RESEARCH GUIDE

 

 

Quick Links Please Read First! | Before You Begin | Where to Start Looking | Plan a Research Visit | Classified, Closed Records and Citations |

 

The archival holdings at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library is one of the largest collections within the Presidential Library system. Included in these collections are approximately 78 million pages of paper documents, and approximately 20 million e-mails.

Archives staff work daily to arrange, describe, and preserve these documents for public access and to ensure that they are accessible for generations to come.

Use this page to help plan your visit and start researching.

Downloadable Guides to Holdings:

Guide to Holdings – Textual

Guide to Holdings – AV

Guide to Holdings – Email

Not Finding What You’re Looking For?

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Open FOIA Boxes

Please Read First!

RESEARCH ROOM

Effective November 29, 2021, the Research Room will be closed until further notice.

Reference Appointments and Consultations

To schedule a research room appointment and virtual researcher orientation please email clinton.library@nara.gov. **please do not make travel arrangements to Little Rock until you have confirmation of your requested appointment.

The Research Room is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM - 4:30 PM. We are closed for lunch from 12 PM - 1 PM Daily, and on all federal holidays.

Prior to confirming a research room appointment – all researchers must have a virtual consultation with a reference staff member by phone, video, and/or email. Please be prepared to discuss your research needs, in as much specificity as possible.

On-site research will be limited to undigitized materials only.

All requested boxes will be pulled in advance of the visit.

Researchers will review the National Archives Researcher Orientation prior to their arrival at the Library.

Vaccination Attestations and COVID-19 Testing for Researchers

All visitors to National Archives and Records Administration (including the Clinton Presidential Library) public research rooms must present an attestation that they are fully vaccinated or, if they are not fully vaccinated or do not disclose their vaccination status, must present a negative COVID-19 test result in order to access the research rooms.

Fully vaccinated researchers must bring a completed vaccination attestation form to the research room on the day of their appointment. Researchers who are not fully vaccinated or do not report their vaccination status must bring a vaccination attestation form and a negative COVID-19 test result. Researcher-provided COVID-19 test results must meet all the following requirements for COVID-19 test results:

Test type: Test results must indicate they are from a viral COVID-19 test. NARA does not accept the results of antibody tests.

Issuing entity: Test results must include the name of the pharmacy, health care provider, laboratory, clinic, a government testing site, or similar facility that administered the test. The results of at-home or self-test kits – or test results that do not clearly identify the entity that performed the test – are not acceptable.

Test date: The date that the specimen was collected must be no more than three whole calendar days before the date the researcher seeks entry to a NARA facility. Three whole calendar days may exceed 72 hours; for example, a test of a specimen collected on Monday morning is valid through Thursday evening. The age of a test is based on the specimen collection date, not the date the lab received the specimen or the date the result was reported.

Identification: The test result must include the researcher’s name, and the researcher must provide a photo ID along with the COVID-19 test result. Staff must be able to readily determine that the researcher presenting the COVID-19 test result is the individual who took the test.

Results: Test results must be negative, or “not detected”.

A NARA staff member will review vaccination attestations and, as applicable, negative COVID-19 test results before allowing researchers to enter a NARA research room for a scheduled appointment.

Researchers will retain all documentation and will only present copies to NARA staff for visual inspection. NARA staff will not collect or record researcher attestation forms or COVID-19 test results.

Researchers who are not fully vaccinated or who do not report their vaccination status will be removed from NARA facilities for up to seven calendar days and may be considered for banning if they refuse to provide a valid, negative COVID-19 test result when required or if they fail to follow NARA procedures for face coverings and physical distancing.

In geographic areas determined to be of "substantial" or "high" viral transmission, as determined by the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker, (Little Rock is in Pulaski County) masks are to be worn at all times while inside the facility. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated or do not disclose their vaccination status must wear appropriate face coverings at all times in NARA facilities, regardless of the community transmission rate.

Visitors must provide their own face coverings.

 

 

Health Self-Assessment

Anyone accessing a research room must confirm that they are not ill by answering the four questions below prior to arrival at the facility:

- Have you experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 48 hours?

- Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 (with or without symptoms), are you currently waiting on the results of a COVID-19 test due to an exposure or symptoms, or has a health care provider advised you to stay at home or otherwise self-isolate?

- Are you a person who is not fully vaccinated, who has been in close physical contact (within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes) with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days?

- Are you a person who is not fully vaccinated, who has traveled out of the State or region, or out of the country in the past 10 days (with no COVID test) or in the past 7 days (if you have been tested since returning)?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, please do not come to a NARA facility. Please seek medical attention, and contact NARA to let them know that you answered "yes" to one or more of the questions.

Working in the Research Room

Researchers are encouraged to take notes using their phone, tablet, laptop, or other device. Additionally, researchers will be encouraged to limit the number of personal items they bring to a NARA facility. Hand sanitizer is not allowed in the Research Room.

The Research Room is closed on Federal Holidays.

Any questions? Please contact the Clinton Presidential Library reference staff at clinton.library@nara.gov

Before You Begin

Who can conduct research?

The William J. Clinton Library is open to everyone. Researchers under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult researcher.

Where can I do research?

Research can be done online, in-person, via telephone, email, or post mail inquiries. To plan a research visit, see the “Plan a Research Visit” section below.

Please note that at this time, research and travel grants are not available.

When is the Research Room open?

The research room is open year-round, Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 4:30 and is closed on all Federal holidays. The room will close daily for one hour for lunch, 12-1pm. No new material will be retrieved for researchers after 3:45pm.

How do I get to the Clinton Library Research Room?

See our Visit Us page.

Where to Start Looking

Finding Aids

Finding aids describe the contents of collections on what is available for research. You will be able to search finding aids by keyword or FOIA number.

Digital Library

Some collections have been digitized and made available on our website in their entirety.  

Public Papers of President Clinton

President Clinton’s speeches, public remarks and press releases during his time in office have been made available through the Government Printing Office’s website. This includes: 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, and statements by the President. Select the appropriate volumes and enter your search parameters.

Archived Clinton Administration Websites

See different archived versions of the White House’s websites (versions 1-5, 1995-2001) from the Clinton Administration.  You will be leaving the Clinton Library website.

White House Virtual Library

A searchable archive of White House documents created during the Clinton Administration, including Executive Orders, press briefings, radio addresses and other White House publications released from 1993-2001. See the Virtual Library. You will be leaving the Clinton Library website.

Plan a Research Visit

Prior to your visit, we encourage you to contact us at clinton.library@nara.gov. This will allow us to assist you in locating records relevant to your topic and to have them available and ready for you when you visit.

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.
 

Photocopies and reproductions:

  • Researchers may make photocopies using the self-service copier for $0.25 per page.
  • Copies and reproductions may be ordered for $0.80 per page, plus shipping.
    • When requesting copies please be as specific as possible.  The entire contents of any folder you request from a finding aid will be copied.
    • Copies will be sent by regular mail or email & 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. We no longer accept cash. Checks should be made payable to the National Archives Trust Fund.

 

 

What you can bring into the research room:

  • Laptop
    • Each desk is equipped with an electrical outlet. Wireless Internet is available.
    • Public computers are available for Internet access in 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
    • 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.

 

Classified, Closed Records and Citations

How can I request records not yet available for public research?

Anyone may request access to presidential records not yet available for public research 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.  Learn more about FOIA and fill out a FOIA Request Form, or contact us at clinton.library@nara.gov if you need additional assistance.

What are classified and closed records?

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). Most of the documents closed under the restrictions of the PRA and the FOIA relate to national security information, confidential advice between the President and his advisors or amongst such advisors, or information regarded as a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.  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. Items removed from a collection are listed on withdrawal sheets placed in the open file. These sheets cite PRA and/or FOIA restrictions applied.

 

Can I request opening classified and closed records?

Original requesters 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 on request.

Under the PRA and FOIA, national security information 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 Declassification 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.

Citations

There is no specific format for citing materials from the Clinton Library. 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.

All documents and photographs obtained from the Clinton Presidential Library may not be used for commercial purposes unless authorized by the Library Director.

 

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