Clinton Presidential Library

The William J. Clinton Presidential Library

Where is it?

The Clinton Presidential Library is located at 1200 President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock, Arkansas.

In addition to the library, the site features:

  • Clinton Presidential Park – 30-acre city park
  • Anne Frank Installation – outdoor exhibit featuring a history of human rights issues
  • William E. “Bill” Clark Presidential Park Wetlands – restored wetlands with a boardwalk
  • Clinton Presidential Park Bridge – 1899 steel truss bridge spanning the Arkansas River as part of the 14-mile Arkansas River Trail
  • Choctaw Station, Sturgis Hall – 1899 restored railroad station that houses the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, and the Clinton Foundation offices

The library’s website can be accessed here.

A glimpse of downtown Little Rock from Clinton Presidential Park

What is it?

Presidential libraries are part museum and part archives. In 1955, Congress passed the Presidential Libraries Act which, through establishment of the libraries, preserves documents and artifacts pertaining to our presidents. The 15 current presidential libraries are overseen by a division of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Hope, Arkansas

Our visit to the Clinton Library actually began 112 miles southwest of Little Rock with a stop at Bill Clinton’s birthplace in the small town of Hope, Arkansas. Hope is not only famous for being President Clinton’s hometown, but it is also the hometown of former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee. Huckabee ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2008 and 2016. Actress Melinda Dillon of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “A Christmas Story” fame is from Hope too. Hope’s next biggest claim to fame is that it is the watermelon capital of Arkansas. We think that’s a pretty decent resume for a town with less than 8,800 residents.

President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site

“In this house I learned to walk and talk. I learned to pray, I learned to read, and I learned to count by number cards my grandparents tacked on the kitchen window.” ~President Clinton, Dedication Speech at the Birthplace House in 1999.

Bill Clinton’s birthplace home

Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe, III, in 1946, just three months after his father’s death in an automobile accident. He and his mother, Virginia, lived in the home with her parents until Bill was four years old. The house, which is available for ranger-guided tours, represents a typical 1940s era home.

In 1950, Virginia married Roger Clinton, Sr. who owned an auto dealership in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The couple eventually divorced but remarried shortly thereafter. Bill had adopted Roger’s last name at a young age, however, when he was fifteen years old, he formally changed his last name to Clinton out of respect for his mother’s second marriage to Roger.

Link to the website: Clinton Birthplace

The Clinton Presidential Library

Oval Office replica

One of the library’s most popular exhibits is a full-scale replica of President Clinton’s Oval Office. A replica of the historic Resolute Desk, which was given to President Rutherford B. Hayes by Queen Victoria in 1880, is the centerpiece of the exhibit. The items on the desk actually sat on President Clinton’s desk in the White House Oval Office.

The Cabinet Room

Another of the library’s permanent exhibits, the Cabinet Room, is a replica of the meeting room where cabinet members as well as presidential advisors make decisions that affect our country.

Timeline exhibit

Features of the library include a timeline covering the highlights of Clinton’s presidency, as well as exhibits and documents regarding domestic and foreign policy, artifacts depicting life in the White House, and thousands of other items. In all, the collection includes over 100,000 objects and artworks. Additionally, the library’s archives include: 78 million pages of official records, 20 million emails, 2 million photographs, and 12,500 videotapes.

This photo shows a foreign policy display as well as one of the many cherry wood cabinets that are seen throughout the library and house over 4,500 boxes of documents and records.

Although we enjoyed all of the museum exhibits, our favorite was the extensive collection of gifts that were given to Bill and Hillary Clinton during his presidency. Perhaps the most notable object in the collection, though, is the 10-foot-tall Dale Chihuly blown glass sculpture, titled “Crystal Tree of Light”. Chihuly created the sculpture for the White House Millennium Celebration in 1999.

Crystal Tree of Light

Clinton Presidential Park

While we enjoyed the Clinton Presidential Library, we absolutely loved the park surrounding it. The grounds, which abut the Arkansas River, feature paths for walking and biking. Some paths, such as the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, connect to the 14.2-mile Arkansas River Trail as well.

