The Gerald R. Ford Library collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public a rich body of archival materials on U.S. domestic issues, foreign relations, and political affairs during the Cold War era. Current holdings include 25 million pages of memos, letters, meeting notes, reports, and other historical documents. Also there are one-half million audiovisual items, including photographs, videotapes of news broadcasts, audiotapes of speeches and press briefings, film of public events, and televised campaign commercials.
The 1974-77 presidential papers of Gerald Ford and his White House staff form the core collection. These are supplemented by the pre- and post-presidential papers of Gerald Ford, the papers of Betty Ford, collections of Federal records, and more. Former government officials have donated personal papers, researchers in the period have given copies of research interviews, and private individuals associated with the issues and events of the time have given their materials.
The Library serves students of all ages, scholars, mass media production staff, government officials, journalists, and others regardless of national citizenship. The Library is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the North Campus of the University of Michigan, Gerald Ford's alma mater (B.A., 1935).
The Library is part of the Presidential libraries system of the National Archives and Records Administration, a Federal agency. Unlike other Presidential libraries, the museum component is geographically separate from the library/archives. The Ford Museum is in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 130 miles west of Ann Arbor, in Gerald Ford's hometown and the congressional district he represented from 1949-73. Despite the separation, the library and museum are a single institution sharing one director.