A Presidential library is not a library where you can go check out the latest John Grisham. It's a building meant for preserving and making available the papers, records and other historical materials of U.S. Presidents. They are designed to teach people about the President. Every President since Herbert Hoover has a Library. Each Presidential Library contains a museum and provides an active series of public programs.
What can I find in Clinton's Library?
Clinton's library contains many artifacts from his Presidency. The library has three levels and a basement. The main exhibits are on levels 2 and 3.
Level 2 (also known as the main level) has a timeline of Clinton's career. Visitors can walk through and read about his presidency and see some artifacts from it. This level also has "policy alcoves" with artifacts and information about various aspects of his Presidency like education, environment, economy and more. There are a total of 16 alcoves. Another interesting exhibit on this level is the collection of letters to the President and First Lady from celebrities and world leaders. Among letters are letters from Mr. Rogers, Elton John and JFK Jr. Arsenio Hall also sent a letter to the President. If you remember, an appearance on Arsenio made a big difference in Clinton's first campaign. You can also see some of the gifts the Clinton's received while in office.
The second level has a "changing exhibit" which will feature a new exhibit every year. Currently, through December of 2005, it features Clinton's musical inspiration ranging from Elvis to the Beatles. On display is his personal CD collection and memorabilia from his major influences.
The second level contains a model of the oval office that the guides are eager to point out was partly arranged by Clinton himself for authenticity. According to the tour guide, the photographs on the desk and the books on the back shelf are authentic but the rest of the office is a reproduction.
The second level has an interesting look at Clinton's past. Some of the most interesting pieces on display are artifacts from the courtship of a young Bill and Hillary and materials from a high school campaign for student council president. There are other artifacts from his high school days and campaign materials from his campaigns.
In total there are 512 artifacts in display with a total of 79,000 in the collection. There are 206 documents on display with a total of 80 million in the collection. There are 1400 photographs with over 2 million in the collection.
Cafe 42 can be found on the basement level of the library. This restaurant has sandwiches, a salad bar, pizza and features Hillary's famous chocolate chip cookies. The prices range from $8-10 for entrees.
The cafe and a special events room can be rented.
The gift shop is located a little bit off site at 610 President Clinton Avenue. It's about three blocks up the street from the library. There is limited parking on the street or you can walk from the library.
Where is the library?
The library is at 1200 President Clinton Avenue, which is very close to the Rivermarket Area.
Hours and Admission Fees
Monday–Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day
Parking is free. Spaces are available for tour buses and recreational vehicles.
Adults (18-61) $7.00
Senior Citizens (62+) $5.00
College Students with Valid ID $5.00
Retired Military $5.00
Children (6-17) $3.00
Children under 6 Free
Active U.S. Military Free
UACS Faculty and Staff Free
School Groups with Reservations Free
Bags and persons will be searched before admission.
Can I take photographs?
Non-flash photography is allowed inside the building. Keep in mind that flash photography can destroy documents and artifacts over time. Please abide by this rule so that people for decades to come can enjoy the library.