LBJ Presidential Library
“It is all here: the story of our time with the bark off...This library will show the facts, not just the joy and triumphs, but the sorrow and failures, too.” —from the words of Lyndon Baines Johnson at the dedication of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, May 22, 1971
Spoken by Lyndon Johnson at the dedication of the LBJ Presidential Library in May 1971, these words capture the 36th President's intent to make all the records of his administration available to all Americans—and to let them render their own verdict as to his place in history.
In that spirit, and in the hope that the institution would also serve as a "springboard to the future," the mission of the LBJ Presidential Library is "to preserve and protect the historical materials in the collections of the library and make them readily accessible; to increase public awareness of the American experience through relevant exhibitions and educational programs; to advance the LBJ Library's standing as a center for intellectual activity and community leadership while meeting the challenges of a changing world."
Situated on a 30-acre site on The University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas, the Library houses 45 million pages of historical documents, 650,000 photos and 5,000 hours of recordings from President Johnson's political career, including about 643 hours of his recorded telephone conversations. The iconic ten-story building was designed by award-winning architect Gordon Bunshaft and features a Great Hall with a stunning four-story, glass-encased view of the archives collection. A centerpiece in the Great Hall of the LBJ Library is the photo-engraving mural by artist Naomi Savage. Approximately 100,000 visitors from around the world visit the LBJ Library exhibits each year.
The museum collection of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum contains more than fifty-four thousand objects donated by the President and Mrs. Johnson, their family, close friends, associates, and the American people. Like that of most history museums, the collection is very diverse and includes objects ranging from Middle Eastern antiquities and coins to postage stamps to Oval Office furniture. The art collection ranges from drawings by schoolchildren to masterpieces by such renowned artists as Americans Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, and Winslow Homer and Mexican Diego Rivera.
The core of the museum collection consists of personal objects owned, used, bought, or worn by the president and first lady, all donated by President Johnson under the Presidential Libraries Act (1955). These objects include the clothing worn by the President and First Lady at the 1964 inauguration, pens, paper, and chairs used in the Oval Office, the desk used for the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and thousands of objects related to their daily lives, official duties, and political events.
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of 13 Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Note: In the video "Sounds from 'Dedication of the LBJ Library," a name is misspelled. The correct name is Harry Ransom.
Assistant Education Specialist
Volunteer and Visitor Services Coordinator