The LBJ Presidential Library is one of 14 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.
When the LBJ Presidential Library was dedicated in May 1971, President Johnson proclaimed to the assembled crowd, "It's all here, the story of our time—with the bark off. There is no record of a mistake, or an unpleasantness or a criticism, that is not included in the files here."
Today, the library houses more than 45 million pages; an extensive audiovisual collection, including more than 650,000 photos and 5,000 hours of recordings; and, approximately 2,000 oral history interviews. The papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, which form the core of the library's holdings, include the White House files of his presidency (1963-1969), and papers from his service as a U.S. Congressman (1937-1949), U.S. Senator (1949-1961), and Vice President (1961-1963).
Keeping in the spirit of the words spoken by President Johnson at the library's dedication, our processed collections–textual and audiovisual—are available for in-person research at the library. A portion of those collections have been digitized (see Online Collections below).
How to Research at the LBJ Library
Textual records are available for viewing in our Reading Room. If you would like to visit the library, please call (512) 721-0212 to schedule an appointment with an archivist who specializes in your area of interest. When you come to the library, the archivist will conduct a brief orientation interview, and then you will be able to review boxes of documents at your own pace. Laptops and digital cameras are permitted in the Reading Room, but we do not allow scanners. Free lockers are available. Please bring a government-issued photo ID.
Before you come to the library, we also recommend that you review the relevant subject guides and finding aids available online, and you may find our citation guide useful as well. Many Oral Histories and all of President Johnson's recorded telephone conversations are available on the web. See Online Collections, below.
If you cannot come to the library, you can contact a local independent researcher.
Film, photographs, audio and video
Audiovisual materials are available for research in our audiovisual research room. Appointments are required; please call (512) 721-0212 to make arrangements.
To order copies of materials without coming to the library, please contact us for price and format options. The audiovisual collections are described in our list of holdings. See also our Online Collections and our YouTube channel.
Refer to Plan Your Visit for directions to the LBJ Library as well as information about parking, transportation, and accommodations. More information about offsite research, duplication fees, and copyright is available here.
Over the years, Johnson biographer Robert Caro has used the LBJ Library to do research for his multi-volume biography, The Years of Lyndon Johnson. To watch a video of Caro giving a talk at the library and explaining how he does his research, click here.
Archival Collections, Finding Aids, and Guides
We are in the process of updating our list of holdings, which contains descriptions of the LBJ Library’s collections of documents, photographs, sound and moving image records. Follow the links to see finding aids for collections where available: please contact us for more finding aids if you do not see what you are looking for.
For a topical overview by subject across different collections, see our subject guides. The guides cover some of our most frequently researched topics, but they are not definitive, and you should consult the library's list of holdings to locate additional material. Additional guides may be available. If you don’t see your topic, please call (512) 721-0212 for more information.
Very few of our collections have been digitized. See the library’s list of holdings for descriptions of LBJ Library collections, including those that have not been digitized. Unless otherwise specified as “selected,” each collection listed below is available online in its entirety.
- Selected photos - Please call (512) 721-0212 for an appointment to view photos from our collections that are not available online.
- Daily Diary
- Telephone conversations
- Selected oral histories - Additional Oral Histories are available at the Miller Center or by contacting us.
- Selected audio and video recordings - Many more videos are available on our YouTube channel.
- National Security Action Memoranda (NSAMs) - While all available NSAM are represented here, the collection also contains supporting documents and reports which may be referred to in the NSAM and are not available online. Please call (512) 721-0212 for more information.
- The Pentagon Papers - The Pentagon Papers collection is available for research at the LBJ Library. A digital copy is available through the National Archives website.
Did You Know?
Exhibits from the archives covering frequently asked questions about the Johnsons and their time, including recipes, pets, and more, can be found here.
More Online Resources
There are many more resources related to our holdings available elsewhere on the web. Here are some of them.
Reading Room Hours
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
Closed on federal holidays
Please call (512) 721-0212 to arrange to speak with an archivist specializing in your area of interest.
Audiovisual archives by appointment only
Call (512) 721-0212