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U.S. Presidents  

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Books in the Library

Search the library catalog for books and documentary films at KUA. Try a subject or keyword search for the person's name (try both last name, first name and first name last name). Use the "Power" search to narrow down: for example, search "civil rights" AND "kennedy" to find JFK's position and influence on civil rights.

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Presidents in American History - Charles Austin Beard
Call Number: 973.09 B368p
Publication Date: 1981

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America's First Families - Carl Sferrazza Anthony
Call Number: 973.09 A628a
Publication Date: 2000

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A Documentary History of the United States - Richard C. Heffner
Call Number: 973 HEF
Publication Date: 2002
This collection of historical documents includes J.F.K.'s inaugural address and George W. Bush's speeches after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, among other presidential writings.

On the Web

  • U.S. Presidents (University of Virginia)
    A great overview of each president's life and work. Includes in-depth information about each president, including facts at a glance, key events, impact and legacy, etc.
  • The Presidents (The White House)
    Biographical and historical summaries of each presidency, provided by the White House.
  • The American Presidency Project  
    An online archive of primary sources created and hosted by the University of California, Santa Barbara. Contains letters, speeches, radio and television transcripts, audio and video files (when available for the more recent presidents), and other documents relating to the presidents. You will also find some interesting data sets, such as polls and results for elections throughout the years.
  • American Heritage
    A long-running popular magazine covering all aspects of the history of the United States and featuring articles by prominent historians.
  • Chronicling America
    A broad range of U.S. newspapers from 1836 to 1922. The actual pages of newspapers from the past are displayed. Browse topics related to US history, taken from local and regional newspapers of the time.
  • Presidents of the United States (Library of Congress)
    With overviews and timelines of each presidency, these pages are full of primary sources such as letters and manuscripts by the presidents in question.
  • American Memory (Library of Congress)
    Primary sources related to all aspects of American history. This web site and the related American Memory Initiative include everything from images of historical documents and portraits of U.S. presidents and other notable people, to sheet music and correspondence. For example, find letters between Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland.

Library Databases

  • Britannica Online Academic  Icon
    The online encyclopedia has articles covering many aspects of individual presidencies, including supplementary materials and links to outside resources.
  • Oxford Reference Online
    More than 100 Oxford reference e-books covering many subjects. Includes a number of titles from the acclaimed Oxford Companions Series. You can search by keyword across all e-books in the collection, or choose a specific e-book to browse, such as The Oxford Companion to Comparative Politics, The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, and A Dictionary of Contemporary World History.
  • Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)
    Find articles here from magazines and scholarly journals. Using the advanced search will help you narrow your results (for example, roosevelt franklin AND election*)
  • CQ Researcher
    For recent presidents, this is a great starting point for researching current events. Most reports include timelines, graphs and charts, and pro/con debate sections. Reports date from as far back as 1960; go to "Browse Reports" menu > By date.
  • Proquest Historical Newspapers  Icon
    A great place to look for primary sources -- every issue ever published by the NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times, and the Hartford Courant. Before you search, try narrowing down by decade (1960s, for example) under Advanced Search to get the most relevant results. If you are looking for a particular event, you can even choose a specific day!
    Search for articles from scholarly journals. Try combining several keywords for the most successful search. For example: (president AND "bill clinton" AND legacy)

Citing Sources


Videos in the Library

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The presidents: the lives and legacies of the 43 leaders of the United States. - The History Channel.
Call Number: DVD 923.1 PRE
Publication Date: 2005
Based on the book To the Best of My Ability, The Presidents features insight from journalists, scholars, and politicians, as well as rare and unseen photographs and footage.

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The Presidents Collection. - PBS Home Video.
Call Number: DVD 923.1 AME
Fifteen-disc set includes the "American Experience" documentaries "TR: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt," "Woodrow Wilson," "FDR" (1994), "Truman" (1997), "The Kennedys," "LBJ," "Nixon" (1998), "Jimmy Carter," "Reagan," and "George H.W. Bush."

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The three branches of government: how they function.
Call Number: DVD 342.044 THR
Take a close look at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the United States government and how they function and work together. Begin to understand the roles and duties, the checks and balances, and the framework of our federal government created by the Constitution.

Off campus?

For access to the databases from off campus, email the librarians for passwords.


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