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Four universities make the short-list for Obama's presidential library

Chicago, New York and Honolulu have made the short list to host President Obama's future presidential library.

The Barack Obama Foundation, which is developing and raising money for the massive legacy project, announced Monday that it has selected four universities to compete for the library, culled from an initial list of 13 applications submitted earlier this year. The University of Hawaii, in Mr. Obama's birthplace Honolulu, made the cut, as did New York's Columbia University where Mr. Obama went to school. The University of Chicago, where Mr. Obama used to teach, and the University of Illinois at Chicago round out the list.

The four institutions will now have until December to submit formal, in-depth proposals detailing their vision for the library. The foundation's board plans to vet those proposals before presenting their recommendations in early 2015 to the president and First Lady Michelle Obama. The Obamas will then make the final decision.

"These four potential partners have come the farthest in meeting our criteria and have each demonstrated a strong vision for the future Obama Presidential Library," Marty Nesbitt, Mr. Obama's longtime friend and the board's chairman, said in a statement.

Who didn't make the cut? A handful of other Chicago-based groups, including activists in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood, a cultural landmark for African-Americans. Another bid from advocates who wanted to build the library at the former U.S. Steel South Works site alongside Lake Michigan.

The construction of modern presidential libraries is paid for with private funds, while their upkeep is paid for by U.S. taxpayers. There are 14 presidential libraries and museums in the system, which is administered by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

The libraries and museums, typically located in each president's home state, house vast archives of documents, records, artifacts and other presidential materials. Before the George W. Bush Presidential Center opened last year in Dallas, Texas, more than $500 million was raised for its construction.

If other presidential libraries are a guide, Mr. Obama's library may come with an accompanying presidential center, foundation or policy institute to help him coordinate humanitarian efforts and other activities after leaving office.