleveland's papers.
23. Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893
Unpublished collection of Harrison's papers.
24. Grover Cleveland, 1893-1897, 1893-1897
25. William McKinley, 1897-1901
Unpublished collection of McKinley's papers.
26. Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1909
Unpublished and original collections of Theodore Roosevelt's papers.
27. William Howard Taft, 1909-1913
Unpublished collection of Taft's papers.
28. Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1921
Unpublished collections of Wilson's papers.
29. Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1921-1923
Unpublished collection of Harding's papers.
30. Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929
Unpublished and original collections of Coolidge's papers.
This is a list of the published and non-published papers (public and private) of individual presidents. Many papers are published in more than one publication, in which case, only larger or more authoritative publications are included. The following list is largely derived from the excellent Public and Private Papers by the Scripps Library, University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs.
Search tip: For a more complete list of publications (not just their papers) by individual presidents, search for the president's name as AUTHOR, e.g. Washington George, in the American University Library Catalog or WorldCat .
31. Herbert Clark Hoover, 1929-1933
The most significant published collection of Hoover papers is the official Public Papers published by the National Archives. It is limited to Hoover's years in the White House and includes only official public messages (e.g. speeches, press conferences, public statements). Supplementing the Public Papers, the National Archives published a two volume collection of Proclamations and Executive Orders.
32. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-1945
33. Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953
34. Dwight David Eisenhower, 1953-1961
35. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961-1963
36. Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963-1969
37. Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969-1974
38. Gerald Rudolph Ford, 1974-1977
39. James Earl Carter, Jr., 1977-1981
40. Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-1989
41. George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-1993
42. William Jefferson Clinton, 1993-2001
43. George Walker Bush, 2001-2009
44. Barack Hussein Obama, 2009-
This is a list of the published and non-published papers (public and private) of individual presidents. Many papers are published in more than one publication, in which case, only larger or more authoritative publications are included. The following list is largely derived from the excellent Public and Private Papers by the Scripps Library, University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs and the Library of Congress' Presidents of the United States: Resource Guide.
Search tip: For a more complete list of publications (not just their papers) by individual presidents:
search for the president's name as AUTHOR, e.g. washington george, in the American University Library Catalog or WorldCat .
1. George Washington, 1789-1797
The Papers of George Washington at the University of Virginia is a project to publish a comprehensive edition of Washington's correspondence. Letters written to Washington as well as letters and documents written by him are included. When complete, it will comprise approximately ninety volumes. A few documents are free online.
American University Library has a complete copy of the print edition. George Washington University and George Mason University have the online version. If you would like American University Library to purchase this database, contact Clement Ho.
Earlier editions of Washington's papers.
Unpublished and collections of original Washington's papers.
2. John Adams, 1797-1801
Adams Papers Digital Editions (Massachusetts Historical Society)
The Massachusetts Historical Society's Adams Papers project seeks to publish a comprehensive collection of the papers of the Adams family from 1753-1889. This massive project is divided into four series. Material related to John Adams can be found in each of the four series. The Adams Papers Digital Editions is the online version of the following print publications:
Earlier editions of John Adams' papers.
Unpublished collections John Adams' papers.
3. Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809
A comprehensive and authoritative edition of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson is currently being published by the Princeton University Press.
The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series is a project sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. It will produce the definitive edition of Jefferson's writings between his return to private life on 4 March 1809 and his death on 4 July 1826. There is no publicly available online copy of the Retirement Series.
A companion to the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series is the free online Family Letters Digital Archive. These documents are full text-searchable transcriptions of correspondence between Jefferson's immediate and extended family. The letters, and related documents, provide personal insights into aspects of Jefferson's life that are unlikely to appear in his own writings.
Earlier editions of Jefferson's writings.
Collections of original Jefferson's papers.
4. James Madison, 1809-1817
A comprehensive collection of The Papers of James Madison is currently being published by the University of Virginia Press.
Earlier editions of Madison's writings:
Unpublished collections of Madison's papers.
5. James Monroe, 1817-1825
The James Monroe Papers Project at Mary Washington College is putting forth an authoritiative edition of his writings.
Earlier editions of Monroe's writings.
Unpublished collections of Monroe's papers.
The three major microfilm collections of Monroe papers are the best sources for material not yet published by the Monroe project nor available in the Hamilton edition. The microfilm collections are available at different institutions throughout the United States.
6. John Quincy Adams, 1825-1829
7. Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837
The University of Tennessee Press is publishing a selective edition of Andrew Jackson papers.
Earlier editions of Jackson's writings.
Unpublished collections of Jackson's papers.
Jackson's unpublished papers are available through three microfilm collections. For a detailed description of the microfilm collections, see:
The Papers of Andrew Jackson: Guide and Index to the Microfilm Editions. Edited by Harold D. Moser.
(Call number: E337.8.J3 Z996). AU Library has print copy.
8. Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841
Unpublished collections of van Buren's papers.
9. William Henry Harrison, 1841
The majority of William Henry Harrison's papers were destroyed by fire in 1858.
Unpublished collections of Harrison's papers.
10. John Tyler, 1841-1845
The majority of John Tyler's papers were destroyed in the Civil War.
Unpublished collections of Tyler's papers.