On May 16, 2019, Columbia University announced the Obama Foundation had selected the Columbia Center for Oral History to conduct the official oral history of the Obama presidency. The result of this collaboration will be a comprehensive, enduring record of the decisions, actions, and impact of this historic presidential administration.
“The pride we feel in counting President Obama as an alumnus involves much more than the recognition of his time as a student here many years ago. This is a relationship built on shared values and interests that is producing public spirited projects of enormous, even transformative, potential at Columbia," said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger.
Columbia Center for Oral History
The Columbia Center for Oral History, founded in 1948, is the country’s largest and oldest oral history archive, with more than 11,000 recorded interviews and over 25,000 hours of transcript. The collection is renowned for its diversity, including perspectives of people from the 1870s to present, from the experiences of former slaves to recollections of Supreme Court justices. Columbia is also home to the nation’s only graduate-level training program in the field of oral history.
Housed at the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE), Columbia University’s leading interdisciplinary social science research center, Columbia Oral History’s recent major works include projects to document how New Yorkers experienced September 11, the “Rule of Law” project to examine Guantanamo and civil rights law in the twenty-first century, and a history of the Council of Foreign Relations.
Research and Administrative Staff
Image Carousel with 4 slides
A carousel is a rotating set of images. Use the previous and next buttons to change the displayed slide
Slide 1: President Barack Obama visits a pre-kindergarten classroom at the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Georgia, February 14, 2013.
Slide 2: First Lady Michelle Obama and kids double-dutch jump rope during a taping for the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) challenge and Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play, on the South Lawn of the White House, July 15, 2011.
Slide 3: The First Family with Representative John Lewis and others walking across Edmund Pettus Bridge, March 7, 2015.
Slide 4: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama look out at the Chicago, Ill., skyline, June 15, 2012.