The Gate Museum


Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Atlanta, Georgia

August - October 2023

Shortly after taking office as President, Jimmy Carter expressed interest in building a Presidential Library “someplace in Georgia.” The National Archives and Records Administration was invited to establish an office in the Old Executive Building to be staffed by archivists who could advise the White House staff on the preservation and arrangement of the twenty-seven million pages and other historical materials from the Carter presidency, prior to their movement to Georgia. As Carter’s presidency ended, a location search began for the Carter Library. After surveying several potential areas, today’s thirty-acre location was selected. The land, originally acquired to build an interstate highway, was owned by the state of Georgia. Ironically, the interstate plan was halted by then Governor Carter.

The Carter Presidential Library was built by Atlanta architectural firm, Jova/Daniels/Busby, in cooperation with Lawton/Umemura/Yamamoto of Hawaii who designed the structure. The facility includes the presidential library (donated to the federal government) and privately maintained spaces such as President Carter’s office, offices for foundations he supports, and The Carter Center of Emory University. The $26 million project, raised by donations from friends of President Carter from around the world, began with a groundbreaking ceremony on October 2, 1984. The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum was dedicated during the museum opening on October 1, 1986.

Though the research room opened later on January 28, 1987, not all the historical materials are available for research. Archival staff members arrange, describe, preserve, and review for restrictions before materials may be opened for research. Restrictions include national security regulations, federal agency restrictions, and access provisions in deeds of gift for donated historical material.

Continuously, the Jimmy Carter Library actively solicits material of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, major figures in the Carter administration, the Carters’ political or close personal friends, figures of secondary importance with significant aspects of the Carter administration, and President Carter’s family. Today, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library houses 40,000,000 pages, 1,000,000 photographs, 2,200,000 feet of film, and 2,500 hours of video.

The Museum of the Jimmy Carter Library provides a unique experience for the visitor. Through immersive exhibitions of objects, documents, and photographs, videos, and beautiful gifts from world leaders, visitors can get a close-up view of the modern American Presidency. Museum Highlights include a replica Oval Office, unique artifacts, and both permanent and temporary exhibits.

The Presidential Library is nestled between two lakes on 30 acres of park land and provides a tranquil setting with a view of the Atlanta skyline.