UPDATE: The permanent and special exhibits at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum are open to the public. The Research Room is open by appointment only. Schedule a virtual orientation prior to booking travel. We will continue to respond to written requests for records at email@example.com. Please check our website or archives.gov/coronavirus for updates on operating hours and status.
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum maintains approximately 43,000 artifacts, primarily foreign and domestic gifts given to the President and Mrs. Laura Bush, and other items obtained throughout the presidency at events and during trips. Most famously, perhaps, the Library has the bullhorn used by President Bush during his visit to the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. These artifacts document the American experience and are used extensively in the Library’s permanent and special exhibits.
When a President accepts a gift from a foreign Head of State, it becomes the property of the American people, as the President works on our behalf.
The President may choose to retain some gifts at the end of the term. For gifts from foreign Heads of State, the President must purchase the gift at the appraised value. For domestic gifts or gifts from foreign private citizens under a set dollar amount (currently $415), the President may keep them as they choose. For domestic gifts or gifts from foreign private citizens over the set amount, the President must declare them on their taxes. If the President does not formally indicate their intent to keep, purchase or declare the gifts, they are automatically transferred to the National Archives.
Browse through the online gallery to view some of the many important artifacts and gifts given from American citizens and foreign Heads of State.