How to find us

First, here are directions to the Kennedy Library.

When you enter the building, proceed ahead to the Security Post, which is down the hallway on the left-hand side, right before the Café. You will be asked by the guard to sign in and to present a government-issued photo identification and (as a returning researcher) a researcher identification card; you will then be issued a temporary ID sticker for the day.

The security guard will call the Main Research Room to alert the staff of your arrival, and then escort you to the elevator where you will be keyed to the 4th floor. This process will recur daily for the duration of your visit.  

Registration procedures

If you are a first-time researcher, you will be asked to fill out a registration form and to present one of the following to our Reference staff:

  • valid driver's license, 
  • military identification card, 
  • passport, or 
  • other current government-issued photo identification.

After a short interview with a member of the Reference staff, you will be registered for a researcher identification card, which is valid for up to one year. You may not be issued an identification card if the library staff determines that: 1) the records you wish to use are not in the legal custody of the Kennedy Library, or 2) if your research needs are best met elsewhere (staff will help to identify alternative sources).

As a returning researcher, you will present both your government-issued photo identification and your researcher identification card and then sign into our daily log.  

Security procedures

Once you are registered, you will be asked to place all of your belongings (bags, coats, notebooks, briefcases, etc.) in a secure locker outside of the Research Room. You will be allowed to bring a laptop or digital camera with you; some scanners will also be allowed (check with Reference staff beforehand). If you bring a laptop, Reference staff will ask you to open it for inspection before you leave for the day.

All of our archival collections are housed in closed stacks and must be retrieved by our Reference staff, who will bring requested materials to you in the Research Room.

For more information please contact Kennedy.Library@nara.gov or 617.514.1629.

Ask an Archivist

JFKWHP-AR6296-E (crop): President Kennedy Speaks at Press Conference, 25 January 1961

Do you have a research question? Ask an Archivist!

Remote Research is Here

JFKWHP-ST-C94-4-61 (crop): White House Army Signal Agency (WHASA) Advance Trip to Paris, 8 March 1961

Can't come to the Kennedy Library? Explore our digital collections!

50+ Years Ago...

JFKWHP-KN-C20131 (crop): First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Holds Son John F. Kennedy, Jr. atop a Pony, 13 February 1962

Feb. 13, 1962: First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Holds John, Jr. atop Caroline's Pony, Macaroni.