AUDIO VISUAL RESEARCH

The audio/visual archive at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum contains over 2.6 million photographs, 12,400 videos, and 5,900 audio cassettes documenting the Clinton Administration from 1993-2001. Audio/visual materials are available for research online in the Clinton Digital Library. Browse the audio visual finding aid descriptions, and also check the Photo Galleries & Video Gallery. Please reference the sections below for information on specific formats and their reproductions.

 

 Still Photographs

 

The majority of the photographs that reside in the audio/visual archives document the Clinton Administration from 1993-2001, shot on 35mm film with some minor born-digital material towards the end of the administration. The photographs include speeches, events, bill signings, trips, Clinton family, photos of individuals with President Clinton, and much more. A limited number of photos documenting Mr. Clinton and Mrs. Clinton’s family life prior to 1993 are also available.

The White House photographs produced by White House photographers are in public domain. Please credit the use of these images to: “Courtesy, William J. Clinton Presidential Library,” and where appropriate please cite the photographer.

For crediting pre-Presidential historical images please cite: “Clinton Family Photographs, Courtesy, William J. Clinton Presidential Library.”

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Clinton playing basketball with youth.

 

Locating Photographs

 

The Clinton Digital Library contains finding aids, contact sheet scans, and individual images uploaded to the Digital Library.  Material is frequently uploaded to the National Archives Catalog, an online repository utilized by all of the National Archives & Records Administration. The audio/visual staff have been consistently updating entries into the Catalog, and the White House Photo Office entry can be located at this link. Scroll down to "includes," and you will find items (individual images) and file units (full rolls of scanned images). Additionally audio/Visual Archivists at the Clinton Presidential Library frequently upload audio/visual holdings to social media, including the Clinton Library Flickr page, the Clinton Library Instagram page, and the Clinton Library Facebook page.

At this time, the majority of photographs from the collection are not available online. If the photograph you are looking for is not found in the photo galleries online or in any other location utilized by the Clinton Presidential Library please contact us at clinton.library@nara.gov. [ (501) 244-2849 ]

If you are looking for a photo of yourself with President Clinton, see the section below towards the bottom of the page on locating personal images with the President.

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Photograph Digitization

Photographs may also be viewed on-site. Please contact the Audio/Visual Department at clinton.library@nara.gov [ (501) 244-2849 ] to make an appointment to view photographs in the research room. When making an appointment please indicate which photos you would like to view, or if they are not immediately available please inquire with the Audio/Visual Department for guidance. On-site research follows stipulations and rules outline in our Research Guide.

When requesting photographs please refer to the images by their Clinton Presidential photograph identifier, found in the caption of each image. Example of a photo identifier is “P75000-05.” With Historical Clinton Family photographs the image identifiers begin with the letter H, such as “H03-02.”

 

We routinely email researchers, educators, and students lower resolution images for preview & use, and can assist with compiling material together for topical compilations and similar. Please contact the AV staff for more information at clinton.library@nara.gov [ (501) 244-2849 ].

Most requests can be handled through e-mail and our staff are well versed on providing material based on dates, subject, etc, for specialized requests.

 

Photograph Reproductions

 

Reproductions can be purchased from the William J. Clinton Library & Museum. The Audio Visual Department can reproduce high resolution images in a variety of formats for a fee of $16.50 per image ordered. Check out the full reproduction price list. Images currently on the National Archives Catalog in high resolution may be utilized without securing reproduction costs.

Please note: Due to recent inactivity, infrequency of requests and potential for shipping damage, the Clinton Presidential Library will no longer reproduce photographs onto physical prints. Any reproductions for photographs will be performed digitally allowing the researcher to make copies locally.

 

Video & Moving Picture Recordings

 

The majority of video recordings in the Clinton Presidential Library's collection were created by the White House Television Office (WHTV). The WHTV collection consists of over 12,400 Master Tape Betacam and Digital Betacam video recordings that encompass most of the events from the Clinton Administration including footage of inaugurations, speeches, events, meetings, State of the Union addresses, and much more. The White House Communications Agency (WHCA) also produced some select video material. The Audio/Visual Department also frequently locates and makes available select items located in various staff and office collections for fair use and research purposes.

Please note that all footage was shot in 4:3 standard definition. The Clinton Presidential Library does not provide high definition (HD) material of it's records as that would alter the integrity of the record as it was produced.

 

Locating Video Recordings

 

The Audio/Visual Department frequently updates social media outlets and NARA's Catalog with video material from the collection.  You can view up-to-date uploads at the Clinton Library’s YouTube page and the Clinton Digital Library’s video collection.  A list of released and processed inventory by title is also available. Video selections are also made available on the National Archives Catalog and can be located at this link (Please refer to YouTube first, as we typically update our channel first and the Catalog at a later date.).

The video recordings from the WHTV unit are in public domain, and there are no subsequent copyrights associated to WHTV Video. When using the WHTV footage please credit: “Courtesy, William J. Clinton Presidential Library.” Some selections have specific reproduction rights associated with them, and would be noted as such on the video itself.

If you are in search of a video recording not online or on the current released video list, please contact the Audio/Visual staff at clinton.library@nara.gov or at 501-244-2849, and we can assist you.

 

 Video & Moving Picture Reproductions

 

When requesting videos please refer to each video by its MT (Master Tape) number, such as “MT00004,” and title if possible. The MT number is included in descriptions for each video recording uploaded, and periodically encompasses more than one master tape number.

