Information About The Jimmy Carter Library And Museum

The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum is located about two miles from downtown Atlanta and is also close to Hartsfield International Airport. Different rules apply to the library than the museum. The library is not operated as public institution as the museum is, but offers many public attractions.

Rules For Using The Jimmy Carter Library

Adults may utilize materials from the library, but they should inquire about specific restrictions when onsite. A good portion of the material is original manuscripts and other rare documents that are sought after by researchers. Children must be at least 14 years of age to visit the library and must be in the company of at least one adult.

Those adults who seek to use library materials are advised to inquire with the library staff and make prior arrangements. Some material falls under restrictions that pertain to national security. Staff members at the library are not permitted to conduct remote research on behalf of a member of the public or a professional who is seeking to do research. You are encouraged to contact the library staff and ask specific questions about the materials that you are interested in using.

The many research materials at the library include oral histories and interviews. There are also many web-based materials available through the Internet. In some cases, library staff can print and mail various materials to requestors for a fee.  Some materials are available free of charge. See the library website for more details.

About The Jimmy Carter Museum

The museum is open to the public five days a week. One of the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum’s popular attractions is an exact replica of the Oval Office, which President Jimmy Carter occupied from 1977 to 1981. Jimmy Carter was our nation’s 39th President.

The Oval Office is the one room of the White House that a current president can have decorated and furnished exactly as he or she sees fit. The Oval Office exhibit in the Jimmy Carter Museum in Atlanta is frozen in time-it is decorated and furnished exactly as it was during the Carter presidency.

Visitors can also look at gifts at authentic campaign materials, news media excerpts from the Carter administration and gifts received by the White House from Americans and from foreign governments and citizens. The entire museum is a time capsule of the Carter Administration that promises plenty to see.

Many Other Opportunities Exist For Visitors Of All Ages

Guest authors and speakers are a constant attraction at the Jimmy carter Library and Museum. From presentations on Cold War spies to Civil War battles in Georgia and everything else that has a historical connection to American culture, the event list is ample and most of these offerings are free and open to the public.

The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum also offers many different opportunities for students in Georgia to visit and learn about US History and social studies subjects in a fun and interactive manner.

About Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter represented change for America in a lot of ways. Born James Earl Carter in 1924, he wasn’t destined to be a typical person of the Deep South. His father was a farmer best known for growing peanuts in the state of Georgia, where Jimmy grew up. His family was well off enough to have remained part of the old establishment.

It became apparent, however, that Jimmy Carter would do as so many successful Americans had done, and follow through on his own vision for success way beyond the boundaries of the comfortable-but-anonymous social position he could have stayed in simply going into the family business. He did return to the family business in 1953 after his father died.  He’d been serving in navy since graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1946.

Americans of all ages best associate former President Carter with one particular word: volunteering. Volunteering had been in the President’s blood since his youth. In the US Navy, he’d served as a submariner. The Navy tells us that a sub is the only place where every participant is a volunteer.

Following his presidency, which ended in 1980 when his re-election bid ended in defeat by Republican challenger Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter didn’t become a silent face in history. He continued to serve the country as a volunteer. Together with his wife, Rosalynn, he developed a reputation as a humble icon through his work with Habitat For Humanity. Since 1984, both he and Rosalynn have continued to volunteer to build homes for needy Americans.

Carter’s Lasting Legacy Of Making Peace

While Jimmy Carter’s presidency may have only been one term, his legacy is apparent. Perhaps the greatest tribute to Carter’s legacy is the Camp David Accords. Carter worked together with then-president of Egypt Anwar Sadat to create the accords which led to a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, the only treaty of its kind between Israel and any Islamic nation of the Middle East.

Sadat was tragically assassinated by opponents of the Camp David Accords. Despite all of the tension that remains between Israel and other Middle Eastern nations to this day, the treaty between Egypt and Israel has held together even as Egypt has seen long-term unrest and a toppling of its government, and even as Israel continues to be at odds with most Middle Eastern nations including Egypt on many policy issues.

Carter Is Also An Accomplished Author

Like our current president Obama, former president Jimmy Carter is also a very accomplished author. His first book Why Not The Best? Was published in 1976, right around the time he became President. Carter has published a total of 28 books since he first took office. His latest book, A Call To Action-Women, Religion, Violence and Power was released this year.

The release of his new book this year demonstrates Carter’s continued interest in serving the country and his devotion to furthering the causes of human rights around the world. Carter remains a true American social activist even as he approaches his 90th birthday, which he will celebrate in October of this year.

A Tradition Of Caring

Caregivers have many faces. Many of us never see those faces or the work they do until it is our turn to receive care that we need. Their acts of selfless giving are often what holds the world together, because often, to people who need help, their caregivers are their only hope in the world. The Rosalynn Carter Institute For Caregiving (also known as RCI) is a place that supports caregivers in Georgia through a partnership with Georgia Southwestern State University.

