The following list of subject headings covers major topics represented in the archival holdings of the Kennedy Library. Please note that some language that was commonly used during the Kennedy administration may be outdated or offensive; in these cases, we have included both the historical and contemporary terms in the subject heading and definition to facilitate research and provide context for the terminology. Learn more.
Each heading links to collection descriptions, finding aids (collection guides), and digitized collection content (where available) that relate to the subject.
Material relating to audio or visual marketing communications that are used to promote or sell a product, service, or idea to consumers.
Advice and Counsel to the President
Material related to advice and counsel given to the President by friends, staff and Administration members, or other distinguished individuals, including former Presidents, members of Congress, and subject experts.
Material related to the science, technology, business, or other aspects of aircraft and rocketry.
African Americans and Black Americans
Material relating to Americans having origins in any Black racial groups (historically referred to as Negroes).
Aged (older adults)
Material relating to persons of advanced age (historically referred to as aged, elderly, or senior citizens), including government policy for and concerning older adults, and older adults as a collective group.
Material pertaining to the acquisition and dissemination of information on agriculture programs; experiment station programs; research in crop and livestock production; farm management and pest control.
Alliance for Progress
Material relating to the John F. Kennedy Administration's program of the same name, launched in March 1961, which aimed to create a new political, social, and economic framework for Latin America in an effort to prevent Latin American states from adopting Communist systems of government.
American Indians (Native Americans)
Material pertaining to the indigenous peoples and nations of the United States (also referred to as American Indians, Indians, Native Americans, and Indigenous Americans, among other terms). Includes material related to indigenous issues involving the federal government, such as land development, use, and federal seizure; economic and social issues and policies; education and welfare; reservations and housing; natural resources; and forced removal from tribal lands (historically referred to as relocation and relocation services).
Material concerning the fine arts such as painting, drawing, sculpture, poetry, prose, music, dancing, engravings, and dramatic art.
Material relating to Americans having origins in any of the racial groups of Asia. Includes material on Asian immigrants and refugees living in the United States with noncitizen status.
Bay of Pigs Invasion, Cuba, 1961
Material relating to the Bay of Pigs Invasion on April 17, 1961. President John F. Kennedy ordered the launch of what became a failed invasion at the Bay of Pigs (Playa Giron) on the south coast of Cuba, with an invasion force of 1400 exiled Cubans. The invasion was planned and funded by the United States in an attempt to overthrow the Communist-friendly government of Cuba headed by Fidel Castro.
Boats and boating
Material relating to the recreational use of watercraft.
Buildings and structures
Material pertaining to the design, construction, and management of any public building or structure, including bridges and dams.
Material relating to bullfighting, the sport of baiting and killing a bull as a public spectacle in an outdoor arena.
Material relating to the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit. This term may also be used for materials of, noting, or pertaining to the study of business, its organization, or its procedures.
Material relating to plans or activities organized for the protection of civilian population and property in times of disasters or war.
Material pertaining to individual and legal rights, the promotion and denial of such rights, and discrimination or discriminatory practices based on race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion, sex, sexual orientiation, and gender identity. Includes ideologies and practices relating to racial segregation and voting rights, as well as public and private resistance to them.
Clothing and dress
Material related to the utilitarian aspects of clothing and the making or manufacturing of clothing and apparel, as well as clothing treated as an artistic or cultural object or that was made or used for special events.
Material relating to The Cold War. The Cold War has been described by historians as the struggle between communism, led by the Soviet Union, and the free market systems of Europe and the United States, fought with propaganda, rising military budgets, wars by proxy, covert activities, and the political use of military and economic aid.
Material pertaining to the relationship between members of Congress, as well as between members of Congress and the Executive branch.
Consumer protection and policy
Material related to the protection of purchasers of goods or services from unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices. Includes materials on policies and proposals created by government officials on this topic, as well as material related to consumer advocates and advocacy groups.
Material relating to the commission and punishment of criminal acts, the effects of crime on society, and the academic study of crime. Includes material related to the mafia and organized crime in general.
Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
Material relating to the events leading up to and concerning the Cuban Missile Crisis, as well as the events involved in the resolution of the crisis.
Material related to death and funerals, including but not limited to the death of President Kennedy.
Material relating to demonstrations, or public displays of group opinion, including protests, pickets, marches, sit-ins, and other public events related to activism.
Diplomatic and consular service
Material related to diplomatic and consular service in general, as well as material belonging or related to specific diplomats and consular employees, including United States Ambassadors to other countries.
