Trip Planner: USA / Iowa / West Branch / Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library and burial place of Herbert Clark Hoover, the 31st president of the United States (1929–1933), located on the grounds of the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in West Branch, Iowa. The library is one of thirteen presidential libraries run by the National Archives and Records Administration.Plan your visit to Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our West Branch trip planner.
In 1954, a group of Hoover's friends incorporated the Herbert Hoover Birthplace Foundation to raise money for the preservation of his birthplace and the area around it, and to plan for improvements to the site. One of their ideas was to build a small museum, and with Hoover's approval work began in the late 1950s. The architectural firm of Eggers and Higgins of New York drew the plans for the original building, a modest limestone structure of just over 4,000 square feet. While the museum at West Branch was still under construction, Hoover decided to expand it and to make it his Presidential Library.
The Library and Museum was officially dedicated and opened to the public on August 10, 1962, Hoover's 88th birthday. Hoover and Former President Harry S. Truman were present at the dedication. Hoover began his speech by saying,
When the members of the Congress created these presidential libraries they did a great public service. They made available for research the records of vital periods in American history – and they planted these records in the countryside instead of allowing their concentration on the seaboard.
Already the three libraries of President Roosevelt, President Truman, and President Eisenhower, by their unique documentation, serve this purpose, and today we dedicate a fourth – my own.
Within them are thrilling records of supreme action by the American people, their devotion and sacrifice to their ideals.
Santayana rightly said: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it." These institutions are the repositories of such experience – hot off the griddle.
In these records there are, no doubt, unfavorable remarks made by our political opponents, as well as expressions of appreciation and affection by our friends.
We may hope that future students will rely upon our friends. In any event, when they become sleepy they may be awakened by the lightning flashes of American political humor.
The original Library and Museum building was expanded several times, with major additions being completed in 1964, 1971, 1974 and 1992. The architects for the 1964, 1971, and 1974 expansion projects were Wetherell, Harrison & Wagner Associates.
On August 8, 1992, former President Ronald Reagan rededicated the Library and Museum. The rededication was the result of a renovation project that expanded the library to 47,169 square feet (4,382.1 m2). The $6.5-million expansion was a public–private partnership, with Washington supplying $5 million for bricks and mortar, supplementing $1.5 million raised by the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association for new exhibits. The architects for the 1992 expansion were HNTB Corp.
Holding almost 300 collections, the Library is an important center for the study of conservative thought, agricultural economics, famine relief, commercial aviation, political journalism, government efficiency and reorganization, isolationism, and U.S. foreign policy. In addition to the papers of Herbert Hoover, the manuscript holdings include those of Lewis Strauss, Gerald P. Nye, Felix Morley, Clark Mollenhoff, Robert E. Wood, Westbrook Pegler, and Laura Ingalls Wilder, among others.
The Library and Museum is located within the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, which contains Hoover's birthplace, a reconstruction of Hoover's father's blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse, a Quaker meeting house, and – on a hill overlooking the Library and Museum and Historic Site – the graves of Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover.
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum reviews
Prior to visiting the Hoover Presidential Museum, I, like so many others, had a negative view of Hoover as the president who led America into the Great Depression. But this museum changed my mind. I..... more
Prior to visiting the Hoover Presidential Museum, I, like so many others, had a negative view of Hoover as the president who led America into the Great Depression. But this museum changed my mind. I..... more »
I think there was a time when good, decent human beings could get elected to office. Not twice, but once anyway. I knew a few things about HH, but not the best things. I doubt the USA will see his..... more
I think there was a time when good, decent human beings could get elected to office. Not twice, but once anyway. I knew a few things about HH, but not the best things. I doubt the USA will see his..... more »
I came through August 19th 2020, very possibly the worst time to visit in recent history. It was COVID so most everything was shut down. Then they just had the terrible derecho so a great number of trees has been taken down by the winds. Some very majestic trees toppled, what a mess. The staff was friendly. I visited the period make shift town and some of the out buildings. was able to enter the replica boyhood home. I thought the final resting place of President and Mrs. Hoover was very elegant and stately, it was beautiful. The grounds were well kept and manicured around the final resting place. So terrible some of the great trees were now gone however. There is a shelter build out back by the boy scouts. There is a good private restroom there. I was able to take a longer walk through the prairie like young Hoover must have. A very pretty place which helped keep President Hoover Grounded. My great great relative was his Secretary of War. Update, August 20th, 2022. Made it back through West Branch and visited again. Got in the Presidential Library and was blown away by the exhibit. What a great humanitarian Mr. Hoover was. Got a better view of his final resting place. The grounds looked so much better since the derecho. Storm. The staff was really friendly. I totally recommend any presidential home, library, or burial place. I have visited almost 20 other presidential sites since visiting here in August 2020. Highly recommend stopping here.
Interesting museum in an utterly charming town. The gravesite is absolutely beautiful
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