Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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Directives are top level documents that reflect actual presidential intention as opposed to the public statement of purpose. Directives are issued through the National Security Council. Many current directives are still classified. Different Presidents have given them different names:
- Kennedy and Johnson: National Security Action Memoranda (NSAM)
- Nixon and Ford: National Security Decision Memoranda (NSDM)
- Carter: Presidential Directives (PD)
- Reagan: National Security Decision Directives (NSDD)
- Bush, George: National Security Directives (NSD)
- Clinton: Presidential Decision Directives (PDD)
- Bush, George: National Security Presidential Directives (NSPD)
Many directives are available through the Presidential Directives and Executive Orders Website maintained by the Federation of American Scientists. The Library of Congress has posted a finding aid titled Presidential Directives and Where to Find Them on their Website.
Executive Orders are issued under statutory authority. These are official documents by which the President manages the operations of the federal government. Proclamations are most often used as broad ceremonial or policy statements of general interest.
This is a cumulative version of Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, containing public messages, speeches, and statements of the President. Published approximately twice a year. Holdings and Locations
Signing statements are
written comments issued by a President at the time of signing legislation. They
are published in the Weekly Compilation of
Presidential Documents and later in the annual Public Papers of the President. They are also online at the American Presidency Project
These are issued each Monday containing statements, messages, speeches and other Presidential materials released by the White House during the proceeding week. No longer published in paper as of 11/01/2000. Holdings and Locations :
- 1966 (v.2:1) - 1985 (v.21:13), on 5th floor stacks under GS 1.114
- 1985 (v.21:14) - 2000 (v.36:43) on 5th floor stacks under AE 2.109:
- Online Versions : 1993 - present
Current activities as well as, history and photos of the White House are included in the White House web site.For materials at the State Library, search the State Library Catalog under the subject "White House - Washington, DC."
Beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, each Administration is given its own classification number in the federal documents collection. Additional material may be found in the 5th floor stacks under these call numbers.
The American Presidency Project is sponsored by the Univ. of California Berkley. It is a comprehensive site including text of presidential debates, Saturday Radio addresses, party convention addresses, inaugural addresses, state of the union addresses and standard Presidential publications.
Prepared by the Government Information and Reference Services Unit, page revised 01/2008.