Presidential Libraries

Laws & Regulations

The following acts govern the Presidential Libraries and the access and use of their materials.

  • Presidential Libraries Act of 1955
    The Presidential Libraries Act (PLA) established a system of privately erected and federally maintained libraries.
  • Freedom of Information Act
    The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), enacted in 1966, generally provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency documents or information.
  • Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974
    Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act (PRMPA) applies only to the Nixon Presidential Materials.
  • Presidential Records Act of 1978
    The Presidential Records Act (PRA) of 1978 governs the official records of Presidents and Vice Presidents created or received after January 20, 1981.
  • Presidential Libraries Act of 1986
    The Presidential Libraries Act of 1986 made significant changes to Presidential Libraries, requiring private endowments linked to the size of the facility.
  • Executive Order 12958
    Signed by President Clinton on April 17, 1995, Executive Order 12958 mandates a review of classified documents older than 25 years. Executive Order 12958 was amended by Executive Order 13292 on March 25, 2003.
  • Presidential Historical Records Preservation Act of 2008
    The Presidential Historical Records Preservation Act directs the Archivist to provide to the Senate and House appropriations committees a 10-year capital improvement plan for all presidential archival depositories. In addition, the Archivist must submit a report to the House and Senate homeland security committees that provides alternative models for presidential archival depositories.
  • Executive Order 13489
    Signed by President Obama on January 21, 2009, Executive Order 13489 provides for further implementation of the Presidential Records Act.
  • Executive Order 13526
    Signed by President Obama on December 29, 2009, Executive Order 13526 prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information. This order revokes Executive Orders 12958 and 13292.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

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