Barack Obama Presidential Library - qualification applications all in
A statement has been issued about the responses to the request for qualifications to host the Barack Obama Presidential Library.
Martin Nesbitt, Chair of The Barack Obama Foundation said: "We appreciate the time, effort, and planning that have gone into the 13 responses we've received to the Foundation's Request for Qualifications. These ideas will ultimately help us build a library that reflects President Obama's priorities and values throughout his life and career, and makes our whole nation proud. We will run a level and fair process to evaluate how well each response captures the vision and goals of the future Obama Presidential Library, and based on what we see, the Foundation will identify a short-list of potential partners to receive a Request for Proposal later this summer."
The request for qualifications was issued in March. This request was intended primarily to solicit a response from an institution of higher learning, not-for-profit organization, private developer, or municipality that wishes to sponsor, develop, and maintain a multi-unit facility to be known as the Barack Obama Presidential Library.
The document included a set of guiding principles consistent with the president's legacy and the future aspirations of the Barack Obama Foundation.
The National Archives was established in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt, and the presidential library system formally began in 1939 when he donated his personal and presidential papers to the Federal Government.
At the same time, Roosevelt pledged part of his estate at Hyde Park to the United States, and friends of the President formed a non-profit corporation to raise funds for the construction of the library and museum building.
In 1950, Harry S. Truman decided that he too would build a library to house his presidential papers and helped to galvanize congressional action. In 1955, Congress passed the Presidential Libraries Act, establishing a system of privately erected and federally maintained libraries.
The Act encouraged other presidents to donate their historical materials to the government and ensured the preservation of presidential papers and their availability to the American people. Under this and subsequent acts, more libraries have been established.
In each case, funds from private and non-federal public sources provided the funds to build the library. Once completed, the private organization turned over the libraries to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to operate and maintain.
Until 1978, presidents, scholars, and legal professionals held the view dating back to George Washington that the records created by the president or his staff while in office remained the personal property of the president and were his to take with him when he left office. The first presidential libraries were built on this concept.
NARA successfully persuaded presidents to donate their historical materials to the government for housing in a presidential library managed by NARA.
The Presidential Records Act of 1978 established that the presidential records that document the constitutional, statutory, and ceremonial duties of the president are the property of the United States Government. After the President leaves office, the archivist of the United States assumes custody of the records. The Act allowed for the continuation of presidential libraries as the repository for presidential records.
The Presidential Libraries Act of 1986 also made significant changes to Presidential Libraries, requiring private endowments linked to the size of the facility. NARA uses these endowments to offset a portion of the maintenance costs of the library.
To read the criteria in the Foundation's Request for Qualifications and see the site selection timeline, go to: http://www.obamapresidentialfoundation.org/pdf/rfq.pdf
For up-to-date information about the Foundation and President Obama's future library, visit http://obamapresidentialfoundation.org, or follow @44Foundation on Twitter.
- Story compiled with files from the Obama Foundation