March 22, 2006
National Archives Makes State Department Records Available Online
College Park, MD…For the first time, the National Archives and Records Administration has made available online more than 400,000 State Department telegrams and other records for 1973 and 1974. These digital records from the Department of State's Central Foreign Policy Files are publicly accessible at the National Archives web site at www.archives.gov/aad.
Files consist of telegrams determined to have permanent historical value, index references to paper documents created in 1974, and withdrawal notices for permanently valuable telegrams and index references which could not be released for national security or other reasons. Items include a report of a TV interview with former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan concerning the West Bank, a report of an interview with the Syrian Defense Minister discussing Israeli nuclear weapons, and a summary of possible French reactions to Indian nuclear testing.
Beginning in mid-1973, the State Department replaced its paper-based Central Foreign Policy Files, begun in 1906, with digitally-based files. The State Department began with recorded telegram traffic from the various Foreign Service Posts. In 1974, the State Department added to the telegram database indexing information on paper documents which were then microfilmed. Although these microfilmed documents are not now available online, paper copies can be obtained from the National Archives (for documents filmed in 1974 and 1975).
Access to these newly released electronic records is enhanced by the recent redesign of the National Archives Access to Archival Databases (AAD) system, a research tool that makes a selection of the Archives' most popular electronic records available to the public over the Internet.
AAD currently includes over 86 million electronic records from 48 series in 29 Record Groups and three collections of donated historical materials. AAD highlights include records of passengers who arrived at the Port of New York during the Irish Famine, records World War II Army enlistment and Prisoners of War, records of Japanese internment, and Awards and Decorations of Honor during the Vietnam Conflict.
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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.