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The Museum

The permanent exhibit at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum examines the life and career of George W. Bush. It brings the story of President and Mrs. Bush’s leadership alive for visitors by highlighting the principles they followed when making key decisions and by promoting an understanding of the Presidency, American history and government, and public policy.

Artifacts, documents, audiovisual, and interactive components capture the key decisions and events of the presidency of George W. Bush. Visitors experience many facets of President Bush’s time in the White House, including the campaign and the 2000 election, key legislative moments from the presidency, and compassionate policy initiatives enacted during his Administration.


  • A Nation Under Attack - Remember the events of September 11, 2001, and honor the lives lost. Artifacts, including steel from the World Trade Center that visitors may touch, the bullhorn President Bush used to address the crowd at Ground Zero, and letters he received in the days following the attacks, make up a solemn and moving memorial to a pivotal moment in our Nation's history.
  • Life in the White House - Peek behind the closed doors of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to see what life is like inside the White House. Learn more about the First Pets, witness the pomp and circumstance that comes with a state dinner, and enjoy a film in the White House Theater about Camp David, the Bush Ranch in Texas, and the President and First Lady's sense of humor. 
  • Oval Office - The Oval Office exhibit is an exact replica, in scale and design, as the one in the White House during the Bush Administration. Visitors get an up-close look at the paintings, sculptures, and bookcases, and may even sit behind the reproduction of the Resolute Desk for a photograph.
  • Critical Decisions - Play the role of President and dive into the decision-making process in our interactive Decision Points Theater. Hear from presidential advisers and voice how you would act as President when faced with major crises such as Hurricane Katrina or the troop surge in Iraq.
  • Freedom Hall - Enjoy this one-of-a-kind, massive 20-foot-tall, 360-degree LED screen showing high-definition multimedia clips blending art, history, and entertainment.
  • Native Texas Park - This 15-acre urban park is free and open to the public every day of the year, from sunrise to sunset. It features Native Blackland Prairie grasses; seasonal wildflowers among other native plants; clearings that provide native habitats for butterflies, birds, and other species; tree-shaded lawns; and an amphitheater. Pets are welcome.

Special Exhibits

The Library and Museum hosts Special Exhibits and various events throughout the year. The annual holiday exhibit, recreating Bush Family Christmases in the White House, has become a North Texas tradition.

Gifts to the President

When a President accepts a gift from a foreign Head of State, it becomes the property of the American people, as the President works on our behalf.

The President may choose to retain some gifts at the end of the term. For gifts from foreign Heads of State, the President must purchase the gift at the appraised value. For domestic gifts or gifts from foreign private citizens under a set dollar amount (currently $335), the President may keep them as they choose. For domestic gifts or gifts from foreign private citizens over the set amount, the President must declare them on their taxes. If the President does not formally indicate their intent to keep, purchase or declare the gifts, they are automatically transferred to the National Archives.

Archival Collections

The primary mission of every Presidential Library is providing access to information. At the heart of that mission is the Library’s archival collections. The Bush Library has an immense set of materials. First, what differentiates the Bush Library collections from other presidential libraries is the size of its electronic records archive.

Construction and Operations

Opened to the public on May 1, 2013, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is America’s 13th presidential library, overseen by the National Archives and Records Administration. Like the other Federally-owned Presidential libraries, the Bush Presidential Library serves as a portal to the National Archives and its vast holdings at 45 locations around the nation.

Presidential Libraries hold the papers and records created by, for, or about Presidents and their administrations. Without the preservation of and access to these materials, the history of our nation would be incomplete. They document the key decisions, policies, and activities of the institution of the Presidency – the highest level of government – and provide a vital record of how a President and his staff arrive at crucial decisions. Through exhibits, educational initiatives, and public programs, the Presidential Libraries perform a critical outreach mission in their communities and beyond.

Building Facts

On April 25, 2013, President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter, President George H. W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush, President William J. Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush, and President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama joined more than 10,000 other guests on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas to dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. That dedication was the culmination of great effort, and the beginning of a great mission for the 13th Presidential Library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.


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