Earlier today, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library jointly released roughly 198 hours of Nixon White House tape recordings and approximately 30 cubic feet of textual materials from the White House Central Files. Today's release marks the 12th release of Nixon audio recordings since 1980.
The tapes, which were recorded in November-December 1972, document almost 1,400 conversations. Copies of the recordings will be available at both the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California and at the NARA Archives II research facility in College Park, Maryland. In addition, all of the recordings will eventually be digitized and added to the Nixon Library's Web site.
Some of the recordings are already available on the Nixon Library site. I haven't had the chance to listen to any of them yet, but, in the words of one journalist who has, our 37th President comes off as "ruthless, cynical, and profane."
The paper records released today are those of:
Wondering why some Nixon materials are in Yorba Linda and others are in College Park? It's a long story -- but one that ought to be of interest to archivists, particularly those working in government repositories.
Staff Member and Office Files of J. Fred Buzhardt, President Nixon’s attorney during the Watergate scandal, and Bryce Harlow, senior adviser and counselor to President Nixon. The opening will also include approximately 10 cubic feet of textual materials from the Jeb Stuart Magruder papers relating to his service on the Committee to Re-elect the President.
The collection pertaining to Mr. Buzhardt consists of approximately 65,600 pages reflecting his responsibilities as Special White House Counsel for Watergate Matters during the hearings of the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities and as the Administration’s legal authority on the White House tapes. These documents also reflect Buzhardt’s subsequent position of White House Counsel taking on additional duties unrelated to the President’s Watergate defense. This collection will be available only at the National Archives College Park, MD facility.
The collection pertaining to Mr. Harlow consists of approximately 4,450 pages that cover the period from November 1968 to January 1969 when Mr. Harlow served as the Assistant to the President with responsibility for Congressional Relations in the transition office of President-Elect Richard Nixon. This collection will be available only at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA.
The collection pertaining to Mr. Magruder consists of approximately 8,050 pages including correspondence to and from Magruder and John Mitchell, Director of the Committee to Re-Elect the President; materials relating to individual states; voting blocs; political strategies; and day to day operations of the Committee. This collection will be available only at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA.In addition, the Library is releasing approximately 3,500 pages of previously classified materials under the mandatory review provisions of Executive Order 12958, as amended, and approximately 7,000 pages of previously withdrawn materials from the files of Charles W. Colson; J. Fred Buzhardt; H.R. Haldeman; Patrick J. Buchanan; and John W. Dean. These records will be available only at the National Archives College Park, MD facility.