Quick Links | General Information | Research | FOIA/Declassification | Citing/Copyright |


When is the Library open for research?

The research room is open year-round, Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 4:30 and is closed on all Federal holidays, and closes daily for one hour for lunch, noon-1pm. No new material will be pulled after 3:45pm. Upon entering the main entrance, alert the security guards at the screening station that you have arrived to conduct research. They will contact an archivist to escort you to the research room.

How do I get to the Clinton Library?

For additional information regarding directions, please see the Visit Us page.

How do I find out about employment opportunities at the Clinton Library?

Individuals working at the Clinton Library are employees of the National Archives and Records Administration which is a part of the Federal Government.

You may access job openings for NARA and most other federal agencies through the USAJOBS website. If you are currently a high-school, college, or graduate student, offers a range of employment opportunities for students within the Federal Government.



Research Information

Who may use the library’s research collections?

The William J. Clinton Library is open to everyone. Research inquiries can be made by mail, e-mail, telephone, of fax. Research also may be conducted on-site in the Clinton Library research room. On-site researchers under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult researcher.

How do I find out if records related to my topic are available?

Detailed finding aids for each collection open for research are available on the Clinton Digital Library website. Finding aids describe the contents of the collection and include folder title lists which enable researchers to request specific boxes of material. Finding aids also are available in the research room.

For more assistance check out our online guide to research.

Do I have to have an appointment to conduct research?

Although an appointment is not required, researchers are encouraged to contact the library in advance to allow the library staff ample time to locate and retrieve records related to their topics.

Photocopies and Reproductions:

  • Researchers may make photocopies using the self-service copier for $0.25 per page.
  • Digital scans or paper photocopies may be ordered for $0.80 per page, plus shipping.
    • When requesting reproductions please be as specific as possible. The entire contents of any folder you request from a finding aid will be reproduced.
    • Paper photocopies will be sent by regular mail & advance payment is required.
  • Please note the archival staff can neither undertake extensive searches, nor segregate items unrelated to your topic.
  • The Clinton Library accepts most major credit cards, or personal checks as payment for copies. Checks should be made payable to the National Archives Trust Fund.

What are the research room procedures?

When you arrive:
  • Check in at the security guard station when you enter the Museum. Security will call an archivist, who will escort you to the research room.
  • The archivist will conduct a brief orientation and you will fill out a short application. Please have a photo ID with you. You will receive a research card valid for one year.
  • You will be provided with a locker for storage of your personal items.
What you can bring into the research room:
  • Laptop
    • Each desk is equipped with an electrical outlet. Wireless Internet is now available with account activation.
    • Reference computers are available for Internet access inside the research room.
  • Digital camera
    • Flash must turned off; no other external light sources are permitted.
  • Flat-bed scanner
    • Must be approved by archivist, no top-feeding scanners are permitted.
  • Notes
    • Only a few pages of notes will be allowed inside the research room.
    • Prior to entry the notes will be examined by an archivist and stamped “Approved by Clinton Library.”
  • Cell phone
    • Please set to vibrate or silent.
    • Please step out of the Research Room to make or receive calls.
Not allowed in the Research Room:
  • Paper, pens, pencils, or other writing implements
    • Pencils & scratch paper will be provided.
  • Food or drink, including chewing gum
  • Purses, backpacks, briefcases, laptop bags, etc.
    • Lockers are provided for researchers at no cost.

Can I order copies or reproductions by mail or email?

Yes. The National Archives sets a standard fee for mail order reproduction services (currently $0.80 per page). Photocopies are sent by regular mail. Advance payment is required for all orders. Alternate shipping arrangements (UPS, FedEx, etc.) can be made at the researcher’s expense. When ordering photocopies by mail, researchers should be as specific as possible with regard to their request. The library staff can neither undertake extensive searches nor segregate items unrelated to a researcher’s topic. The staff will photocopy/scan the entire contents of any folder the researcher cites from a finding aid. Scanning is available for documents, to arrange scanning please contact us.

When did the Clinton presidential records become subject to the Freedom of Information Act?

Clinton Presidential Records became subject to the Freedom of Information Act on January 20, 2006.

Can I request access to closed or unprocessed records?

Yes. Any individual may request access to unprocessed presidential records by submitting a written Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. A FOIA request may be submitted in the form of a letter, fax, or e-mail.