The Clinton Presidential Park Bridge was originally a railroad bridge that dates to 1899. Renovations to convert the bridge to a pedestrian and cyclist pathway were completed in 2011.

Additionally, the William E. “Bill” Clark Presidential Park Wetlands provides a peaceful place to walk, learn, and reflect. The 13-acre green space preserves a variety of plants and serves as a riparian wildlife habitat.

William E. “Bill” Clark Presidential Park Wetlands

Thanks so much for joining us at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library! We are closing the post with a view of the Arkansas River.

Trivia: The McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System originates at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa, Oklahoma and runs 445 miles through Oklahoma and Arkansas to the Mississippi River. While the primary waterway is the Arkansas River, the navigation system also utilizes the Verdigris River in Oklahoma, the White River in Arkansas and the Arkansas Post Canal. The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is the farthest inland port in the United States, but remarkably, it isn’t the only port in Oklahoma. The city of Muskogee also has a port on the Arkansas River.

While you’re here, check out these other exciting road trip destinations:

Strawbery Banke Museum and Portsmouth, New Hampshire

National Route 66 Museum

Annapolis, Maryland and the United States Naval Academy


Travel safely, and we will see you on the road!

Mike and Kellye


As always, we strive to be as accurate with our information as possible. If we made a mistake, it was unintentional. (Hey, we’re only human!) We aren’t paid for our recommendations, and we only recommend our own tried and true vendors and venues. Our suggestions are for places that we’ve heard good things about but haven’t visited personally, and our opinions are our own.





44 thoughts on “Clinton Presidential Library

  1. An interesting post Kellye. So nice to see one of these libraries. Despite the different styles and ideologies, every president has a story. Love the Chihuly. We are big fans of this artist and managed to see his art display in SF in 2008. Have a great weekend. Allan

  2. This is a great post. The railroad bridge converted to a pedestrian walkway is a terrific idea, and I have always loved Dale Chihuly’s sculptural glasswork. Wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Arkansas is a really cool state. We live about 10 miles from the Missouri/Arkansas state line. We mostly hang out in NE Arkansas. Haven’t been to Little Rock. Didn’t know there was a mini Oval Office.

  4. Very interesting – we visited Jimmy Carter’s equivalent in Atlanta and found it super interesting. We’d love to visit more of them. I’d really enjoy learning more about Clinton’s presidency (it was somewhat overshadowed by the personal stories wasn’t it?). I also can’t get over that Dale Chihuly glass sculpture – what would you even do with it?! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Meg. We would love to visit more of the presidential libraries too. It said that Hillary commissioned two of them for the millenial celebration, but there is only one in the library. Makes me wonder what happened to the second one. Was it left at the White House as it should’ve been, or did it go home to New York with the Clintons?

  5. Thank you for this post! We are not all that far from Little Rock, and I need to add this to our list of places to visit. I enjoy learning about our presidents – it is an interesting way to learn history, too. Plus a bike path is there! There is a Dale Chihuly exhibit coming to the Missouri Botanical Gardens. May 2 – October 15. This is a must see for me! This is a great post! Thanks again.

    1. Thank you, Betty. Dale Chihuly is one of my favorite artists. We actually loved visiting Little Rock. It was never on our radar before this trip, but we’re glad we spent some time there. The parkway along the river is amazing!

  6. I know the focus of your visit to the Clinton Library was to learn more about the former president (which looks pretty cool), but did you try some watermelon in Hope? Apparently some of the largest watermelons in the world are grown there.

  7. I had no idea this place existed! I definitely learned a few things about Bill, especially from his early years. Amazing again that such a site includes his birth house, though I was expecting something grander somehow. Like the others I love the fact that the bridge is now a walkway.

    1. Thanks for checking out the post, Leighton. Clinton’s birthplace is actually about 100 miles from the library, but you know we can’t pass up a national park site so we stopped. There are 15 presidential libraries around the country. Two of them are in Texas – both father and son George Bush – but we haven’t been to those yet. One day soon hopefully.

  8. I’ve heard of this spot, but I loved reading about it! That is interesting his childhood home was turned into a museum. I think I would also like seeing all the gifts he received and exploring the park best too. I also would like to have some of those watermelons! 🙂

Leave a Reply