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The Research Room at the George W. Bush Presidential Library is open to the public by appointment only. Appointments must be scheduled by 3:00pm if wishing to visit the next business day. Schedule a virtual orientation prior to booking travel. We respond to written requests for records at Please check our website or for COVID updates.

While in the research room, researchers are encouraged to take notes using their phone, tablet, laptop, or other device. Additionally, researchers will be encouraged to limit the number of personal items they bring to a NARA facility. Hand sanitizer is not allowed in the Research Room.

Research Room Procedures:

We are open from 9:00 AM until 4:30 PM Monday - Friday by appointment only.  We are closed on all Federal Holidays and we close daily from 12:00 PM until 1:00 PM for lunch.  

When you first arrive, you will come in at the entrance to the museum.  You will need to tell the employees at the front desk that you are here to do archival research. They will page a member of the archival staff to escort you to the Research Room.  You will need to bring a valid, current, government issued photo ID (e.g., driver's license or passport) with you in order to get your researcher card.  You will also need to bring your completed Researcher Application form (if you have not already sent it in via email), and your signed and dated copy of the Research Room Rules (if you have not already sent it in via email).

You may bring a laptop and the plugs for it into the research room, but the case must remain in a locker that we assign to you.  You may also bring a digital camera, tablet, and/or cell phone with camera capabilities into the research room to take pictures of the documents provided that the flash is turned off.  If you bring your digital camera, tablet, and/or cell phone into the research room, you may bring in all charging devices and memory cards for the camera into the research room; but all cases must be placed in the locker we assign to you.  You may bring a tripod into the research room to aid in taking pictures; but if you decide not to use it, then it must go into your locker.  You may bring a scanner into the research room, but please note that we only accept one of two kinds:  a regular flatbed scanner with no Automatic Document Feeding (ADF) capabilities or the MagicWand type portable scanners that have no feeding capabilities and will not harm the documents in any way.  Please note that if Research Room staff determine that a scanner you bring might harm the documents in any way, it will not be allowed in the research room.  Also your cell phone must be turned to vibrate or silent and all calls must be made or taken in our researcher lounge.  We will supply you with all other supplies.  We are encouraging all researchers to use their own devices to take notes, but copy paper and pencils for taking notes will be provided to you upon request.  You are allowed to bring a small number of notes into the research room (i.e., no more than 10 loose sheets of paper), which will be stamped "Library Approved" before you do research.  We are encouraging all researchers to use their own cameras or scanners to take pictures of or make scans of the documents that they are viewing; however, if you would like to make physical copies on our Xerox machine, the charge is $0.25 per page and we only accept checks and credit cards.  All photocopying must be completed by 4:15 p.m. daily.  Also we will not conduct any pulls of new boxes after 3:45 PM daily and you can request up to 12 boxes on a cart at one time.

Researcher Identification Card.
Researcher Identification Card.

What the Library can provide researchers

Archives staff can provide researchers access to collections and FOIAs that have been fully processed and notified. In accordance with Executive Order 13489, archives staff must inform the incumbent and former Presidents (through designated representatives) of the intent to release records. The notification period begins only after all processing is complete and reviewed records are officially proposed for opening to the public.

What the Library cannot provide researchers

There are some instances in which records are not available.

  • When the records requested are unprocessed. Archives staff must perform all processing tasks (arrangement, preservation, review, and description) and notification before making records available to the public.
  • When archival staff must apply restrictions to records. Archivists most often apply restrictions to records based on statutory requirements per the FOIA and the PRA. If a document is restricted in whole or in part, it is noted on a disposition sheet at the front of each processed folder. 
  • Archivists will deny a FOIA request in whole or in part only when they determine that  information may be withheld under one or more of the eight FOIA exemptions that apply to presidential records. The reviewing archivist only withholds information in a record if they determine that disclosure would harm an interest protected by such exemption. If only part of a record must be withheld, the reviewing archivist will redact (or take out) that specific information and provide access to the rest of the record.
  • Presidential records subject to the PRA may also be withheld under six PRA restrictions during the first twelve years after the end of an administration. The PRA restrictions for George W. Bush Presidential records expired on January 20, 2021. The Library is planning to proactively propose for release records previously withheld under a PRA restriction on a rolling basis beginning in 2021. The Library will post these records on the Library website as soon as they have gone through the PRA notification period required by law.
  • When analysis of a topic or a list of compiled information is requested. Archivists do not create, compile, or analyze documents. Archivists cannot provide documents that do not already exist in the collections. To assist researchers with finding materials on several popular research subjects, archives staff have written topic guides.

Need More Assistance?

What do researchers do when they cannot find what they want

Contact Us

Archives Staff
George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
2943 SMU Blvd, Dallas, TX 75205
Phone: 214-346-1557   Fax: 214-346-1558