The papers of Herbert Hoover had been accumulating since 1919 at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. In 1960 Hoover decided to donate materials beginning with his time as Secretary of Commerce onwards to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. The papers are arranged into five groups.
Pre-Commerce materials reflect Hoover's life before his appointment as Secretary of Commerce in 1921. Subjects include: Stanford University, mining, engineering, the Commission for Relief in Belgium, the United States Food Administration, the Paris Peace Conference, the American Relief Administration, Hoover's 1920 presidential campaign, aviation, housing, coal, industrial waste, Industrial Conferences, and the Panama-Pacific Exposition.
Secretary of Commerce Files document Hoover's activities from 1921 to 1928, and contain both the official and personal files thoroughly intermixed. Subjects include: Alaska, Hoover's book American Individualism, the American Relief Administration, the reorganization of the Commerce Department, agriculture, foreign debt, 1927 Mississippi Flood relief, radio regulation, railroads, sugar, unemployment, and waterways. The Library also has holdings pertaining to the American Child Health Association and the Colorado River Commission.
Campaign and Transition material document Hoover's activities from his resignation as Secretary of Commerce through his inauguration. Subjects include: the 1928 presidential campaign, Hoover's goodwill trip to Latin America as President-elect, the Democratic National Committee, the Republican National Committee, and campaign literature.
Presidential materials form the largest group within the Hoover Papers and it is divided into eleven series: Files of Executive Departments, President's Subject Files, Files of Presidential Secretaries, Files of State Offices, Foreign Affairs Files, Presidential Files on Individuals, President's Committee on the Conversation and Administration of the Public Domain, Executive Orders and Proclamations, President's Personal Files, Press Relations Files, and Hoover Administration Accomplishment Files.
Post Presidential materials contain the record of Mr. Hoover's activities from the time he left the White House in March 1933 until his death in October 1964. These papers are arranged in four series.