As the Rosalynn Carter Institute For Caregiving tells us, it is caregivers themselves who are becoming a group most in need of help. People who are caring for elderly parents sacrifice much of their own time, financial resources and energy to help those in need, and due to the growing number of needy people in the United States, the caregivers need a support system of their own.

Programs For Future Caregivers Now Are An Investment In Our Nation’s Future

Programs at the Rosalynn Carter Institute For Caregiving provide support for caregivers and help to train a new generation of caregivers who will play a vital role in maintaining the strength of the entire nation. As more and more older Americans need at least some assistance with living, we are presented with both challenges and opportunities.

Challenging The Tradition Concepts Of Caregiving

The traditional approach of sending elders away to homes is finally being challenged as we tackle the issue of long-term care as a nation. The Rosalynn Carter Institute For Caregiving is an innovator in this new and positive trend toward creating more assisted living support that will help many elders retain more personal freedom and make things easier on those who take responsibility for them.

The Rosalynn Carter Institute For Caregiving not only runs programs to train professional care givers, but also offers programs to train family members in the essential aspects of caregiving. As families acquire these essential skills, it will help keep the costs of care lower and also allow families to stay closer together. The newest program of this kind is known as Caring for You, Caring for Me: Education and Support for Family and Professional Caregivers (the program’s second edition has recently been phased in).

Psychological Support Is Just As Important To The Caregiver

A practical and inclusive approach is essential to caregiving. At the Rosalynn Carter Institute For Caregiving, psychological support and training in how to cope with the stresses of being a caregiver are a major component of the Caring for You, Caring for Me program.

History of the Rosalynn Carter Institute For Caregiving

Caregiving has been a priority of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter since her days as First Lady of Georgia. The New Georgia Encyclopedia tells us that Mrs. Carter began her work in mental health reform back in the 1970s, work which led to federal level mental health system reforms that began near the end of her husband Jimmy Carter’s presidency back in the early 1980s.

Volunteer at the Jimmy Carter Library

There are many opportunities available to volunteer at the Jimmy Carter Library. For those who believe in furthering education opportunities for all people and in preserving American history and culture, volunteering at the Jimmy Carter Library can be a very rewarding experience. The library operates throughout the year and is open to the public five days a week except on major holidays.

Internship Opportunities for Students

Being a volunteer is always a rewarding, enriching cultural experience and an opportunity to serve the community. In addition, volunteering at the Jimmy Carter Library can be an opportunity for students to get school credit. The Jimmy Carter Library’s Internship Program offers many opportunities for practical experience in such areas as:

  • Education
  • Library Science
  • Political Science
  • Marketing
  • Museum Studies

Students who volunteer at the Jimmy Carter Library as part of the internship program will be obligated to work at least 135 hours in order to be considered a valid participant in the program. Internship positions are unpaid and working hours will be between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, when library is in operation.

Many Different Volunteer Options Exist

If you are interested in volunteering at the Jimmy Carter Library, there is a diverse list of offerings and programs. Depending on your own interests and specialties, you may be able to find a niche that will make your volunteer experience even more rewarding.

Do you have experience as a tour guide? Then you may be interested in volunteering to conduct tours of the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum. A typical tour will last from 60 to 90 minutes. Your tour group might include adults or a mix of adults and children. If you haven’t been a tour guide before but would like to volunteer, tour guide training is available in September of each year. Experienced tour guides can also participate in the Jimmy Carter Library’s tour development program.

Attention Scout Leaders and Scout Volunteers!

There are numerous opportunities to take part in Scout programs here. Scout leaders and Scout volunteers find volunteering at the Jimmy Carter Library to be a great opportunity to work with Scouts from all around the state and the region. Many Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops visit the library and museum every year. You can even help in developing Scout programs at the library as well as develop new tours and events.

There Are Plenty of Opportunities For Marketing and Research

Volunteering at the Jimmy Carter Library can be a great opportunity for students and professionals to develop their skills in marketing and research. The library’s research room always needs support in archiving documents and with assisting scholars and others who are conducting research in the library.

Also, more research is being done every day as the library collects new information to add to the archives. The library’s website is always in need of updates and support. This is an opportunity to be connected with the government’s National Archives Department while serving the American public.

Rosalynn Carter – A One Of A Kind Woman

Rosalyn Carter is much more than a First Lady. She was born in Plains Georgia, the same town where her husband, President Jimmy Carter was born and raised, but she was never to be a provincial person. Her own passion for social activism and her abilities as a manager of many affairs have marked her own work as a public figure. While she always supported her husband’s campaigns and career strongly and completely, Rosalynn Carter was never merely the shadow of a president.

