Jimmy Carter Library And Museum: The Hallmark of Atlanta

Address: 441 Freedom Pkwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Construction started: October 2, 1984
Opened: October 1, 1986
Phone: (404) 865-7100
Fax: 404-865-7102
Group/School Tour Info
Phone: (404) 865-7123
Adult Tours
Phone: (404) 865-7129
Official Website: Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

Hours:
Monday 9:00 am – 4:45 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am – 4:45 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am – 4:45 pm
Thursday 9:00 am – 4:45 pm
Friday 9:00 am – 4:45 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 4:45 pm
Sunday 12:00 – 4:45 pm

 

Jimmy Carter was the 39th President of the United States and was in office from 1976 till 1980. He has his own library and museum and we decided to provide you with a little insight into it. The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum was opened in 1986 and keeps a detailed record about the life and achievements of the former President of the United States. It contains all the material related to his administration, achievements in his life and some of the Presidential papers of Jimmy Carter and the Carter administration.

The Library also holds some special exhibits and notable achievements in the life of Jimmy Carter and it includes a full scale replica of the Oval Office in the White House, complete with the copy of the Resolute Desk. There is also the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to Jimmy Carter for his exploits in standing up for the rights of women, blacks and Hispanics in the United States and all around the world. The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum still has some parts that are administered and owned by the Federal Government, while the other parts are operated and owned privately.

The National Archives and Records Administration operate the library and museum and are an essential part of the Presidential Library system, which is run by the Federal Government. The areas that are privately owned in the library and museum are the house offices of Jimmy Carter, and the Carter Center, which is a non-profit human rights agency. Open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 Pm Monday through Friday, the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum are amongst the hallmarks of Atlanta, Georgia. It is one of the presidential libraries that are administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Facts about the Building:

The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum makes up around 69,750 square feet with approximately 15,269 square feet of space assigned for the exhibits and around 19,818 square feet of space assigned for storage and the archives. There are over 27 million pages of documents that are kept in stacks in the library, along with 500, 000 photos and over 40,000 objects. There are also audiotapes, videos and films regarding Jimmy Carter and his administration and life.

The entire collection is extremely comprehensive and covers all areas about the Carter Administration, which does include the personal lives of President and Mrs. Carter as well as the Foreign and Domestic policy that was implemented in his reign as President of the United States. The entire complex is located next to Freedom Parkway, which was previously known as Presidential Parkway. In its planning stages, it was called as “Jimmy Carter Parkway” as well.

Location

The library is located about two miles east of downtown Atlanta on one of the highest points in the city.  It is surrounded by about 35 acres of beautiful landscaping which it shares with the Carter Center. The scenery, apart from the museum and the library, are one of the prime attractions for the people.

Inauguration

The construction began on October the 2nd 1984 and lasted almost two years before being inaugurated and made open to the public on October 2dn 1986 (on 62nd birthday of the president). Given that the president had signed a deed of gift to donate a plethora of materials documenting his life and public service career eleven days after leaving office (January 31, 1981) the library as well as the museum was able to initiate a thorough cataloging process. The collection now stands at 40,000 objects in the museum alone.

The History of the Library and Museum:

The Jimmy Carter library and museum was constructed in Poncey-Highland neighborhood of Atlanta, which was acquired by the state of Georgia. Initial construction on the building had been started on October the 2nd 1984 and the library officially opened its doors to the general public on the 62nd birthday of Jimmy Carter on October the 1st 1986. There was a $10 million dollar investment made for the renovation of the museum which began in April 2009 and was completed on the 85th birthday of President Carter on 1st October 2009.

The $26 Million Museum

The construction costs of the museum for the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum project amounted to $26million in total, all of which was raised via donation from Carter’s friends from across the globe.

The museum now features:

  • A wall of twentieth-century American presidents,
  • A full-size replica of the White House Oval Office,
  • A “Town Meeting” exhibit that allows visitors to select from a menu of questions to receive a videotaped response from Carter,
  • Displays on Carter’s childhood in Plains,
  • His Georgia political career,
  • The 1976 presidential campaign,
  • Various issues of the presidency,
  • Role of the first lady,
  • The Nobel Peace Prize

Every tour of the museum begins with a short 10-minute movie on the role of the president of the United States. Apart from the normal tours, between three four temporary exhibits are typically displayed each year.

The Library

The library has extensively archived materials from those who have closely worked with the president. Furthermore, federal records that are normally held in other National Archives and Records Administration facilities have been made available.

The library has a collection of over 200 oral histories for research. The library’s audiovisual collection comprises of 600,000 photo negatives, over 1,500 videotapes, and approximately 3,700 audiotapes. Furthermore, the library has made a plethora of archived material available on the internet [See Part 3 for details on retrieving materials from the website]. The library continuously updates documents and audiovisual items to allow members of the public to access many of the library holdings in case they are not able to visit the library.

Limitations

The archival holdings of the Carter Library are of highly unique historical significance and hence their care is made a top priority. As a result, the archival material (one-third of which is currently made publically available) is made available only to persons older than fourteen years. The research room first opened on January 28, 1987, and the remaining material is currently being preserved, arranged, catalogued, and described.