In 1955, Congress passed the Presidential Libraries Act, establishing a system of privately erected and federally maintained libraries. The Act encouraged other Presidents to donate their historical materials to the government and ensured the preservation of Presidential papers and their availability to the American people.
The Presidential Library system is composed of thirteen Presidential Libraries. These facilities are overseen by the Office of Presidential Libraries, in the National Archives and Records Administration.
Presidential Libraries are not libraries in the usual sense. They are archives and museums, bringing together in one place the documents and artifacts of a President and his administration and presenting them to the public for study and discussion without regard for political considerations or affiliations. Presidential Libraries and Museums, like their holdings, belong to the American people.
These are the fourteen libraries that make up the the Presidential Library system, overseen by the Office of Presidential Libraries, in the National Archives and Records Administration.
Presidential Libraries for Presidents before Hoover are not included in the NARA Presidential Library system. These are often funded by state or local governments, private citizens and foundations.