Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

Last updated on 01-22-2018

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 1991 to 2012

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About Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

What are the Public Papers of the Presidents?

The Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, which is compiled and published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration, began in 1957 in response to a recommendation of the National Historical Publications Commission. Noting the lack of uniform compilations of messages and papers of the Presidents before this time, the Commission recommended the establishment of an official series in which Presidential writings, addresses, and remarks of a public nature could be made available.

Each Public Papers volume contains the papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during the specified time period. The material is presented in chronological order, and the dates shown in the headings are the dates of the documents or events. In instances when the release date differs from the date of the document itself, that fact is shown in the textnote.

To ensure accuracy, remarks have been checked against a tape recording and signed documents have been checked against the original, unless otherwise noted. Editors at OFR have provided textnotes and cross references for purposes of identification or clarity. Speeches were delivered in Washington, DC, unless indicated. The times noted are local times.

What is available?

  • govinfo contains the Public Papers for Presidents George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack H. Obama.
  • Bulk data downloads of Obama’s Public Papers in XML are available through GPO’s Bulk Data Repository.
  • The Public Papers series covers the administrations of Presidents Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama (the papers of President Franklin Roosevelt were published privately before the commencement of the official Public Papers series.)
  • To find older volumes:

When are the Public Papers published?

Currently, volumes are published approximately twice a year, and each volume covers approximately a 6-month period.

What can I find in the Public Papers?

Each Public Papers volume features a foreword signed by the President, and a portfolio of photographs selected from White House Photo Office files, as well as subject and name indexes, and a document categories list.

Photographs - Photographs of the President at various events throughout the year. Captions that describe the action and supply the date of each event accompany the photographs. See the Photographic Portfolio in Search Results or by browsing the Public Papers.

Presidential Documents - A list of Presidential documents published in the Federal Register, such as proclamations and executive orders, comprises one appendix to the Public Papers. The listing for each document consists of a subject; effective date; Federal Register page number; and proclamation, executive order, or document number, when applicable.

Appendices - Additional material that has been previously published in the Compilation of Presidential Documents. A companion to the Public Papers series, the Weekly Compilation began in 1965 to provide a broader range of Presidential materials on a more timely basis to meet the needs of the contemporary reader.

This expanded coverage in the Public Papers provided by the appendices in each Public Papers volume provides listings of:

  • A digest of the President's daily schedule and meetings, when announced, and other items of general interest issued by the Office of the Press Secretary
  • The President's nominations submitted to the Senate
  • A checklist of materials released by the Office of the Press Secretary that are not printed full-text in the book
  • A table of Proclamations, Executive orders, and other Presidential documents released by the Office of the Press Secretary and published in the Federal Register

Indices - The information contained in the Public Papers is indexed in two ways: by subject and by name. The subject and name indices are mutually exclusive; that is, names are not listed in the subject index, and subjects are not listed in the name index.

  • Subject Index: The index entry for each subject consists of a word or phrase that identifies the subject and one or more Public Papers page numbers.
  • Name Index: The index entry for each person consists of his or her name and one or more Public Papers page numbers.

Document Categories List- A list, by document type, of the titles of all of the documents that are printed in full in a given volume of the Public Papers. The listing for each document consists of a title and a Public Papers page number.

For Volume 2008 and previous, links to PDF files in the Public Papers are included in the HTML file for the document categories list.

You can search these document categories using the field operator pppsection. See examples below.

Common document categories:

  • Addresses to the Nation
  • Addresses and remarks
  • Appointments and nominations
  • Bill signings
  • Bill vetoes
  • Communications to Congress
  • Communications to Federal agencies
  • Executive orders
  • Interviews with the news media
  • Joint statements
  • Letters and messages
  • Meetings with foreign leaders and international officials
  • Proclamations
  • Resignations and retirements
  • Statements by the President

Searching the Public Papers

You can find and search the Public Papers by:

  • Using Basic Search for keyword and metadata fielded searches (see Metadata Fields and Values section),
  • Using Advanced Search; fields specific to the Public Papers will display after you select Public Papers of the Presidents in the Refine by Collection column,
  • Using Citation Search ;to find a document if you know the volume and page number,
  • Refining search results by clicking on links in the Refine Your Search panel on the left hand side of the page (the sections under Refine Your Search correspond to the metadata available for the documents), and
  • Browsing on the Public Papers of the Presidents browse page.