One of Rosalynn Carter’s own landmark accomplishments was the creation of the Georgia Governor’s Commission on Mental Health that she established while her husband served as Governor of Georgia prior to being elected the 39th President of the United States.

Rosalynn Carter’s been deeply moved by her own connections to special needs children in her younger years that fueled her passion to make meaningful changes in a mental health system that was plagued by the backwardness of the Deep South. Her activism in mental health reform in Georgia ultimately led to federal reforms during her husband’s presidency. She remains active in mental health issues even today at age 87. She published the book Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis in 2005.It is not well known that she had helped develop plans to create a national healthcare system during the Carter presidency, much as Hillary Clinton had attempted 15 years later.

A Feminist Pioneer We Rarely Hear About

The women’s movement proved to be an arena where Rosalynn Carter played an active role that spread far beyond traditional social boundaries and party lines that have often defined feminism. FirstLadies.Org says she worked closely with Former First Ladies Betty Ford and Lady Bird Johnson in establishing of the first National Women’s Conference in 1977 and also lobbied congress extensively to open more federal career positions to women.

She was also an anchor lobbyist for the Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA, which ultimately failed to pass. Despite her strong feminist activism, Rosalynn Carter opposed federal funding of abortion even after being a vocal supporter of the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973.

A Humble Celebrity

Rosalynn Carter is known more for her work than her image as a celebrity. Few accounts will show her in a glamorous manner, even as many in the media have tried to create such a portrayal. Rosalynn is actually her middle name. Her first name is Eleanor, and a popular misconception about the former First Lady is that she was named after Eleanor Roosevelt. Experts on Rosalynn assure us that this is not the case, which reflects the fact that Rosalynn Carter is indeed one of a kind.

Rosalynn Carter campaigned in 42 states for her husband’s reelection as he remained in Washington to address the Iranian hostage crisis, work that is rarely highlighted. Fewer may know that she didn’t buy a new dress for her husband’s inauguration; instead, she wore the same one she wore when he was inaugurated as Governor of Georgia years before. Today, Rosalynn Carter remains connected to the movement for mental health reform and is also an active volunteer in Habitat for Humanity, building homes for needy Americans.

A Brief Timeline of Jimmy Carter’s Tumultuous Presidency

James Earl Carter-better known as Jimmy Carter-was elected the 39th president of The United States in 1976. The nation was in turmoil. The economy was in shambles, its dignity was shaken by President Richard Nixon’s resignation two years before, and defeat in Vietnam had weakened everyone’s confidence.

The Carter presidency was marked by a number of trends that kept Americans on edge. Plunging domestic economic productivity rates, tension between the US and the Middle East, high oil prices, and massive labor strikes made things tough at home.

In foreign policy, Cold War tensions ran high with the Soviet Union. Nuclear weapons seemed the only deterrent to world war even as more and more people opposed them. Iranians overthrew a pro-American government and anti-US sentiment in the US boiled over.

Facing The Energy Crisis Head-On

After inauguration in 1977, Carter was in office a mere two weeks when he had to take steps to bring emergency supplies of natural gas to different parts of the nation battered by winter storms. That would prove to be among the easier challenges of the Carter presidency. The Soviet Union rejected the Salt II nuclear treaty proposal in March to the objection of many Americans who opposed nuclear weapons.

The Carter presidency was marked by facing the energy crisis head-on as domestic energy production plunged and imports of oil and gas doubled. Just as America was becoming more dependent on Middle Eastern oil, tensions between the US and Arabs ran high. The US Department of Energy would be formed later that year to help address the nation’s growing concerns over dwindling resources.

Making Peace Amidst a World Enveloped in The Cold War

By April of 1977, Carter had begun talks with Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in what would become the historic treaty two years later between Egypt and Israel known as the Camp David Accords. The accords wouldn’t stop anti-US sentiment in the rest of the Middle East, but while tensions were high in the Middle East, bright spots appeared elsewhere. By the end of 1978, Carter had normalized relations with the Peoples’ Republic of China, which helped hedge the US’s position against the Soviets in the Cold War.

1979 proved to be another tumultuous year for the Carter presidency as the Shah of Iran was toppled and the Islamic Republic of Iran was born. Iranians took over the US embassy and took 44 Americans hostage. They would not be freed until after President Reagan took office in 1981. Carter was blamed for the crisis by many Americans. President Carter and Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev signed the Salt II nuclear treaty in spring of the same year, but the year would end with the Soviets taking over Afghanistan. Carter then made the decision to boycott the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

At home, Carter continued to push for energy and environmental policy changes to clean up toxic waste sites, which resulted in the clean-up of many polluted rivers and other lasting, positive changes. However, the Carter presidency would not survive the scrutiny that Candidate Reagan put on the performance of the economy as he asked the electorate his famous question: “are you better off than you were four years ago?”

