The nation's 13 presidential libraries are actually archives and museums where the documents and artifacts of a president and administration are housed for public research and study. • The library system is overseen by the Office of Presidential Libraries, in the National Archives and Records Administration. The first in the National Archives system was the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, dedicated in 1941, and the 14th will be the planned Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. • The libraries and museums belong to the American people, so feel free to travel to as many as you can. Here's a look at five, and one on the way. Times staff
Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd president (term of office 1933-45), Democrat
This presidential library, celebrating its 75th anniversary, is in Hyde Park, N.Y., the home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. A $35 million renovation of the FDR Presidential Library and Museum was completed in 2013, including a visitor center and the museum that focuses on the life and influence of Roosevelt and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
Þ Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, 4079 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, N.Y. Open daily. Toll-free 1-800-337-8474. fdrlibrary.org.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th president (1953-61), Republican
The Eisenhower Presidential Museum, built of Kansas limestone, contains more than 30,000 square feet of gallery space to display materials and objects related to Eisenhower's life. It includes a military gallery and a first lady's gallery dedicated to his wife, Mamie.
Þ Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, 200 SE Fourth St., Abilene, Kan. Open daily. Toll-free 1-877-746-4453. eisenhower.archives.gov.
John F. Kennedy
35th president (1961-63), Democrat
Housed in a striking I.M Pei building on Boston's waterfront, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum is set on a 10-acre park reminiscent of the landscape of Cape Cod. Among the permanent exhibits are the Briefing Room, where Kennedy was the first president to effectively use the new medium of television to speak directly to the American people; and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy's early life and contributions to historic preservation and the arts.
Þ John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, 220 Morrissey Blvd., Boston. Open daily. Toll-free 1-866-535-1960. jfklibrary.org.
40th president (1981-89), Republican
The Reagan Library, the repository of records for his administration, houses over 60 million pages of documents and 1.6 million photographs. The museum's permanent exhibits include a full-sized reproduction of the Oval Office as it appeared during Reagan's presidency; a gallery highlighting Reagan's achievements as governor of California; and the first lady gallery, dedicated to Nancy Reagan's role as the president's closest confidante.
Þ Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley, Calif. Open daily. Toll-free 1-800-410-8354. reaganlibrary.gov.
George W. Bush
43rd president (2001-09), Republican
The Bush Presidential Museum's Sept. 11 Remembrance Display includes a 22-foot damaged steel beam from the World Trade Center; notes Bush scribbled for his impromptu speech at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota when he learned America was under attack; and the bullhorn he used to address first responders at ground zero.
Þ George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, 2943 SMU Blvd., Dallas. Open daily. (214) 346-1650. georgewbushlibrary.smu.edu.
44th president (2009-present), Democrat
Just last month, the Obama Foundation announced that Jackson Park, in the heart of the South Side of Chicago and designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, will be the site of the new Barack Obama Presidential Center. Upon completion, expected in about 2020, the center will include a library holding the presidential archives and a museum focusing on the Obama presidency.
Þ Barack Obama Presidential Center, Chicago. barackobamafoundation.org/the-center.