Conducting Research

Who may use the Library's collections?

The Eisenhower Presidential Library is open to everyone. Research requests can be made by mail, e-mail, or telephone. On-site researchers under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult researcher. Contact us by email or call 785.263.6700 or 877.RING.IKE to schedule your research visit.

What are the research room hours?

The research room is currently open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. It is closed on all federal holidays and may close due to shifting local COVID status, inclement weather, or other extenuating circumstances.

How do I prepare for a research visit to the Library?

Our research room is open for on-site (in-person) services by appointment only and requires an advance consultation prior to being scheduled. The purpose of the consultation is to learn more about your topic, assist you with identifying responsive materials, direct you to helpful resources, and to provide an overview of our policies and procedures. Contact Us to request this consultation. The consultation itself can take place via email, phone, and/or video meeting. 

Researchers should submit a Researcher Application, an Oral History and Copyright AgreementReference Service Slip forms, and notify the library staff by email or telephone of their research topic and travel plans as far in advance as possible. The Library's finding aids and subject guides are also available to aid in research preparation. 

What are the research room procedures?

Historical materials are available for researcher use in the research room only. Researchers should check in with security on the first floor of the library. No food or drinks are allowed in the research room.

Before research can begin, researchers will be asked to produce photo identification (drivers license, passport, student identification card) and complete a brief application form. Once orientation is complete, you will be issued a researcher card that is valid for 3 years.

Researchers will sign and be responsible for archival materials until they are returned to a staff member. Researchers examining loose, unbound papers and records are required to use materials from only one folder at a time and replace the materials in the same order as received. If researchers find items that appear to be misfiled, they should bring them to the attention of an archivist.

Pencils and laptop computers may be used for taking notes. Tape recorders may be used provided that permission is given by the research room staff and that the use will not disrupt reference activities.

If researchers need more material or wish to consult with an archivist, they should inform the research room staff. Researchers leaving the building for the day should tell the staff which materials to hold for them and which to refile.

Who can help me with my research at a National Archives location?

National Archives staff can help you by:

  • Providing information about the records in our custody,
  • Making the records available in our research rooms, and
  • Providing ordering information if you wish to obtain copies of readily identifiable records.

How do I find an independent researcher?

Our staff is available to provide reference assistance to you. However, if you find that you require extensive research assistance, independent researchers are available for hire. (Note: Researchers for hire are not National Archives employees. Learn more.)

Can I use electronic and recording devices?

The use of digital cameras and cell phones for taking photographs is allowed without a flash. Tripods are allowed in the research room. Document scanners will be approved by the supervisory archivist on a case-by-case basis. Cell phone calls must be placed and received outside the research room and staff areas; usage is allowed in the library lobby and outside the building.

Can I get reproductions of materials?

The library has equipment for making photocopies, sound recording, and limited digital reproductions of materials in its holdings. 

The National Archives sets a standard fee for mail order reproduction services. Please review the reproductions fee schedule for current fees. Photocopies are sent by regular mail. Advance payment is required for large orders. Alternate shipping arrangements (i.e., FedEx) can be made at the researcher's expense. 

The Eisenhower Presidential Library accepts most major credit cards or personal checks as payment for copies. Checks should be made payable to the Eisenhower Presidential Library. Remittances received from outside the U.S. must be made by international money orders payable in U.S. dollars or by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover (Novus).

What kind of information is restricted?

Materials are available on an equal basis to all researchers. However, researchers will find portions of some processed manuscript collections closed either in accordance with restrictions imposed by the donors or government regulations. Furthermore, some manuscript collections described in the list of holdings have not yet been processed and opened to research, while other collections have been only partially processed and opened. 

Also see: Classified Materials and Mandatory Review Requests

How do I cite material from the Library?

There is no universal format for citing materials from this archival depository. This format will allow for library staff to quickly access materials used or guide others in locating and accessing materials used:

Work cited (letter, speech, film, etc), Date; Folder Number, Box Number, Series; Collection; Repository

The following fictitious citations may be helpful:

Memorandum of conversation, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles, and Harold Macmillan, June 22, 1958, DDE Diary - June 1958 (4), Box 30, DDE Diaries Series, Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower as President, 1953-61, Eisenhower Presidential Library.

Christian A. Herter to Dwight D. Eisenhower, March 31, 1959, Great Britain 1959 (3), Box 22, International Series, Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower as President, 1953-61, Eisenhower Presidential Library.

Dwight D. Eisenhower to Richard B. Russell, September 27, 1959, Official File 142-A-5-A, Box 732, White House Central Files, Eisenhower Presidential Library.

How do I determine copyright status?

Researchers should note that the library owns no copyright in the historical materials it possesses. The library has no authority to grant permission to publish copyrighted materials by signing releases or other such documents. Learn more.

Researchers with specific questions about the copyright law should obtain legal advice. 

Are travel grants available?

Travel Grants may be available through the Eisenhower Foundation. 

Where can I stay and eat in Abilene?

Please visit the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau website for information on lodging and dining in the Abilene area.

Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series

While you are at the Eisenhower Presidential Library conducting research, we invite you to consider taking part in our Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series. This program provides an informal setting where writers, graduate students, historians and others can talk about their research projects. Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes. If you are interested, please ask the archivist assisting you to contact the lecture series staff in advance of your visit as schedule space is limited.

Additional Research Links

Last Revised Date
March 02, 2024