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A guide to Presidential documents in the UCSB Library.
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American Presidency Project

A full text archive of presidential documents can also be found at the American Presidency Project.

The American Presidency Project is the only online resource that has consolidated, coded, and organized into a single searchable database:

  • The Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Washington - Taft (1789-1913)
  • The Public Papers of the Presidents:
    • Hoover to G.W. Bush (1929-2006) & Obama (2009)
  • The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents:
    • Carter - G.W. Bush (1977-2009)

  • The Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents:
    • Obama (2009-2011) 
  • The archives also contain thousands of other documents such as party platforms, candidates' remarks, Statements of Administration Policy, documents released by the Office of the Press Secretary, and election debates.

Compilations of Presidential Documents

Compilation of Presidential Documents (1965-2011)

The Compilation of Presidential Documents is published daily consists of all materials which are released by the White House Office of the Press Secretary: proclamations and executive orders, speeches and press conferences, communications to Congress, reorganization plans, resignations and retirements, etc. Also included are acts approved by the President, nominations submitted to the Senate, and White House announcements and press releases.

Prior to the Obama administration and published first in 1965, the Weekly Compilation compiled presidential statements, messages, remarks, and other materials released by the White House Press Secretary.  Contents of this publication are also compiled into an annual series entitled Public Papers of the Presidents.  The Public Papers series covers administrations beginning with Herbert Hoover in 1929, with the exception of Franklin Roosevelt.

Print:  Government Information Center (GIC) reference shelves (annual cumulated index bound with individual volumes).

  • 1965 - 1985:  GS 4.114:
  • 1985 - 2000:  AE 2.119:

Available Online via FDSys (1992-2011)


Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

Published since 1929 (except for Franklin Roosevelt’s administration), the Public Papers is an edited annual cumulation of the Weekly Compilation. Appendices of the Public Papers include a digest of the President’s daily public schedule, a list of nominations, a checklist of press releases not printed, a list of acts approved, and a list of proclamations and executive orders.  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, the Government Printing Office's FDSys database contains the Public Papers for Presidents George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and George W. Bush.

The Public Papers do not include materials which are published in the Federal Register: executive orders, administrative orders, or presidential proclamations (the Federal Register is a daily publication which also includes the rules, proposed rules, and notices of various agencies of the Federal Government).

Texts of proclamations and executive orders were included from 1977 - 1988 (Carter and Reagan) only; for other years, the list in the Appendix refers to the Federal Register and the Weekly Compilation, where the text can be found.

Print:  Main Library, J80 .A28: 1929 - 1933; 1945+ (index at end of each volume)

Available Online via FDSys (1992 - 2004)


Executive Orders and Proclamations

Executive Orders are the formal means through which the President of the United States prescribes the conduct of business in the Executive Branch. Executive Orders are often referred to as “Presidential Legislation” -a form of executive lawmaking used in instances in which the Constitution of Congress directly or indirectly permits the President to take action.

Proclamations are general announcements of policy issued to the nation as a whole, and are commonly associated with ceremonial occasions such as the observance of National Bowling Week, 1987 (Proc. No. 5596), or National Skiing Day, 1988 ( Proc. No. 5756). A few substantive proclamations deal with trade policy or tariff issues.


1789 + United States Statutes at Large (proclamations only)
Reference KF50 .A3
1862-1938 Presidential Executive Orders, numbered 1-8060, 1862-1938
GIC, microfiche area J80 .A73 1944a (index included on fiche)
CIS index to presidential executive orders & proclamations:
Reference F70 .A55
1936 + Code of Federal Regulations. Title 3: The President
Reference KF70 .A3 C57
Index to the Code of Federal Regulations
Reference KF70 .A34 I46
Available Online via FDSys (1996-)
1936 + Federal Register
Print: GIC Reference AE 2.106: (most recent two years only)
1936-2001: microfilm (1936-2001):  AE2 .106:
Available Online via FDSys (1994-)  
1945-1989 Codification of Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders
Reference KF70 .A473


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