Presidential Libraries and Museums

Presidential Documents Guide

This guide will help you understand the different types of Presidential documents available to the public and where these documents may be found.

Types of Documents

Executive Orders are signed documents, numbered consecutively, through which the President of the United States manages the operations of the Federal Government.

Proclamations are signed documents, numbered consecutively, through which the President of the United States communicates information on holidays, commemorations, special observances, and trade.

Administrative orders are unnumbered signed documents through which the President of the United States conducts the administrative operations of the Federal Government. Administrative orders include but are not limited to memoranda, notices, determinations, letters, and messages.

Location of Documents

Executive Orders, Proclamations, and certain types of Administrative Orders appear in the Federal Register, the official daily journal of the Federal Government, published to keep the public informed on Federal regulations and Presidential actions.

Executive Orders, Proclamations, and all Administrative Orders are also published in the Compilation of Presidential Documents prepared by the Office of the Federal Register, an office within the National Archives and Records Administration.

Executive Orders and Proclamations are codified in Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Additional information on Executive Orders may be found in the Executive Orders Disposition Tables. The full text of Executive Orders is available beginning with the Clinton administration. Entries for Executive Orders prior to 1993 list title, signature date, and original publication information, details which may be used to locate full-text versions of the documents in archived copies of the Federal Register at any Federal Depository Library.

Further information on Presidential documents may be found through the following resources:

Presidential Libraries and Museums >

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