White House Television Office (WHTV) videos can be reproduced by the Audio Visual Department. Reproductions are currently available in two formats.  Video to video transfer on Digital Betacam (up to three Master Tapes) for $150.00 per reproduction.  DVD-R copies with a variety of video codec’s available such as: AVI, DV, MP4, WMV, etc. for a fee of $50.00 per event.  This charge is also for digital reproductions delivered via file transfers.

 

Audio Recordings

 

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Audio Cassette Recordings

Audio cassette recordings were created by the White House Communications Agency (WHCA). The recordings document the actions and service of President William J. Clinton, including speeches and events. As of 2020, all audio recordings within the collection have been digitized. Archivists continue to digitize audio recordings located in various office and staff files. At the moment, there are no complete online indexes of audio recordings available from the William J. Clinton Library, however all entries into the Federal Register have been entered into the National Archives Catalog. Find speeches and events by using the American Presidency Project and the Public Papers of the Presidents. These websites are keyword and date searchable. Most of the material from the Public Papers of the President will be available in audio and video formats in our collections.

The audio recordings produced by WHCA are in public domain. When using the WHCA recordings please credit: “Courtesy, William J. Clinton Presidential Library.”

As mentioned all of the recordings documented by the Federal Register have been entered into the National Archives Catalog at this link. Scroll to "includes," and you will find a blanket link to all of the entered WHCA recordings from the Clinton Administration. At the moment all recordings are not currently online, however staff are working to update the entries in the Catalog with downloadable MP3 files. You can also find President Clinton’s digitized Weekly Radio Addresses in our Digital Library and use the audio visual finding aids to find collections of audio recordings available for research.

 

Request Audio Recordings

 

If you are unable to locate a specific audio file online, please contact the Audio/Visual staff at clinton.library@nara.gov or at 501-244-2849. Please provide as much information as possible such as: date, location, title of event, subject, and participants.

 

Plan an On-Site Research Visit

 

NOTE: Due to COVID-19 the research room is currently closed. Please check back for updates.

Please check the research guide for further details to plan an on-site research visit of the Clinton Presidential Library. The research room is open Monday-Friday 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM, excluding Federal holidays. An appointment is required for Audio/Visual research. Please contact us at clinton.library@nara.gov to set up an appointment.

 

Frequently Asked Questions for the Audio/Visual Department:

 

"I had my picture taken with President Clinton, how do I find it?"

 

If you had your photo taken with President Clinton you are entitled to the photograph(s), and can request a copy of the photograph(s). We can also provide digital reproductions of images produced by the White House Photograph Office and provided by the White House through correspondence.

Please provide the following information in your request:

Please note that the Audio/Visual Department does not guarantee they will be able to fulfill a request for such materials if they are unable to locate responsive materials, however requests will be handled with the upmost attention and effort with continuous updates.

 

"How do I obtain a recent photograph of President Clinton?"

 

Our mission at the Clinton Presidential Library is, literally, to document the administration itself. Consequently, we do not focus on post-Presidential material.

Excluding the typical major media outlets, the Clinton Foundation is the current supplier of post-Presidential materials for President Clinton and is able to provide access to recently taken photographs and video. They have separate rates and stipulations for reproduction as they are a separate entity from the National Archives and Records Administration. Please contact the Clinton Foundation regarding access to recent photographs of President Clinton.

 

"Do you have pre-Presidential materials, such as gubernatorial photographs?  What about Vice President Gore?"

 

The Audio/Visual Department has a very small selection of pre-Presidential materials, which are primarily selected photographs by the White House for historical purposes. For such materials please contact us directly at the Audio/Visual Department for suggestions on access and extent of collection.

Vice President Gore appears with the President as a matter of consequence, however as Vice President he had his own separate photographer from the photograph office, Callie Shell, assigned to him.  Gore's photographs taken by his personal photographer are held in a special Vice Presidential Materials collection housed by NARA, along with records from Vice Presidents Cheney and Biden. You can access information here regarding requesting these records. The type of images that appear in these records are typically events that were specifically for the Vice President. Events where he would appear with the President we would have Presidential photographs of (ex: State of the Union, major bill signings the Vice President attended, etc).

 

"How much material has been digitized?"

 

The Audio/Visual Department performs continuous digitization efforts daily in addition to Freedom of Information Act processing and fielding reference requests both internally and from the public, and as of March 2020 - prior to teleworking efforts due to COVID-19 - have produced the following statistics for holdings that have been digitized:

  • Total photographs digitized for preservation = ~105,000
  • Total audio recordings digitized = ~7,650 (the entirety of WHCA produced audio has been preserved)
  • Total video recordings digitized = ~11,400
  • Amount of file space currently occupied by digitized A/V records = ~540 TB
  • Estimated file space required to digitize most of the entire Clinton audio/visual archives = ~2 PB (petabyte)

Digitized records have further surrogates and redundant copies made and stored on separate formats including linear data tapes (LTO) and various hard drives. As records are digitized and processed the staff will make attempts to place records online in various capacities.

 

"I have <item>. Can you tell me it's value or advise me how to handle it?"

 

As archivists employed for the National Archives & Records Administration we are not appraisers and cannot provide advice on value of a photograph, signature, or similar item. However as archivists we can advise on methodologies for preserving your artifact.

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