Material pertaining to physical or mental conditions that affect an individual's functional ability, including but not limited to mobility disabilities, mental health disabilities, chronic illnesses, cognitive disabilities, and hearing and vision disabilities. Includes material on assistive technologies and policy related to people with disabilities.
Material pertaining to an occurrence causing widespread destruction and distress; a catastrophe.
Economics and economy
Materials relating to the state of the United States economy and international economies, as well as to the academic study of economics.
Material relating to the subject of education, schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions, both public and private. Includes educational requirements, standards, training programs, facilities, and staff. Includes teachers and students as a group.
Material pertaining to the research, development, use and control of any source of usable power, such as fossil fuel, electricity, nuclear energy, or solar radiation.
Material relating to the everyday life, interactions, and relationships of family members.
Material having to do with the creation and disbursement of the United States federal budget.
Material relating to personal finances, including receipts, account books, and bills.
Material pertaining to guns and small arms weapons, including issues related to gun rights, gun control, and gun laws and legislation.
Material relating to fishing as a recreational sport.
Food and drink
Material related to food and drink in their physical, cultural, and economic roles. Includes materials on cooking and eating, such as recipes and menus, as well as materials on food security, nutrition, and policies related to those issues.
Foreign aid (international aid)
Material relating to economic or military assistance provided by the United States to other nations (historically referred to as foreign aid).
Gay issues and rights (LGBTQ+ issues and rights)
Material related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities and other communities based in gender identity or sexual orientation (historically referred to as the gay community, gay and lesbian community, homosexual community, or homophile community). Includes material on government policies related to these communities and advocacy around those policies.
Material related to any acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, including: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. Includes material related to the genocide of Jewish peoples during World War II, known as the Holocaust or the Shoah.
Material pertaining to gifts given to and from the President from persons both known and unknown to him. Also includes gifts to or from the United States Government, whether presented or received by the President as Chief Executive or by others acting on behalf of the American people.
Heads of state
Material related to international heads of state.
Health and healthcare
Material relating to the general subject of health, the prevention and control of disease, hospital operation, research in biology and medicine, blood donations, doctors, dentists, nurses and medical practice. Includes material related to health insurance policy and the proposal of government-run programs such as Medicare (historically referred to as Medical Care for the Aged).
Hemingway family friends
Materials pertaining to friends of the Hemingway family.
Material pertaining to people having origins in one of the countries of Hispanic America. Also a person of hispanic ancestry who is a citizen or resident of the United States.
Material pertaining to legal, recognized, and suggested holidays and observances, whether secular or religious.
Honors, medals, and awards
Material relating to honors, medals, awards, and trophies, including, but not limited to those awarded in the name of the President.
Housing and dwellings
Material relating to human shelters, including apartments, condominiums, and houses. Includes policy, research, and advocacy related to housing issues and law, homelessness, and discriminatory practices.
Materials relating to shooting game and pursuing wild animals in order to capture or kill them. Includes materials on big-game hunts during safaris in Africa.
Material relating to the policies and issues of immigration, the process by which individuals or groups leave their country of origin and enter another country, often for purposes of permanent residence there. Includes material on refugees and refugee policy.
Incarceration and detention
Material related to detention (the temporary holding of persons accused of crimes) and incarceration (the long-term confinement of convicted and sentenced individuals) in the United States and internationally. Includes material on prisons, jails, internment camps, and concentration camps, including the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II (historically referred to as Japanese internment).
Material related to indigenous peoples of any continent, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, or native peoples (historically referred to as Indians or natives).
Material relating to the aggregate of manufacturing or technically productive enterprises in a particular field, often named after its principal product, i.e. the automobile industry or the textile industry.
Material relating to U.S. plans, policies, procedures, and programs regarding other countries or governments. Includes material concerning the relationships between the United States and other countries or governments, as well as the relationships between other countries or governments.
Material pertaining to the judiciary and judicial procedure, for legal material of a general nature pertaining to claims, litigations, decisions, opinions, interpretations, and notaries, and the appointment and/or election of judges.
Material related to the violation or suspected violation of a law committed by a person prior to their eighteenth birthday. Includes material related to research, legislation, policies, and programs on this topic.
Materials pertaining to the Kennedy family as a whole. Includes information about Kennedy family property, history and genealogy.
Kennedy family friends
Materials pertaining to friends of the Kennedy family.
Korean War, 1950-1953
Material relating to the conflict, which lasted between 1950 and 1953, between North Korea, aided by China, and South Korea, aided by the United Nations, and consisting primarily of United States troops.
