Information on the Presidency

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About The Presidency

According to the White House site:

The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the United States, who also acts as head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The President is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress and, to that end, appoints the heads of the federal agencies, including the Cabinet. The Vice President is also part of the Executive Branch, ready to assume the Presidency should the need arise.

Under Article II of the Constitution, the President is responsible for the execution and enforcement of the laws created by Congress....The Executive Office of the President (EOP) consists of the immediate staff to the President, along with entities such as the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

The President has the power either to sign legislation into law or to veto bills enacted by Congress, although Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses. The Executive Branch conducts diplomacy with other nations and the President has the power to negotiate and sign treaties, which the Senate ratifies. The President can issue executive orders, which direct executive officers or clarify and further existing laws. The President also has the power to extend pardons and clemencies for federal crimes.

Article II details the Executive Branch and the offices of the President and Vice President. It lays down rules for electing the President (through the Electoral College), eligibility (must be a natural-born citizen at least 35 years old), and term length. The 12th and 25th Amendments modified some of these rules.


  • At least 35 years of age
  • Be a natural born citizen
  • Must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years.

Information on the Presidency

Administration Web Pages


  • Directives

Directives are top level documents that reflect actual presidential intention as opposed to the public statement of purpose. Directives are issued through the National Security Council. Many current directives are still classified. Different Presidents have given them different names:

  • Kennedy and Johnson: National Security Action Memoranda (NSAM)
  • Nixon and Ford: National Security Decision Memoranda (NSDM)
  • Carter: Presidential Directives (PD)
  • Reagan: National Security Decision Directives (NSDD)
  • Bush, George: National Security Directives (NSD)
  • Clinton: Presidential Decision Directives (PDD)
  • Bush, George: National Security Presidential Directives (NSPD)

Many directives are available through the Presidential Directives and Executive Orders Website maintained by the Federation of American Scientists. The Library of Congress has posted a finding aid titled Presidential Directives and Where to Find Them on their Website.

  • Executive Orders and Proclamations

    Executive Orders are issued under statutory authority. These are official documents by which the President manages the operations of the federal government. Proclamations are most often used as broad ceremonial or policy statements of general interest.  See Executive Orders: A Journey in Legal Reference Services Quarterly V. 10 (3) 1990, p. 125,  [K12 .E357 ] for definitions of Executive Orders and how they've been used.

    • Paper Holdings and Locations :1945 - 1989, Codification of Presidential Proclamations & Executive Orders, 1945 - 1989. [GIS Ref AE 2.113:945-89]
    • Microfiche Holdings and Locations :1779 - 1983, CIS Microfiche collection in balcony fiche cabinets. Use CIS Index to Presidential Executive Orders and Proclamations [GIS Ref KF 70.A55] for indexing and microfiche identification.
    • Online Versions :1945 - 1989, Codification of Presidential Proclamations & Executive Orders, 1945 - 1989. (sponsored by the National Archives).
    • Executive Orders Disposition Tables (sponsored by the National Archives).
    • Note : Executive Orders and Proclamations are included in the Federal Register, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents and Public Papers of the Presidents.
  • Press Briefings

  • Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States

    This is a cumulative version of Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, containing public messages, speeches, and statements of the President. Published approximately twice a year. Material in the Library:

    • 1929 to 1933, 1945 - 1983 on 5th floor classed in GS 4.113:
    • 1984 to present on 5th floor classed in AE 2.114:
    • Online Versions 1991- (George H.W. Bush-present)
    • Index included in volume.

Presidential Information Resources

Additional Material

Beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, each Administration is given its own classification number in the federal documents collection. Additional material may be found in the 5th floor stacks under these call numbers.

  • Franklin Roosevelt - Pr 32
  • Harry S. Truman - Pr 33
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower - Pr 34
  • John F. Kennedy - Pr 35
  • Lyndon B. Johnson - Pr 36
  • Richard M. Nixon - Pr 37
  • Gerald R. Ford - Pr 38
  • Jimmy Carter - Pr 39
  • Ronald Reagan - Pr 40
  • George Bush - Pr 41
  • William J. Clinton - Pr 42
  • George W. Bush - Pr 43
  • Barak Obama - Pr 44
  • Donald Trump - Pr 45

Other Libraries' Guides

The Connecticut State Library (CSL) has access to federal information, although we may not subscribe to resources listed in other libraries' guides.

When listed call numbers are in the SuDoc classification system, they will often translate to CSL collection. Call numbers listed in other systems may not apply to CSL.