Former President Was Important Navy Man

Former President Jimmy Carter is well-known for being a volunteer, and Carter’s service in the United States Navy reflects his volunteer spirit. While every sailor must do his assigned duties as given, there is one area where people only serve on a volunteer basis, says the Navy, and that is on submarines. All personnel who serve on submarines volunteer for their positions. Being on a sub means sharing a small space with about 140 other people and being underwater for months at a time.

President Carter entered the United States Naval Academy after his studies in college at Georgia Southwestern College and Georgia Tech. Carter’s service in the United States Navy as an active duty sailor began in 1946 when he graduated from the United States Naval Academy.

Entering The Service

He served in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets over a span of seven years. During that time, moved up the ranks and was a lieutenant when he resigned his commission in 1953. Carter’s service in the Navy might have continued had his father not passed away in 1953-which prompted him to return home to Plain, Georgia to help run his family’s agricultural business.

President Carter’s service in the United States Navy came at a critical juncture in the evolution of modern naval weapons and equipment. World War II had just ended, and the submarine had proved to be a critical weapon, just as the modern bomber and fighter planes had proved to be critical to the air force. Submarines would become the backbone of the tactical nuclear arsenal by the time Carter was campaigning for political office in the 1960s.

A Naval Nuclear Pioneer

In 1947, after graduating from the Naval Academy, President Carter’s service in the United States Navy first took him on board battleships-first the USS Wyoming and then the USS Mississippi. Battleships were still patrolling in the Pacific at that time, but they had also become floating laboratories for testing new electronic equipment that was becoming ever more important to naval operations. Carter worked in more than one lab and also in training others.

During Carter’s service in the United States Navy, it was the technology of submarines themselves that was developing into what we have in service today, and the former president played an important role in the development of nuclear-powered submarines. In 1951, Carter himself was chosen by United States Navy Admiral Hyman Rickover to participate in the nuclear sub program. Carter had been an active submariner since 1948.

Rickover was a captain at the time and played a lead role in the program that developed nuclear submarines from concepts into prototypes. Carter studied nuclear physics and later played a role in developing the program supervised by Rickover. President Carter’s service in the United States Navy led him to having a spot on the US Atomic Energy Commission’s naval nuclear reactor program. He had been preparing to take the role of Engineering Officer on the USS Seawolf, the nation’s second nuclear-powered submarine, in 1953, but his father’s death then prompted him to retire from the United States Navy.

History Of The Jimmy Carter Library

A presidential library may sound like a monument to a past leader, but it is really a time capsule that gives very visitor a living glimpse into history. The Jimmy Carter Library is one of those treasured time capsules of living history that represents the legacy of the United States of America with the historical memorabilia of the Carter Administration. The Jimmy Carter Library is operated by the National Archives Administration of the US Government.

Jimmy Carter was America’s 39th president and served in the Oval Office from 1977 to 1981. He had sought to build a library shortly after he entered office, but historians say that he didn’t specify a location, but only said he wanted it “someplace in Georgia” and made no other request on the location within he state where he was born and raised, and where he served as the governor before becoming president.

Jimmy Carter Library History Trivia

  • 27 million pages of paper filled the library upon opening.
  • The library was designed in collaboration by architects from Georgia and Hawaii.
  • The temporary library was first housed in an Atlanta post office building.
  • The Jimmy Carter library has an exact replica of the Oval Office as it was during Carter’s presidency.
  • The entire project cost $26 million-all raised from donations.
  • Ground breaking began on October 2, 1984.
  • The Jimmy Carter Library was opened on October 1, 1986.
  • A research room was added in 1987 that includes many historical archives.
  • It is said that President Carter wanted his library “someplace in Georgia” but he gave no specifics.

The Georgia Encyclopedia tells us that the library was already in operation in a temporary location in Georgia’s capital of Atlanta long before the actual building opened. It was coincidentally appropriate that the temporary library of a US President be located in a government building; in the case of the Jimmy Carter library, the temporary home was a post office.

Carter’s library also shares grounds with the Carter Center, an organization he and his wife, Rosalynn founded in 1982. The Carter Center is a non-profit that focuses on the preservation and protection of human rights worldwide. Like the Carter Center, the former president’s passion for human rights issues continued to have a strong presence in the years after Carter left the Oval Office.

The Library’s Neighborhood Also Emulates Carter’s Political History

The freeway that serves the Atlanta neighborhood where Jimmy Carter Library and Museum is located was once called the Jimmy Carter Parkway. The name was later changed to “Freedom Parkway”. The project to build the major thoroughfare in Atlanta far predates the library. Like most major interstate highway projects, its own history goes back to the 1960s. Much controversy surrounded its construction as eminent domain was a factor that upset many who lost their homes for progress. Ironically, the entire parkway project was halted for a time in 1970s for various reasons, including the eminent domain issue. The project was halted by the governor of Georgia, whose name was Jimmy Carter.