Material pertaining to the general subject of non-Federal labor, employment status, unemployment, wage rates, earnings, labor statistics, and matters relating to arbitration; national and independent labor unions; and labor management relations.
Language and languages
Materials pertaining to language learning and language translations.
Material pertaining to the activities of police and other agencies that are responsible for maintaining public order, enforcing laws, preventing and investigating crimes, and making arrests.
Material pertaining to proposed Federal legislation prior to its introduction as a numbered bill; numbered Bills and Resolutions from the time of their introduction until enactment into public law or otherwise disposed of; and the specific laws adopted. Vetoes and appeals are also included in this category. Materials on Congressional procedures are included.
Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, 1963
Material related to the creation and passage of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963.
Materials pertaining to marriage and divorce, including wedding materials, such as wedding annoucements, and legal documents, such as marriage certificates.
Materials pertaining to individual membership in organizations.
Mental retardation (intellectual disability)
Material pertaining to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (historically referred to as mental retardation), or any disability which is related to intellectual functioning and/or adaptive behavior. Includes research and policies related to people with intellectual disabilities.
Material having to do with members of the United States armed forces, including information about conscription, military training and service, and educational institutions.
Material related to members of a distinct group in society that is smaller than the main population and may experience relative disadvantages due to their culture, ethnicity, race, religion, language, or political persuasion.
Monuments and memorials
Material pertaining to memorials, monuments, historic sites, and cemeteries.
Narcotics and drug abuse (drug use)
Materials relating to research and government policy on narcotics, drugs, and illegal substances. Includes material on people with drug addiction and the use or misuse of drugs or other substances (historically referred to as drug abuse).
National parks and reserves
Material pertaining to natural and historic sites, parks, reservations, and cemeteries.
National security and defense
Material which covers national security functions including the safeguarding of classified information; restrictions on the use of military aircraft; troop transportation; and military operations which involve the planning, preparation, and conduct of warfare. The planning, mobilization, and management of resources and production for defense needs, and for material pertaining to the protection of life and property by preparing for and carrying out non-military functions to prevent, minimize, repair and recover from damage caused by enemy attack, including post-attack mobilization and plans.
Natural resources and conservation
Material pertaining to the use of, and research and government policy on, the environment. Includes information about environmental conservation and preservation.
Material related to the press, including newspapers, news radio, television news, and journalists.
Material pertaining to the research, development, use and deployment of nuclear fission and fusion weapons.
Material related to individuals or groups whose origins are the original peoples of Polynesia (including Hawaii, Samoa, American Samoa, Tokelau, Tahiti, and Tonga); Micronesia (including Guam, Mariana Islands, Saipa, Palau, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Marshall Islands, and Kiribati; and Melanesia (including Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu).
Materials related to household and public parties, dances, and reunions, including invitations, dance cards, and menus.
Material relating to the formation or administration of the Peace Corps, a U.S. federal agency that President John F. Kennedy established by executive order in March 1961. It was approved by Congress later that year under the Peace Corps Act.
Pets and other animals
Material pertaining to animals and pets, including pets belonging to the Kennedy Family.
Material relating to charity and non-profit organizations; Includes fundraisers, social events and sponsorships.
Material pertaining to government policy toward the physical fitness of its citizens. Includes materials about the President's Council on Youth Fitness, later known as the Council on Physical Fitness.
Political campaign, 1946
Material related to 1946 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results. Included are materials related to John F. Kennedy's first congressional campaign.
Political campaign, 1948
Material related to 1948 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Political campaign, 1950
Material related to 1950 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Political campaign, 1952
Material related to 1952 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results. Included are materials related to John F. Kennedy's first senatorial campaign.
Political campaign, 1954
Material related to 1954 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Political campaign, 1956
Material related to 1956 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Political campaign, 1958
Material related to 1958 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results. Included are materials related to John F. Kennedy's second senatorial campaign.
Political campaign, 1960
Material related to 1960 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results. Included are materials related to John F. Kennedy's Presidential campaign.
Political campaign, 1962
Material related to 1962 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Political campaign, 1964
Material related to 1964 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Political campaign, 1966
Material related to 1966 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Political campaign, 1968
Material related to 1968 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Political campaign, 1972
Material related to 1972 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Political campaign, 1974
Material related to 1974 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Political campaign, 1976
Material related to 1976 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Political campaign, 1978
Material related to 1978 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Political campaign, 1980
Material related to 1980 national, state, and local political campaigns in the United States, including candidates, campaign strategies, debates, and election results.
