The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library holds more than 45 million pages, an extensive audiovisual collection, and 2,000 oral history interviews. Some collections—both textual and audiovisual—have been digitized for the web (see Online Collections, below) but many more are only available for research in person at the library. The LBJ Library is part of a system of Presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Click the headings below to read more about each topic.
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 contact us 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 contact us 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 finding aids to locate additional material. Additional guides may be available. If you don’t see your topic, please contact us.
Very few of our collections have been digitized. See the library’s list of holdings for descriptions of LBJ Library collections, including those that are not available in digital form. Unless otherwise specified as “selected,” each collection listed below is available online in its entirety.
- Selected photos - Contact us for an appointment to view photos from our collections that are not available online.
- Daily Diary
- Telephone conversations - Search the telephone conversation descriptions and retrieve the date and citation number of the conversation you want to hear. Then go to the Miller Center at the University of Virginia and download the audio WAV or MP3 file of that conversation.
- 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 (NSAM) - 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. Contact us 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.
Features from the Archives
Declassified documents, personal recollections--including ones from Luci and Lynda-- and tons of photos: check out our new web exhibit about the assassination of President Kennedy and the transition of power in the harrowing days that followed.
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 or email Johnson.Library@nara.gov to arrange to speak with an archivist specializing in your area of interest.
Audiovisual archives by appointment only
Call (512) 721-0212
or email Johnson.Library@nara.gov