FOIA contact information:


Fax: (501) 244-2881

Mailing address:

FOIA Coordinator, Clinton Presidential Library, 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock, AR 72201

Tips for submitting a FOIA request: Describe the records you wish to access in as much detail as possible. If a subject is too vague or broad, the FOIA will not be considered a reasonable request and may be rejected unless the researcher narrows or clarifies the topic. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns.

How are records opened for research?

The records of the Clinton Administration must be systematically arranged, preserved, reviewed and described by archivists before they can be made available for use by researchers. Most of the collections opened for research will have information withdrawn from the open files. Restricted information is explained below.

What kind of information is restricted?

Clinton presidential records are administered in accordance with the requirements of the 1978 Presidential Records Act or PRA (44 U.S.C. Chapter 22) and the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA (5 U.S.C., as amended). Records withdrawn under the statutes of the PRA remain closed for a period of twelve years following the end of the former president’s administration. Records withdrawn under the FOIA remain closed for longer and more variable periods of time. Most of the documents closed under the restrictions of the PRA and the FOIA relate to national security information or information regarded as clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Items removed from a collection are listed on withdrawal sheets placed in the open file. These sheets cite PRA and/or FOIA restrictions applied. See more information on FOIA and PRA.

How long does a FOIA request take?

FOIA requests are processed according to the date of receipt. Following the receipt of a FOIA request, a search is conducted for records responsive to the request. The researcher is then advised of the result and the FOIA will be placed in one of several processing queues, based on the complexity and volume of its subject. When the request reaches the front of the queue, the archival staff will review the responsive records according to the provisions of the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).FOIA requests are processed and reviewed for access under provisions of the PRA and FOIA and are subject to the provisions of NARA regulations at 36 C.F.R. § 1270.46, which require that we notify the representatives of the former President and the incumbent President prior to the release of any Presidential records. Once processing and notification have been completed, the Clinton Library will inform the researcher of the availability of requested records.

What is a presidential record?

The term Presidential record means any documentary material, or any reasonably divisible portion thereof created or received by the President, his immediate staff, or a unit or individual of the Executive Office of the President whose function it is to advise and assist the President in the course of conducting activities which relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President. Offices that create Presidential records include but are not limited to the National Security Council, the Council of Economic Advisors, and the Domestic Policy Council. These are just a few examples of offices that create Presidential records.

Personal records created by the President are not presidential records. Campaign material and records created post-presidency are also not presidential records.

       Presidential record: Speeches, Presidential Schedules,   Presidential Correspondence

Not a Presidential Record: 1992 Campaign Material, Arkansas Governor Material, Clinton Foundation

How do I cite material from Clinton presidential records?

There is no universal format for citing materials from this archival depository. However, researchers should include the following information in the citation: the type and date of the document, the document title (if applicable), the sender and recipient, the complete folder title, and the name of the collection. The citation should conclude with reference to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

Are research or travel grants available?

At this time, research and travel grants are not available.

How do I find my photograph I had taken with the President?

Please see the Audio/Visual Department’s section for more information.

Can I appeal the closure of records restricted under the PRA and FOIA?

Yes. Original request filers may file an appeal challenging the status of records closed under the provisions of the PRA and/or the FOIA. Forms for filing PRA and FOIA appeals are available upon request in the Clinton Library research room, by mail, fax or email.

Can I request declassification of national security information?

Yes. All national security documents responsive to a FOIA request will be reviewed. Any records restricted under national security provisions of the PRA and FOIA will be eligible for appeal by the original requester once submitted for declassification review. Researchers may also file a Mandatory Review request for specific Presidential documents closed under the national security restrictions of the FOIA. Forms for filing a Mandatory Review request are available on request in the Clinton Library research room, by mail, fax or email.

How does the copyright law affect research?

The United States Copyright Law (P.L. 94-553) provides statutory protection for the authors or producers of original works. The copyright law gives the author and his or her heirs the sole right of publication for the term of the copyright. The use of copyrighted material requires the permission of the holder of the copyright. Permission to reproduce copyrighted materials contained in the audiovisual or textual holdings of the Clinton Presidential Library must be obtained from the copyright holder.

Under certain circumstances, the copy right law allows “fair use” of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder. Fair use encompasses scholarship and research, although the extent of such use is bounded by limitations. Researchers with specific questions about the copyright law should obtain legal advice. Please note that federal employees are not authorized to provide guidance with regard to copyright laws.

The copyright law does not apply to material in the public domain or material produced by government employees in the course of their official duties.

Return to Top of Page