Notice to NARA Researchers and FOIA Requesters
While COVID-19 occupancy limits for NARA staff and researchers have been lifted as of April 2022, you may still continue to experience delays in receiving responses to your requests. We apologize for this inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding and patience. Read more on how NARA is addressing COVID- 19 (coronavirus): https://www.archives.gov/coronavirus.
About the Library
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 administered by NARA, plans are for the Barack Obama Presidential Library to be the first fully digital presidential 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 had intended to work together to digitize the unclassified textual Presidential records to create a digital archive. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted these plans.
NARA will process textual records in a traditional manner, with archival staff processing responsive textual records requested via FOIA from the textual record. NARA will then digitize these processed records in the same manner records are digitized at other Presidential Libraries as part of the FOIA review and access process. Digitization of these processed records will occur after review/notification has been completed. The paper records will continue to be preserved as permanent records after digitization is complete.
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. The 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.
Obama Presidential records are administered in accordance with the requirements of the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and became subject to public Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on January 20, 2022. NARA is committed to meeting all our obligations under the PRA and FOIA. The digitization and Presidential records review processes are separate and distinct.
For more information about the Obama Presidential Library, please see NARA's FAQ.
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. NARA will loan a substantial number of items (records and artifacts) on display at the Obama Presidential Center to the Obama Foundation, allowing visitors to engage with presidential materials.
For the most current information on the Obama Presidential Center, visit www.obama.org.