General govinfo Search Tips

Search Examples

Search Public Papers by President - These examples will search for presidential documents from President Clinton.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:ppp and president:clinton
  • Using Advanced Search, select Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select President in the first box and select Clinton, William J. in the second box

Search Public Papers for Photographs - These examples will search for photographs from the Public Papers.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: pppsection:photo
  • Using Advanced Search, select Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Section in the first box and select Photographic Portfolio Photographs in the second box

Search Public Papers by Section - These examples will search for presidential documents that are from the Appendix.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: pppsection:appendix
  • Using Advanced Search, select Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Section in the first box and select Appendixes in the second box

Search Public Papers by Date Range and Keyword - These examples will search for presidential documents between April 1, 1999 and May 30, 1999 with the keyword basketball.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: basketball and collection:ppp and publishdate:range(1999-04-01,1999-05-30)
  • Using Advanced Search,
    • Select Date is Between under Date Range then enter or select 04/01/1999 in the first date box and enter or select 05/30/1999 in the second date box
    • Select Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States under Refine by Collection, then under Search In enter basketball in the second box

Sample Public Papers URLs

Govinfo uses two key pieces of information to construct predictable URLs to documents and the Details pages:

  • Granule ID for the Public Papers of the Presidents is used to identify the specific document or photograph within an issue of the publication
  • Package ID is used to identify an individual issue of the publication
Identifier Structure/Metadata Field Example

Package ID

Presidential Documents:
PPP-{Year}-book{Book Number}

Photographic Portfolio:
PPP-PHOTOS-{Year}-book{Book Number}

Presidential Documents:
PPP-2005-book1

Photographic Portfolio:
PPP-PHOTOS-2005-book1

Granule ID

Front Matter:
{Package ID}-frontmatter-pg{Page Number}-{Sequence Number}

Presidential Document:
{Package ID}-doc-pg{Page Number}-{Sequence Number} (2008 and earlier)
{Package ID}-Doc-pg{Page Number}-{Sequence Number} (2009 to present)

Appendix:
{Package ID}-app-pg{Page Number}-{Sequence Number}

Index:
{Package ID}-index-pg{Page Number}-{Sequence Number}

Photographs:
{Package ID}-folio-{Photograph Identifier}

Note:
Sequence Number is used when there are more than 1 document that start on the same page. Sequence Number is not used for the first document on a page.

Front Matter:
PPP-2005-book2-frontmatter-pgiii

Presidential Document:
PPP-2005-book2-doc-pg1230-2
PPP-2009-book1-Doc-pg1

Appendix:
PPP-2005-book2-app-pg1943

Index:
PPP-2005-book2-index-pgB-1

Photographs:
PPP-PHOTOS-2005-book1-folio-L
PPP-PHOTOS-2009-book1-folio-2


Details Page for an Entire Presidential Documents or Photographic Portfolio Book
Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/{packageId}
Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/PPP-2005-book2

PDF File for an Entire Presidential Documents Book
Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{packageId}/pdf/{packageId}.pdf
Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PPP-2005-book2/pdf/PPP-2005-book2.pdf

XML File for an Entire Presidential Documents Book (2009 to present)
Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{packageId}/xml/{packageId}.xml
Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PPP-2009-book1/xml/PPP-2009-book1.xml

Details Page for an Individual Document
Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/{packageId}/{granuleId}
Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/PPP-2005-book2/PPP-2005-book2-doc-pg1230-2

PDF File for an Individual Document
Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{packageId}/pdf/{granuleId}.pdf
Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PPP-2005-book2/pdf/PPP-2005-book2-doc-pg1230-2.pdf

HTML File for an Individual Document (2008 and earlier)
Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{packageId}/html/{granuleId}.htm
Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PPP-2005-book2/html/PPP-2005-book2-doc-pg1230-2.htm

XML File for an Individual Document (2009 to present)
Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{packageId}/xml/{granuleId}.xml
Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PPP-2009-book1/xml/PPP-2009-book1-Doc-pg1.xml

JPG File for an Individual Photograph
Structure: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/{packageId}/graphics/{granuleId}.jpg
Example:  https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PPP-PHOTOS-2005-book2/graphics/PPP-PHOTOS-2005-book2-folio-L.jpg


Public Papers Metadata Fields and Values

Metadata fields and values can be used to increase the relevancy of your searches. The metadata fields available for the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States are listed in the table below. Metadata fields and values are used throughout govinfo for:

  • Refining Your Search,
  • Browsing,
  • Field Operators,
  • Advanced Search, and
  • Display on Details Pages.

