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U.S. Presidency: Presidential Documents

Introduction

This section lists documents generated by the Executive Branch from official sources and some commercial sources. 

Official Sources

Compilation of Presidential Documents

The Compilation of Presidential Documents collection is composed of the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents and its predecessor, the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents.   It is published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) under the authority of the Federal Register Act, (44 U.S.C.  Ch. 15; 1 CFR part 10).  

 

This collection integrates material from the weekly publication dating from 1993, with Daily Compilation material as published from January 20, 2009 – forward.  The website will be updated frequently, as information is released by the White House press office to Federal Register editors.  Documents appearing in the Compilation of Presidential Documents collection are edited for accuracy and annotated with additional information to provide an authoritative record of the Presidency.  It includes such material as:  

  • Proclamations

  • Executive orders

  • Speeches

  • Press conferences

  • Communications to Congress and Federal agencies

  • Statements regarding bill signings and vetoes

  • Appointments, nominations

  • Reorganization plans

  • Resignations

  • Retirements

  • Acts approved by the President

  • Nominations submitted to the Senate

  • White House announcements

  • Press releases

 

Suggested Citation Form:  Daily Comp. Pres. Docs., 2009 DCPD No. 00001, p. 3.  

 

The citation is to material published in the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents in the year 2009, in the first document, on page three.

 

Public Papers of the Presidents

The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) began publishing the Public Papers of the Presidents series in 1957 as an official publication of United States Presidents' public writings, addresses, and remarks (1 CFR 10).

The series provides an historical reference covering the administrations of Presidents Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. (The papers of President Franklin Roosevelt were published privately before the commencement of the official Public Papers series).

Currently, volumes are published approximately twice a year, and each volume covers approximately a 6-month period.

Each Public Papers volume contains the papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during the specified time period. The material is presented in chronological order, and the dates shown in the headings are the dates of the documents or events. In instances when the release date differs from the date of the document itself, that fact is shown in the textnote.

To ensure accuracy, remarks have been checked against a tape recording and signed documents have been checked against the original, unless otherwise noted. Editors at OFR have provided textnotes and cross references for purposes of identification or clarity. Speeches were delivered in Washington, DC, unless indicated. The times noted are local times.

The appendixes in each Public Papers volume provide listings of:

  • A digest of the President's daily schedule and meetings, when announced, and other items of general interest issued by the Office of the Press Secretary;
  • The President's nominations submitted to the Senate;
  • A checklist of materials released by the Office of the Press Secretary that are not printed full-text in the book; and
  • A table of Proclamations, Executive orders, and other Presidential documents released by the Office of the Press Secretary and published in the Federal Register

Each Public Papers volume features a foreword signed by the President, and a portfolio of photographs selected from White House Photo Office files, as well as subject and name indexes, and a document categories list.

The White House

Whitehouse.gov is the official website of the White House and is owned by the United States government. Launched in October 1994,[4] it contains information about the President, the Vice President, their families, press releases, proclamations, executive orders, and some speeches by White House officials. It has the official web sites of several offices in the Executive Office of the President, such as the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy

Commercial Sources

Hein Online

The Presidential Library can be found in two steps. Click on  1) U.S. Federal then 2) U.S. Presidential Library. It contains the Compilation of Presidential Documents and Public Papers of the Presidents, special section on impeachment and hundreds of titles relating to the presidency. Easier to search the official sources.