Press/Journalists

Press Advisory
June 28, 2007

Nixon Library to Become Part of the National Archives Presidential Library System and to
Release Formerly Withheld Nixon Special Political Documents and Tapes

What:  The legal transfer on July 11, 2007, of the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace from the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation to the National Archives. The new Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum joins the existing 11 presidential libraries within the federal system, from President Hoover through President Clinton. The Nixon Library will open at 8 AM (PDT) for remarks by Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and others, followed by the opening of the research room and media tours. Newly-released tapes and documents will be available in Yorba Linda, CA. Newly-released tapes will also be available in College Park, MD.

  • Paper Opening:   On July 11, the new Nixon Library will open approximately 78,000 pages of previously withheld materials. Approximately 58,000 pages come from the Special Files, which were created by the Nixon White House to segregate the most sensitive information from the White House Central Files. Included in the Special Files are the Presidentís personal files, his office files, and the files of his closest aides such as John Dean, H.R. Haldeman, Charles Colson and John Ehrlichman. The remaining approximate 20,000 pages are from the White House Central Files.

    The materials being released on July 11 were returned to President Nixon and his heirs by the National Archives because they did not relate to the statutory duties of the President nor to abuses of governmental power, as defined by the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act (PRMPA) of 1974, and its implementing public access regulations. As part of the Agreement between the National Archives and the Nixon Foundation governing the transfer of the Nixon Library to the National Archives, the Foundation has agreed to donate these important materials to the National Archives for their release to the public. Thanks to an agreement with the Nixon Foundation, NARA archivists were permitted to process these materials in advance so that they could be opened on the day of transfer.

    These materials provide new insight into the political strategies of the Nixon White House and Nixonís 1968 and 1972 presidential campaigns. They also shed new light on Richard Nixonís role as a political strategist, analyst and tactician. The materials include correspondence with many important politicians and public figures, including George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, Dwight Eisenhower, Billy Graham, and Roger Ailes.

  • Tape Opening:   The July 11 opening of 165 tape recorded conversations, totaling approximately 11 Ĺ hours, also includes political information that can be released now because of the transfer agreement. These conversations, which were recorded between November 3, 1972, and November 19, 1972, took place in the Oval Office, in the Presidentís Old Executive Office Building (EOB) office, and on certain telephones in the Oval Office, the Presidentís EOB office, and in the Lincoln Sitting Room in the residence of the White House. The tapes focus on the 1972 Presidential and Congressional elections and plans for the reorganization of the Presidentís second term administration. This is the first partial release of the fifth chronological segment (November 1972 to July 1973) of Nixon White House tapes. The Nixon Foundation, as part of the transfer agreement, is donating to the National Archives approximately 800 hours from the Nixon White House Tapes previously removed from the tapes according to the PRMPA and its implementing public access regulations. All future releases will include the donated political conversations. The National Archives intends to release the remaining tapes from November 1972 in mid-2008.

  • Web Site Unveiling:  On July 11, the new National Archives Nixon Library web site, www.nixonlibrary.gov, will be unveiled.

Who:  Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein, Assistant Archivist for Presidential Libraries Sharon Fawcett, and Director of the new Nixon Presidential Library Timothy Naftali. Experts on both the tapes and documents will be available to the media for assistance. For questions regarding tapes, contact the College Park staff of the Nixon Library at nixon@nara.gov or 301-837-2070. For questions regarding documents, contact the Nixon Library staff in Yorba Linda at 714-983-9121.

Where:  Selected documents and conversations from all of the newly-released tapes will be available on the web at: www.nixonlibrary.gov. All of the newly-released tapes and newly-released documents will be available for research in the research room at the Nixon Library at 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, CA. The tapes will also be available at the National Archives at College Park at 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD.

When:  Conversations from the tapes and the selected documents will be available online at 8 AM (PDT)/11 AM (EDT). All of the newly-released documents will be available for research at 9 AM (PDT) at the Nixon Library, Yorba Linda, CA. The tapes will be available at 9 AM (EDT) at the National Archives at College Park.

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For press information please contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at (202) 357-5300.

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