Metadata fields and values can be entered into Basic Search using field operators. The field operators available for the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States are listed in the table below, along with examples for each metadata field. Using Field Operators

Some of these metadata fields are also made available for Advanced Search. Using Advanced Search

Metadata Field Display Name Metadata Field Definition Field Operator Field Operator Example(s)

Collection

The collection to which the document belongs. Typically the same as the publication or series.

collection:

collection:ppp

"ppp" is used for the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

Government Author

The names of the Government organizations responsible for authoring or assembling the document.

governmentauthor:

governmentauthor:(Office of the Federal Register)

Publication Date

The date the document was first made available to the public.

publishdate:

publishdate:1995-07-01

Date format is YYYY, YYYY-MM, or YYYY-MM-DD

Language

The language code of the original document, from the ISO639-2b standard.

language:

language:eng

SuDoc Class Number

The SuDoc class number from the U.S. Superintendent of Documents which classifies Government publications by publishing agency.

sudocclass:

sudocclass:"AE 2.114:"

The SuDoc Class Numbers are at the class stem level, not the book number level.

Ingestion Date

The date the document was ingested into the preservation repository.

ingestdate:

ingestdate:2017-01-17

Date format is YYYY-MM-DD

Electronic Location (URL)

The URL where the document or Details page is located.

url:

url:"pkg/PPP-2009-book1/pdf/PPP-2009-book1-Doc-pg4.pdf"

Publisher

The government organization who publishes the document or publication. Not typically the Government Publishing Office (who serves as the printer and distributor), except in the case of Congressional publications.

publisher:

publisher:(national archives)

Branch

The branch of Government responsible for the document's contents.

branch:

branch:executive

Possible Values: Executive, Legislative, Judicial

Type of Resource

The media type for the document, typically "text". Defined as part of the Library of Congress MODS standard.

typeofresource:

typeofresource:text

WAIS Database Name

The name of the WAIS database to which the document belonged in the former GPO Access system.

waisdbname:

waisdbname:2012_public_papers_vol1_misc

Record Origin

How the record was originally generated. Typically "machine generated."

recordorigin:

recordorigin:"machine generated"

Title

The title of the publication.

title:

title:(The President's Weekly Address)

Section

These are the different sections within the publication.

pppsection:

pppsection:presdocu (Presidential Documents)
pppsection:photo (Photographic Portfolio Photogrpahs)
pppsection:appendix (Appendixes)

Year Published

The event date's year for presidential documents or the publication's issue date.

pppyear:

pppyear:2002

President

The name of the president, during the administrations that published the document.

president:

president:bush
president:"George W. Bush"
president:"Barack Obama"
president:clinton

Citation

The GPO standard method for searching citation references from the selected publication.

citation:

citation:(1991 Public Papers 1)

Notes

Presidential document notes providing additional context such as time and place of remarks, technical notes, persons, places, organizations and other entities referred to within remarks, etc.

notes:

notes:"los angeles"

Document Category

The category as displayed in the Category Index of the Public Papers of the President and included in the metadata.

pppcategory:

pppcategory:"addresses to the nation"

2009 to present only. See list of possible values.

Subject

The subject as displayed in the Subject Index of the Public Papers of the President and included in the metadata.

subject:

subject:"agriculture"
subject:"Agriculture, Department of"
subject:"Defense Authorization Act"

2009 to present only.

Name

The name as displayed in the Name Index of the Public Papers of the President and included in the metadata.

name:

name:"Sotomayor, Sonia"

2009 to present only. Value format is last name followed by first name.

Book Number

The book number of the Public Papers of the Presidents year to which the document belongs.

booknum:

booknum:2

Congressional Bills Citation

Citation references to Congressional Bills.

billscitation:

billscitation:(h.r. 1282)
billscitation:(S.J. Res. 12)
billscitation:(H. Con. Res. 276)

Public and Private Law Citation

Citation references to Public or Private Laws.

plawcitation:

plawcitation:(public law 100-418)
plawcitation:(Public Law 104-172)
plawcitation:(Private Law 102-4)

United States Code Citation

Citation references to the United States Code.

uscodecitation:

uscodecitation:(49 U.S.C. 1301)
uscodecitation:(49 U.S.C. App. 1514)

Statutes at Large Citation

Citation references to Statutes at Large.

statutecitation:

statutecitation:"102 Stat. 1221"

CFR Citation

Citation references to the Code of Federal Regulations.

cfrcitation:

cfrcitation:(31 CFR 535)

Reference Citation

Reference to another document within the text of a document.

refcitation:

refcitation:(49 U.S.C. App. 1514)


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