Return to "Planning a Visit"
The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum was opened to the public on August 10,1962, Mr. Hoover's 88th birthday. In the years since, more than 2.5 million visitors have toured the museum and more than 2,000 scholars from every state in the union and a dozen foreign countries have utilized the library's seven million pages of documentary holdings. One significant result has been an increased understanding of the life and times of America's 31st president, known around the world as the "Great Humanitarian."
In recent years, the Library-Museum has been transformed into a nationally recognized center for the study of twentieth-century history and the American presidency. Beginning in 1988, it has sponsored major exhibits featuring personal memorabilia from every U.S. President and First Lady, a pioneering look at World War I, an unprecedented display of presidential gifts and exciting exhibits on the "Roaring Twenties," the Civil War, and other subjects of broad public appeal.
Simultaneously, the Library had redoubled efforts to locate and collect documentation pertaining to the Hoover Era. In addition to the papers of Herbert Hoover, the manuscript holdings include those of Lewis Strauss, Gerald P. Nye, Felix Morley, Clark Mollenhoff, Robert E. Wood, Westbrook Pegler, and Laura Ingalls Wilder, among others. More that 150 collections make the Library an important center for the study of conservative journalistic thought, agricultural economics, famine relief, atomic energy, and governmental reorganization.
The Hoover Library-Museum has welcomed many distinguished visitors over the years, among them no fewer than seven American presidents: Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Reagan. Several First Ladies have visited the Library, including Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, and most recently, Rosalynn Carter in September 1990.
Continuing in this tradition, former President Ronald Reagan rededicated the Library on August 8,1992. At the end of a massive expansion and renovation project, the new Library-Museum has grown from 32,000 to 44,500 square feet. Ten thousand square feet are devoted to seven museum galleries telling Hoover's fifty years of public service. Changing exhibits are displayed in the handsome William Quarton Gallery. The redesigned Library-Museum also includes a 180-seat auditorium, a multi-purpose room accommodating 60, a conference room that seats 30, and a private meeting room designed for 15 people. The $8-million facelift was very much a public-private partnership, with Washington supplying $5 million for bricks and mortar, supplementing some $3 million raised by the Hoover Presidential Library Association for new exhibits and educational programming.
August 8, 1992 marked a dramatic conclusion to 30 years of growth. More importantly, it paved the way for one of the region's leading cultural and educational institutions to introduce more people than ever before to the Great Humanitarian from West Branch.
Now, walk through the Hoover Web site by clicking on any of the links below. You can take a quiz on Hoover's life before and/or after your stroll. Have fun!