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Researching at the Clinton Library

The archival holdings at the Clinton Presidential Library are one of the largest within the Presidential Library system. Included in these collections are approximately 78 million pages of paper documents, and approximately 20 million e-mails. Use this page to help plan your visit and start researching.

Click on the links below more information.

Before You Begin
Where to Start Looking
Plan a Research Visit
Classified and Closed Records
Citations

Downloadable Guide to Holdings

Guide to Holdings - Textual
Guide to Holdings - AV 

Old Website - Research Section

Not Finding What You're Looking For?


Before You Begin

Who can Conduct Research? 

  • The William J. Clinton Library is open to everyone.
  • Researchers under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult researcher.

Where can I do Research?

  • Research can be done online, in-person, via telephone, email, or post mail inquiries.
  • To plan a research visit click here.
  • Please note that at this time, research and travel grants are not available.

 When is the Research Room Open?

  • The research room is open year-round, Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 4:30 and is closed on all Federal holidays.
  • The room will close daily for one hour for lunch, 12-1pm.
  • No new material will be retrieved for researchers after 3:45pm.

How Do I get to the Clinton Library Research Room?

  • For a map and directions click here.

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Where to Start Looking

Finding Aids
Finding aids describe the contents of collections on what is available for research. You will be able to search finding aids by keyword or FOIA number.

Digital Library
Some of our collections have been digitized and made available on our website in their entirety.  An example of the digitized collections include: President Clinton’s Daily Schedules, Elena Kagan’s papers, and Judge Sonya Sotomayor’s papers.

Public Papers of President Clinton
President Clinton’s speeches, public remarks and press releases during his time in office have been made available through the Government Printing Office's website. This includes: addresses to the nation, addresses and remarks, appointments and nominations, bill signings, bill vetoes, communications to Congress, communications to Federal agencies, executive orders, interviews with the news media, joint statements, letters and messages, meetings with foreign leaders and international officials, proclamations, resignations and retirements, and statements by the President. Select the appropriate volumes and enter your search parameters. You will be leaving the Clinton Library website.

Archived Clinton Administration Websites
Archived versions of the White House’s websites (versions 1-5, 1995-2001) from the Clinton Administration. Click here to go to the different websites.  You will be leaving the Clinton Library website.

White House Virtual Library
A searchable archive of White House documents created during the Clinton Administration, including Executive Orders, press briefings, radio addresses and other White House publications released from 1993-2001. Click here to go to the Virtual Library. You will be leaving the Clinton Library website.

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Plan a Research Visit

Prior to your visit, we encourage you to contact us at clinton.library@nara.gov. This will allow us to assist you in locating records relevant to your topic and to have them available and ready for you when you visit.

When you arrive

  • Check in with the admissions desk in the lobby of the Museum.  An archivist will be sent to escort you to the research room.
  • The archivist will conduct a brief orientation and you will fill out a short application.  Please have a photo ID with you. You will receive a research card valid for one year.
  • You will be provided with a locker for storage of your personal items.

What you can bring into the research room

  • Laptop
    • Each desk is equipped with an electrical outlet. Wireless Internet is now available with account activation.
    • Reference computers are available for Internet access inside the research room.
  • Digital camera
    • Flash must turned off; no other external light sources are permitted.
  • Flat-bed scanner
    • Must be approved by archivist, no top-feeding scanners are permitted.
  • Notes
    • Only a few pages of notes will be allowed inside the research room.
    • Prior to entry the notes will be examined by an archivist and stamped “Approved by Clinton Library.”
  • Cell phone
    • Please set to vibrate or silent. 
    • Please step out of the Research Room to make or receive calls.

Not allowed in the Research Room

  • Paper, pens, pencils, or other writing implements
    • Pencils & scratch paper will be provided.
  • Food or drink, including chewing gum
  • Purses, backpacks, briefcases, laptop bags, etc.
    • Lockers are provided for researchers at no cost.

Photocopies and reproductions

  • Researchers may make photocopies using the self-service copier for $0.25 per page.
  • Copies and reproductions may be ordered by mail for $0.80 per page, plus shipping. 
    • When requesting copies please be as specific as possible.  The entire contents of any folder you request from a finding aid will be copied.  
    • Copies will be sent by regular mail & advance payment is required. 
  • Please note the archival staff can neither undertake extensive searches, nor segregate items unrelated to your topic. 
  • The Clinton Library accepts most major credit cards, cash, or personal checks as payment for copies. Checks should be made payable to the National Archives Trust Fund.

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Classified and Closed Records

How can I Request Records not yet Available for Public Research?
Any individual may request access to presidential records not yet available for public research by submitting a written Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. A FOIA request may be submitted in the form of a letter, fax, or e-mail. Please click here for more information and to fill out a FOIA Request Form, or contact us at clinton.library@nara.gov if you need additional assistance.

What are Classified and Closed Records?
Clinton Presidential records are administered in accordance with the requirements of the 1978 Presidential Records Act or PRA (44 U.S.C. Chapter 22) and the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA (5 U.S.C., as amended). Most of the documents closed under the restrictions of the PRA and the FOIA relate to national security information, confidential advice between the President and his advisors or amongst such advisors, or information regarded as a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.  Records withdrawn under the statutes of the PRA remain closed for a period of twelve years following the end of the former president’s administration. Records withdrawn under the FOIA remain closed for longer and more variable periods of time. Items removed from a collection are listed on withdrawal sheets placed in the open file. These sheets cite PRA and/or FOIA restrictions applied.

Can I Request Opening Classified and Closed Records?
Original requesters may file an appeal challenging the status of records closed under the provisions of the PRA and/or the FOIA. Forms for filing PRA and FOIA appeals are available on request.

Under the PRA and FOIA, national security information responsive to a FOIA request will be reviewed.  Any records restricted under national security provisions of the PRA and FOIA will be eligible for appeal by the original requestor once submitted for declassification review. Researchers may also file a Mandatory Review request for specific Presidential documents closed under the national security restrictions of the FOIA. Forms for filing a Mandatory Review request are available on request.

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Citations

There is no specific format for citing materials from the Clinton Library. Researchers should include the following information in the citation: the type and date of the document, the document title (if applicable), the sender and recipient, the complete folder title, and the name of the collection. The citation should conclude with reference to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

All documents and photographs obtained from the Clinton Presidential Library may not be used for commercial purposes unless authorized by the Library Director.

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