From the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center website:
With the dawning of May 30, 1916, the nation’s first presidential library and museum was about to open its doors. Ohio, who would send seven of its native sons to the White House, had given birth to a unique concept, the forerunner of the modern presidential library system. On that special Decoration Day, it was quite appropriate that Webb C. Hayes, the library’s founder, and officials from the Ohio Historical Society shared the spotlight. Their untiring efforts and vision were responsible for making accessible to the American public one of the largest and most complete presidential collections known at that time. Twenty-one years later, Franklin D. Roosevelt, exploring the possibility of establishing his own presidential library, wrote:The work of many historians and other experts who specialize in particular periods of our history has, in times past, been greatly handicapped by lack of proper library facilities and access to original source materials.It seems to me that the extraordinary resources of the Hayes Memorial Library at Spiegel Grove State Park ought to make comparatively easy the task of scholars looking for material covering the Administration of President Hayes and the post Civil War period. I think it is particularly fitting that this comprehensive collection should include;[sic] besides President Hayes’ own library, his correspondence and other papers associated with his public life - a veritable gold mine for historical scholars.