The Roosevelts: an Intimate History

Use the Main Library to learn more about the Roosevelts.

On Sunday night PBS broadcast the first episode of Ken Burns’s latest documentary series, The Roosevelts: an Intimate History, documenting the lives and careers of Theodore Roosevelt, FDR, and Eleanor Roosevelt

Did you catch it? If you did, keep watching. The series is sure to whet your interest in all things Roosevelt. Your Main Library is a great place to learn more about this iconic American family. 

What can you find here? Plenty of books, of course, from the current bestseller, The Bully Pulpit  to Eleanor Roosevelt's 1938 This Troubled World, to Young Mr. Roosevelt: FDR's Introduction to War, Politics, and Life.  You'll find that some of the newer titles are also available as ebooks and audiobooks. 

Want something that isn't a book? FDR, TR, and ER have all been featured in PBS's American Experience series, among many other DVD titles. Want to hear a Fireside chat? We've got those, but you'll need an old-school cassette player to listen to them. You can even listen to an interview with Eleanor Roosevelt on the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in a vintage LP in our collection. 

As a depository library for government publications, we have federal government publications available for you, such as The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, documenting his years as president. 

Are you interested in more primary sources on the Roosevelts? Our Magazine and Newspaper Room has microfilmed copies of newspapers like the New York Times, Oakland Tribune, and San Francisco Chronicle that you can use to read about them as a newspaper reader would in, say, 1901 or 1942 or 1961.

One of FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt's sons, Elliott Roosevelt, became a mystery novelist in his later years, producing a popular series that featured his mother as a sleuth. We've got those, too. 

Our online resources are also rich with information about the Roosevelts, from Biography in Context to Online Archive of California

How does the researcher, like you, go about finding out about the Roosevelts? Start with the library catalog. The easiest thing to do is to enter a name, like Eleanor Roosevelt, into the search box. More advanced searches will direct you to the larger subjects that are part of the landscape of the Roosevelts. Subjects like the history of the national parks (search for National Parks and Reserves -- United States -- History) or the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations. General Assembly. Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- History). 

The Roosevelts are all around us. Happy searching! 


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