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Maarja Krusten <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 12 Jun 2018 15:47:21 -0400
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Thank you for your question, Michael.  That's exactly why I'm here, to help clarify these 
issues.  Appreciate your asking. There indeed will be no Obama Presidential Library 
associated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) or any other 
entity. The announcement of a new way of handling Barack Obama's Presidential Records 
Act (PRA) materials dates back a year ago to last Spring.  Here is the May 2017 NARA public 
notice about it:  

I also cover some some of the issues related to this new way of handling the Obama PRA 
materials in my recent blog post.

As you can see, the National Archives will hold the Obama PRA materials in its existing 
facilities and NARA not be administering a separate private Obama Presidential Center 
planned for Chicago.  You may recall reporting or debate about an Obama Presidential 
Center in news reports or online discussions on Social Media and elsewhere.  Some of the 
reporting and commentary does not make it clear that the Obama Presidential Center is 
*not* an archival facility in the sense that Presidential Libraries for Presidents Hoover 
through G. W. Bush are.  You can find information about the Obama Presidential Center at 
the website of the private foundation:

The National Archives staff working with Obama records are and will be working under 
similar conditions to those in which I worked for NARA in the past, aside from the 
digitization effort. The National Archives' Nixon Presidential Materials Project operated out of 
existing NARA space in the Washington, DC area from 1977 until 2007.   That's where I 
worked with the Nixon White House tapes and files as a NARA archivist.  I was a member of 
an organizational unit reporting to the National Archives' Office of Presidential Libraries, not 
a presidential library. There was no NARA administered Nixn presidential library until 2007.

The National Archives is a good source of information on many complex archives and 
records management issues that reporters or opinion writers sometimes conflate or seem to 
struggle to convey accurately.  And I'm always happy to answer 
questions about NARA or Presidential Records Act or Federal Records Act issues or to direct 
you to reliable sources (people working with me at NARA or online links).

THanks again!

[log in to unmask]
Washington, DC
Blog:  Archival Explorations

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