Material related to political campaigns in general.
Material pertaining to political parties in the United States and elsewhere.
Material related to poverty in the United States and abroad, including the War on Poverty during President Lyndon Johnson's administration.
Material relating to positions filled by the President of the United States.
Public opinion and polling
Material pertaining to public opinion on President Kennedy from individual members of the public as well as groups or demographics. Also applies to material concerning polls on the Kennedy administration as well as other topics.
Material related to public service, both as an idea promoted by the John F. Kennedy campaign and administration, and in practice. Includes material related to government employees in the civil service.
Materials pertaining to printed material made available for sale or distribution, including book catalogs, lists, and advertisements.
Material pertaining to religion, religious materials, or religious discrimination. Includes material related to government policies and public opinion on religion and religious issues.
Material pertaining to country and country life. Includes issues and government policy concerning or of interest to rural life.
Material concerned with all phases of scientific study, research, and development.
Material pertaining to consumer buying, including shopping lists, sales receipts, and store catalogs/brochures.
Material concerning services or proposed services provided by the government for people in need of assistance, such as people in poverty, older adults, people with disabilities, and children.
Material pertaining to plans, programs, research, exploration, and development of nonmilitary air and outer space. Also included is correspondence on the space flights of astronauts.
Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939
Material relating to the Spanish Civil War, fought in Spain from 1936 to 1939, between the Republicans and the Nationalists, ending with a victory for the Nationalists and a new dictator of Spain for 36 years, Francisco Franco.
Sports and recreation
Material relating to amusements, hobbies, sports, and recreation.
State and local government
Material relating to law, policies, services, and public works programs administered at the state and local level. Includes the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial elements of state and local government.
Taxes and taxation
Material related to the levying of taxes by federal, state, or local governments. Includes material on tax policy, research, and legislation.
Material relating to the communication of information, including data, text, pictures, voice and video over long distances. Includes radio and television transmissions.
Material relating to the act or process of buying, selling, or exchanging commodities, at either wholesale or retail, within a country or between countries.
Material pertaining to passenger and freight transportation by air, rail, highway or water, including services such as stevedoring, packing, loading, and unloading; pipe line transportation; and warehousing. This term is also used for material pertaining to buildings associated with transportation including airports, bus stations, and train stations. Construction and planning for highways is also included.
Material relating to agreements made under law and entered into by actors in international law (namely states and international organizations), or by actors in tribal law, in regard to treaties with sovereign American Indian and Indigenous American nations.
United States government departments and agencies
Material concerning departments and agencies of the United States federal government, including independent agencies.
Material related to urban areas, including city planning, development, and redevelopment.
Material related to people who have served, but are not currently serving, on active duty in the United States armed forces, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or Merchant Marine. Also includes material related to people who served in the armed forces of nations other than the United States.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Material relating to the Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, the Vietnam Conflict, and, in Vietnam, the American War, which occurred from March 1959 to April 30, 1975. The war was fought between the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and its communist allies and the US-supported Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). It concluded with the withdrawal of the United States from active combat and the dissolution of South Vietnam.
Material related to voting and elections as broad concepts, both in the United States and internationally. Includes material on voting trends, rights, registration, and participation, as well as policies, legislation, and advocacy around these concepts.
Voyages and travels
Material pertaining to regional and long-distance travel activities, including travel preparation, transportation, temporary housing, and legal documents, such as passports.
White House (Washington, D.C.)
Material pertaining to the building, operation and administration of the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington D.C. Includes material concerned with the interior design and decorating efforts within the White House.
White House gardens (Washington, D.C.)
Material pertaining to White House gardens. Includes photographs taken of the gardens, as well as garden design and maintenance.
White House social affairs
Material pertaining to the various entertainment events, including state dinners and receptions, which occurred in the White House.
Women's issues and rights
Material related to women, including policy, activism, organizations, and research related to women. Topics include labor (historically referred to as women in the workplace), reproductive issues and rights, discrimination, civil rights and women of color, and women as a voting bloc.
World War, 1914-1918
Material relating to World War I, also known as the First World War, the Great War, and The War to End All Wars, a global war which took place primarily in Europe from 1914 to 1918.
World War, 1939-1945
Material relating to World War II, the war between the Axis and the Allies, beginning on September 1, 1939, with the German invasion of Poland and ending with the surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945, and of Japan on August 14, 1945.
Material related to research and social issues associated with children and teenagers, as well as the idea of youth in general, as a demographic.