Obama Presidential Center

Historic Jackson Park on the South Side of Chicago will be the future home of the Obama Presidential Center

As long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on earth is my story even possible… But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts—that we are truly one out of many.  The Barack Obama Presidential Library is the 14th Presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), a federal agency.

Unlike other Presidential Libraries NARA administers, the Barack Obama Presidential Library will be the first fully digital library. An estimated 95 percent of the Presidential records of the Obama administration were born digital, such as photos, videos, word-processing documents, tweets, emails, and other common digital formats. NARA and the Obama Foundation will work together to digitize the unclassified textual Presidential records to create a digital archive. Archivist of the United States David Ferriero discussed the recent digitization Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NARA and the Foundation on his blog.

Following digitization, NARA will store and preserve the original records and the Obama administration artifacts in an existing NARA facility that meets NARA’s standards for archival storage. A dedicated staff at that location will be responsible for caring for the records and artifacts. (Currently, the Obama administration materials are housed in a temporary facility in Hoffman Estates, IL, which is not open to the public.)

NARA has compiled answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the new digital model for the Obama Presidential Library.

Obama’s Presidential records are administered in accordance with the requirements of the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and will not be subject to public Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests until January 20, 2022. NARA is committed to meeting all our obligations under the Presidential Records Act and FOIA. (The digitization and Presidential records review processes are separate and distinct.)

About the Obama Presidential Center

The Obama Foundation is constructing the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side in Jackson Park. The Center will be a privately operated, non-federal organization. A substantial number of items (records and artifacts) on display at the Obama Presidential Center will be loaned to the Obama Foundation by NARA, allowing visitors to engage with presidential materials . For the most current information on the Obama Presidential Center, visit www.obama.org .


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