FDR Library research room
Plan a Research Visit

Please note: the Research room will be closed all day on June 30, 2016 for the the FDR Library's 75th Anniversary progarams. 

About Our Archival Collections

Eleanor Roosevelt Papers as seen in the new "behind the scenes" area of the Museum
These boxes containing thousands of letters from the public to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt can be seen in our Museum's "Behind the Scenes" area. These and millions of other documents from our Archives are available for research in the Library's research room.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library maintains over 17 million pages of documents, 150,000 audiovisual items, and 50,000 books. Among these materials are the personal papers of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as those of various individuals and organizations associated with the Roosevelts.

Several thousand historic documents and photographs are available online at 
Search Our Collections and
Special Topics. However, this large number represents a small portion of our Library's overall holdings. For this reason we encourage you to make an in-person visit. 

Grants-in-aid for research support are available through the Roosevelt Institute and you can Contact the Archives to learn more about our collections that may be useful to your research. 

Entrance to the Library's Museum and Research Room

Use the Courtyard Entrance of the Historic Library Building

When you enter the Museum lobby, check in with the security guard stationed at the welcome counter. There you will receive a red research pass and be directed toward the Library's Research Room. Once there, the archivist on duty will assist you with a short registration process and provide further orientation.    

Conducting Research

The Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Research Room of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library is open from
8:45 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, except on federal holidays. There is no fee to conduct research and no pre-application or pre-appointments are necessary. Researcher deskThere are four set "pull" times per day when archival materials can be retrieved on your behalf. These times are as follows: 

  • 9:15 A.M.
  • 11:00 A.M.
  • 2:00 P.M. 
  • 3:45 P.M.

We recommend arriving far enough ahead of a given pull time to both register and effectively identify the materials of interest to you. We will do one "courtesy pull" for new researchers upon arrival, after which we ask that these set pull times be respected. We do not pull materials in advance of your arrival.

Keep your photo ID handy when you enter the research room. An archivist will ask you to complete a Researcher Application in order to obtain a Library-issued researcher identification card. To save time, your Researcher Application can be printed off, filled out, and brought with you when you come for your in-person visit. Researcher cards cannot be issued in advance by mail because photo ID is required at the time of application.

We require that you review the following orientation materials *in person* before receiving a researcher card: 

NARA orientation powerpoint

Work with the archivist on duty to identify the materials you wish to use in your research, and then submit a request for retrieval of those materials at a designated pull time. Please see Research Services for more information about how the staff can help you prior to your visit.

All researchers must adhere to certain security measures so that the historical materials will be preserved for future generations.

Please note that the FDR Library operates on a clean research room policy. This means that all researcher belongings, including notebooks, folders, purses, briefcases, laptop cases, pens, etc., must remain in the designated area outside the research room. Lockers are available to secure personal items. Exceptions to this rule are laptops, digital cameras, and flatbed scanners, all of which are permitted in the research room. Notepaper and pencils will be provided by the archivst on duty. More information about our policies is available on the Research Services page.

Prepare for Your Visit

Special Weather Notice: During the winter months, inclement weather sometimes prompts the delay or closure of the Library. If you plan to visit during these periods, please dial the Library's weather line at (845) 486-7777 to determine the Library's status each day.

Open folder of archival documentsAn archivist is always available in the research room to assist you in finding the materials you need, but coming to the research room with a general idea of which collections you would like to look at will allow more time for conducting your research. Information about how an archivist can assist you with your research can be found at Research Services. We do not pull materials for researchers in advance, but we invite you to Contact the Archives for additional information about our holdings and resources.


On December 4, 2013 The FDR Library launched FRANKLIN, a new virtual research room and digital repository. FRANKLIN provides free and open access to the digitized collections of the Roosevelt Library—to everyone, anywhere in the world.  

FRANKLIN connects you to 350,000 pages of archival documents, 2,000 historical photographs, and hundreds of archival finding aids and collection descriptions. Online users can now search, browse, and open whole folders of archival documents, just as they could during an in-person research visit to the Archives. Because FRANKLIN is a key part of our ongoing digitization program, we look forward to posting many more digital collections to this database over the coming years.  


Before you visit us at the FDR Library, there are several steps you can take to make your time here as productive as possible. The first is to familiarize yourself with the secondary sources related to your topic. The more you know about your topic and the people and events involved, the more efficiently you will be able to perform primary source research. 

You can find information about secondary sources related to your topic by using our online Book Catalog or exploring historical and biographical features on our website

Next, take advantage of our online Finding Aids database. This tool can help you determine which materials in our collections may be helpful and where those papers are located. Also, a complete list of collections is available online where many finding aids can be downloaded in PDF format.  

The Roosevelt Institute supports a program of small grants-in-aid, not to exceed $2,500, in support of research on the "Roosevelt years" or clearly related subjects.

Please see Map & Directions for information about location and transportation. We also recommend exploring the online resources available through the Dutchess County Tourism website to find places to stay, restaurants and other attractions in the area.

For more information about doing research at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, please consult the FAQs — Research at the FDRL. For general information about visiting FDR Library & Museum, call 1 (800) FDR-VISIT.