Notice to NARA Researchers and FOIA Requesters
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of our staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference or FOIA request or appeal. 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.
The artifact collections at the Barack Obama Presidential Library consist of more than 35,000 objects that are preserved, documented, and interpreted for research and exhibition at our curatorial storage facility.
The collections encompass works of fine art, cultural artifacts, books, clothing, domestic furnishings, sporting equipment, and other materials that represent the era and accomplishments of the Obama Administration. These materials were predominantly gifted to President and Mrs. Obama by Foreign Heads of State and private citizens.
You may view highlights from our collections, including gifts from world leaders as well as charming and whimsical items handmade by private citizens, in the Highlights Gallery below.
Information requests, research inquiries, loan requests, and donations related to the library’s artifact holdings may be submitted via email using the address provided below in Contact Us.
While our curatorial facility is not open to the public, we do have an active outgoing loan program. If your research request pertains to any artifacts that you wish to request for loan for exhibition purposes, please refer to the National Archives guidance for Borrowing NARA Holdings for Exhibition before contacting us. Please submit the request via email.
Donate to the Collection
The Barack Obama Presidential Library actively accepts selected donations for its artifact collections. Before we accept an item into the collection, it is carefully reviewed by the artifact and library staff. When emailing us, please provide as much detailed information as possible, including photographs and a statement that explains the relevance to President Barack Obama.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Artifact Collection” in the subject line for general inquiries, loan requests, and offers to donate. When submitting a request, include your contact information and as much detail as possible, such as dates and photographs of relevant objects and documents, so we may best address your inquiry. The artifact staff evaluates requests and replies within ten business days.
A blue nomex jacket with seven embroidered patches and a pin commemorating various flights of NASA's space shuttle program. An American flag patch is also on the left shoulder and the NASA logo can be seen on the front.
Jacket, Artifact # DO126964; H 5568 x W 3712 (12.4 x 18.6 in)
A soapstone sculpture by First Nations artist Leo Arcand depicting the profile of an eagle with half of a man's face in the center. Gift of Canada.
“Courage,” Artifact # FO116558; H 2545 x W 1681 pixels (8.5 x 5.6 in)
A mechanical bird music clock made by music box atelier Reuge of Sainte-Croix, Switzerland, and modeled after a common chiffchaff. Gift of the State of Qatar.
“The Common Chiffchaff,” Artifact # FO111279; H 5194 x W 3556 pixels (21.6 x 14.8 in)
A sterling silver honey jar with lid and dipper by Tiffany and Co. The jar is decorated with a band of honeycomb patterns, and the lid has the First Lady’s honey bee symbol as a handle.
Honey Jar, Artifact # 2017255; H 2200 x W 2033 (9.1 x 8.4 in)
A traditional Maori weapon by New Zealand artist Aden Hoglund with a short broad-bladed club and carved from New Zealand greenstone. Gift of New Zealand.
Club, Artifact # FO.08092011.14.1; H 3712 x W 5568 pixels (12.4 x 18.6 in)
A decorative ulu made of baleen and antler on a wooden display base. An image of an orca is carved onto the baleen, and a circular piece of antler serves as the handle.
Sculpture, Artifact # DO.715057.14; H 3433 x W 3481 pixels (11.4 x 11.6 in)
A painting depicting the White House at night with X-wing Starfighters from Star Wars in the sky, along with fireworks. The painting is framed in a gold rococo style frame with navy and maroon matting.
“Star Wars - WORLD PEACE,” Artifact # DO.123237; H 756 x W 1075 (7.9 x 11.2 in)
A black and silver signing pen used to sign H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The pen is a Cross brand rolling ball pen with a silver presidential seal and signature on the barrel.
Pen, Artifact # 2017.5.19; H 3712 x W 5568 (47 x 31 in)
Two small metal crosses made out of cartridge cases from the civil war in Liberia and later purchased as souvenirs in Monrovia, Liberia, by Ambassador Swanee Hunt. Amb. Hunt gifted these to Council Executive Director Tina Tchen as a thanks for the 2009 creation of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
Liberia Metal Crosses, Artifact # 2018.1.191; H 1885 x W 2649 (6.3 x 8.8 in)
A sample golden egg from the 2016 Annual White House Easter Egg Roll. One side has President and Mrs. Obama’s signatures and a jumping rabbit logo on the other side.
Easter Egg, Artifact # 2018.1.231; H 3712 x W 5568 (47 x 31 in)
A ceramic soup bowl set designed with different animal motifs was displayed in the First Lady’s Office on the East wing of the White House.
Ceramic Bowl Set, Artifact # DO.036821; H 2073 x W 3129 (11.5 x 17.4 in)
A Steuben Design crystal baseball with the Washington Nationals logo displayed on the surface. The black aluminum base was inscribed to commemorate the 2010 Opening Day.
Sculpture, Artifact # DO.753153; H 1341 x W 1491 (4.4 x 4.9 in)
A wooden carving of an adult elephant walking with its calf. Gift of the State of South Sudan.
Wooden Figurine, Artifact # FO.093607; H 3000 x W 4000 (16.7 x 22.2 in)
A scroll painting depicting scenes from Beijing, China, along with a gold key on a white marble stand engraved with English words and Chinese characters. Gift from the People’s Republic of China.
Scroll, Artifact # FO.101628; H 2217 x W 3871 (12.3 x 21.5 in)
A figurine of a bronze Carabao water buffalo pulling a stone cart with a driver on a granite base. Gift from the Republic of the Philippines.
Figurine, Artifact # FO.118254; H 1776 x W 2724 (9.9 x 15.1 in)
A “Votes for Women” sash with dark gold, white, and purple colors representing the American Women’s Suffrage movement.
Sash, Artifact # 2018.1.100; H 4786 x W 3829 (12 x 15 in)
Janet Kavandi, Director of Flight Crew Operations at Johnson Space Center, presents President Obama with a jacket during a drop by with the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis in the Oval Office, Nov. 1, 2011. The jacket features patches from several past space shuttle missions. Pictured in the background, from left, are: Pilot Doug Hurley, Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus, Commander Chris Ferguson and Mission Specialist Rex Walheim.
We invite you to explore highlights from the Barack Obama Presidential Library's artifact collection. We hope you enjoy the virtual tour of specially curated artifacts.