May 25, 2022

Official Announcement: Barack Obama Foundation Selects Chicago as Home for Future Barack Obama Center and Presidential Library

From the Foundation:

The Barack Obama Foundation announced today that the future Barack Obama Presidential Center – which will include the library, museum, as well as office and activity space for the Foundation – will be located on Chicago’s South Side.

The Foundation – led by close family and friends of President Obama – will be responsible for all aspects of the building, construction, design, and planning processes for the Obama Presidential Center. In the coming months, the Foundation will look to enter into an agreement with the City of Chicago to develop the Center in either Washington Park or Jackson Park. As a future neighbor and collaborator on the Center, the University of Chicago has pledged to make resources and infrastructure available to the Foundation in the near term for its planning and development work.


In the months ahead, The Foundation will begin sketching out plans for the future Center, which will include the library, the museum and Foundation programs that will inspire new thinking and action. The facility will reflect President Obama’s values and priorities throughout his career in public service, including expanding economic opportunity, inspiring an ethic of citizenship, and promoting peace, justice, and dignity throughout the world. Accordingly, the Foundation will place a strong emphasis on community partnerships and opportunities for economic development, and intends to open offices on the South Side by the end of the year.

Today’s announcement also marks the beginning of a process to identify academic institutions, thought leaders, community partners, and other organizations with which the Foundation will partner to advance the Foundation’s mission. While the Foundation will aim to work with University of Chicago faculty, it also plans to collaborate with each of the three other finalist universities.

On the Obama Library

The Barack Obama Foundation and The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will work together in developing the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum as part of a larger Obama Presidential Center. The Obama Foundation will raise all of the funds needed for construction of the project; neither federal funds nor university funds will be used in the construction of the facilities.  When the construction is complete, the Foundation will transfer the Library and Museum to NARA, which will operate the Obama Library along with the 13 other Presidential Libraries.  The Foundation will be responsible for funding and operating the rest of the Center.   These plans build upon the longstanding public-private partnership between NARA’s Presidential Libraries and the private Presidential foundations.

Read the Complete Announcement

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama discuss the importance of Chicago, particularly the south side of the city, in this video supplied by the Obama Foundation.

Additional Materials
The University of Chicago has posted a number of material about the Obama Center and Library including this statement and a video of the announcement ceremony.

See Also: Welcome Chicago! (via NARA’s “Our Presidents” Tumblr Page)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.