Press Release
July 14, 2003

The National Archives Opens Additional National Security Council Files Relating to the Nixon Presidency

College Park, MD. . . The National Archives and Records Administration has announced that it will open approximately 180,000 pages of materials from the Nixon Presidential Materials Staff on Thursday, July 17, 2003, beginning at 9 A.M. in Conference Room D at the National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD.

These newly declassified documents are from the National Security Council (NSC) Institutional Files. These records were part of an ongoing collection that the NSC maintained, dating from the Eisenhower administration. They were retained by the NSC for purpose of continuity of government, and transferred to the physical and legal custody of the National Archives and Records Administration at the end of the Clinton administration. The National Archives placed the records in the Presidential library of the relevant President, as well as in the Nixon Presidential Materials. The NSC Institutional Files are Presidential records, subject to access and disclosure under the Presidential Records Act (PRA).

This release includes:

    Files pertaining to the organization, administration and functions of internal NSC committees, panels, study groups, and similar bodies. Included in this series are the meeting files of the Vietnam Special Studies Group.

    Files documenting meetings of National Security Council committees and organizations. Material consists of schedules of meetings, lists of attendees, agendas, talking points, background materials, and summaries of conclusions and/or recommendations. Included in this series are meetings of the Verification Panel, NSC, Senior Review Group, Washington Special Action Group, and Defense Program Review Committee.

    Minutes of meetings of the Verification Panel, National Security Council, Senior Review Group, Washington Special Action Group, Defense Program Review Committee, and the Vietnam Ad Hoc Group.

    Formal directives by the President directing that studies be undertaken for discussion by the NSC. This series includes documents known as National Security Study Memorandums (NSSM). A typical file includes background papers, input from various agencies, drafts, comments, memoranda, and the directive itself.

    Formal directives used to establish policy and inform departments and agencies of presidential decisions and their responsibilities in carrying them out. This series includes documents known as National Security Decision Memorandums (NSDM). A typical file includes background memoranda, submissions from the various departments involved, drafts, memoranda to the President, presidential approvals, and the signed policy paper. Some files include narrative background and history for the papers.

    Files documenting the Under Secretaries Committee activities regarding specific studies and recommendations. This series has two distinct sub-series: Study (Pre-Decisional) Memorandums: Files relating to specific studies assigned to and carried out by the Committee. Files consist of statement of issue, tasking memoranda to various offices, inputs from these offices, and draft Under Secretary Committee positions. Decision Memorandums: Final position papers prepared by the Under Secretaries Committee for the National Security Council and responding to specific issues.

    Documentation relating to overt intelligence matters or activities. The Nixon collection contains files relating to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) and the Committee on Internal Security (CIS). The files contain 1969-70 correspondence between the NSC and key Nixon administration officials, and relate to sensitive national and international intelligence issues.

    Files maintained by the NSC Staff Secretary. These files include correspondence, reports, memoranda, minutes of meetings. Also included are the Staff Secretary's NSDM Working Files and the NSC Decisions Index.

    Files documenting the functions and activities of the National Security Council, including its intelligence and housekeeping functions. The following sub-series are included in the Miscellaneous files: NSC System, Administrative Files, Subject Files, and History Files.

Additional information about these newly declassified National Security Council (NSC) Institutional Files can be found at

All researchers, including the media, must have a valid National Archives research card prior to gaining access to the records. These may be obtained from Room 1000. A photo ID is required The Research Room opens at 8:45 a.m., Monday through Saturday. It closes on Monday and Wednesday at 5 p.m.; on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 9 p.m.; and on Saturday at 4:45 p.m. Personal property, i.e. notebooks, briefcases, purses or fountain pens, is not allowed in the research room. Lockers are available. Debit cards may be purchased for the photocopying machines. Due to parking limitations during openings, researchers are encouraged to use the National Archives shuttle bus service between the Washington, DC, and College Park, MD buildings. The shuttle buses depart from both buildings 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on the hour.

For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 301-837-1700.


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