How to find us

First, here are directions to the Kennedy Library.

When you enter the building please proceed to the Information Desk (directly in front of you) and speak with the security guard there. The guard will ask you 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.

Security procedures

Before registering in the Research Room, you will be asked to place all of your belongings (bags, coats, notebooks, briefcases, etc.) in a secure locker in the elevator lobby. 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 the archival collections are housed in closed stacks and must be retrieved by Reference staff, who will bring requested materials to you in the Research Room.

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 the 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 researcher identification card and then sign into the daily log.  

For more information please contact 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.

Archivally Speaking...

JFKWHP-ST-A11-1A-63 (crop): First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy at Opening of Mona Lisa Exhibit, 8 January 1963

See our blog for news on recently opened & digitized collections.