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About Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

The Public Papers of the Presidents, which is compiled and published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration, began in 1957 in response to a recommendation of the National Historical Publications Commission. Noting the lack of uniform compilations of messages and papers of the Presidents before this time, the Commission recommended the establishment of an official series in which Presidential writings, addresses, and remarks of a public nature could be made available.

 

Volumes covering the administrations of Presidents Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush are included in the Public Papers series. Currently, FDsys contains the Public Papers for Presidents George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush. Additional volumes covering the administrations of Presidents Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan will be made available from GPO in the future. Currently, volumes are published approximately twice a year, and each volume covers approximately a 6-month period.

 

NOTE: The papers of President Franklin Roosevelt were published privately before the commencement of the official Public Papers series.

 

Each Public Papers volume contains the papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during the specified time period. The material is presented in chronological order, and the dates shown in the headings are the dates of the documents or events. In instances when the release date differs from the date of the document itself, that fact is shown in the textnote.

 

To ensure accuracy, remarks have been checked against a tape recording and signed documents have been checked against the original, unless otherwise noted. Editors at OFR have provided textnotes and cross references for purposes of identification or clarity. Speeches were delivered in Washington, DC, unless indicated. The times noted are local times.

 

The appendices to the Public Papers contain additional material that has been previously published in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents . A companion to the Public Papers series, the Weekly Compilation was begun in 1965 to provide a broader range of Presidential materials on a more timely basis to meet the needs of the contemporary reader. This expanded coverage in the Public Papers provided by the appendices in each Public Papers volume provides listings of:

  • A digest of the President's daily schedule and meetings, when announced, and other items of general interest issued by the Office of the Press Secretary;

  • The President's nominations submitted to the Senate;

  • A checklist of materials released by the Office of the Press Secretary that are not printed full-text in the book; and

  • A table of Proclamations, Executive orders, and other Presidential documents released by the Office of the Press Secretary and published in the Federal Register

 

Each Public Papers volume features a foreword signed by the President, and a portfolio of photographs selected from White House Photo Office files, as well as subject and name indexes, and a document categories list.

Description of Documents in the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

Photographs

The photographic portfolio contains photographs of the President at various events throughout the year. Captions that describe the action and supply the date of each event accompany the photographs. To retrieve the photographic portfolio, click on one of the links below.

 

Photographic Portfolio Search Results

 

Visit the browse page for Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, select the president, select the year, and select one of the Photographic Portfolios for that year.

 

Presidential Documents

A list of Presidential documents published in the Federal Register, such as proclamations and executive orders, comprises one appendix to the Public Papers. The listing for each document consists of a subject; effective date; Federal Register page number; and proclamation, executive order, or document number, when applicable.

 

Document Categories List

The document categories list lists, by document type, the titles of all of the documents that are printed in full in a given volume of the Public Papers. The listing for each document consists of a title and a Public Papers page number. Links to PDF files in the Public Papers are included in the HTML file for the document categories list.

Common document categories are listed below:

  • 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

  • Statements by the President

 

Index

The information contained in the Public Papers is indexed in two ways: by subject and by name. The subject and name indices are mutually exclusive; that is, names are not listed in the subject index, and subjects are not listed in the name index. The index entry for each subject consists of a word or phrase that identifies the subject and one or more Public Papers page numbers. The index entry for each person consists of his or her name and one or more Public Papers page numbers.

 

 


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