Press/Journalists

Press Release
December 20, 2004

National Archives Opens Additional JFK Assassination Materials

College Park, MD. . .The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is announcing the release of additional materials relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The records being released are documents recently re-reviewed and processed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Under the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) determined that certain records should be released incrementally on specific years. The CIA has chosen to re-review and process all records the Assassination Records Review Board voted to open through 2010. As a result, over 4000 documents that previously were partially redacted are now released in full. An equal number are released in part with fewer redactions than in previous versions. Newly released information ranges from one word to a paragraph or more per document.

All of the documents are filed in series previously transferred to NARA, including Lee Harvey Oswald's 201 file, the Segregated CIA files, the CIA Miscellaneous files and the Russ Holmes files, as well as documents with CIA equities from the records of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. The documents have been interfiled in their appropriate location. Each of the record identification forms (RIFs) describing the newly released documents have been copied to provide researchers with a finding aid to the newly released documents.

The documents are located at the National Archives in College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD. Research Room hours are Monday and Wednesday, 8:45 AM-5 PM; Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 8:45 AM-9 PM; Saturday, 8:45 AM- 4:45 PM. Clean search room rules apply.

BACKGROUND
John F. Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963. Almost 30 years later, hoping to allay lingering doubts about the circumstances surrounding that event, Congress enacted the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act. On October 26, 1992, President George Bush signed the bill into law (PL 102-526). One provision of the law mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The clear intent of the law was to open most of the records for research.

The Act defined five narrow categories of information whose release could be postponed and established the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) to consider all agency decisions to postpone the release of records. Records initially postponed by an agency remained in the custody of that agency until the Review Board evaluated those records and decisions. Once the Board completed its review of the agency's recommendations for postponement, all records, including those that are closed, were to be transferred to NARA. The transfers of the last records reviewed by the ARRB are still taking place at this time. The Act requires that all assassination-related records be opened by 2017, with the exception of documents certified for continued postponement by the President. On December 28, 1992, the National Archives and Records Administration established the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection. The Collection consists of approximately 5 million pages. Even though the Assassinations Records Review Board has gone out of existence, additions are being made as agencies continue to review records identified as relevant and transfer newly opened records to the National Archives of the United States. The Collection may not be complete for several years.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-501-5526 or 301-837-1700.

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