Gerald R. Ford Museum
Exhibits, Events, Education Center

303 Pearl Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

616-254-0400 (tel)
616-254-0386 (fax)

e-mail
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Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm (Daily)
(Closed New Year's, Thanksgiving, & Christmas Days)



Gerald R. Ford Library
Research, Events, Small Exhibits

1000 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

734-205-0555 (tel)
734-205-0571 (fax)

e-mail
Ford Library Facebook Page

Hours: 8:45am-4:45pm (M-F)
(Closed Federal Holidays)




Ford Library Textual Collections
National Security Adviser's Files


Explanatory Notes
President Ford’s donated papers include 47 subcollections created by National Security Advisers Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft, their immediate staff, and the National Security Council staff. The subcollections total 340 feet of material, primarily covering 1974-77 but including significant materials covering portions of President Richard Nixon's administration. When you read the collection entries, please bear in mind these points:

  • Every collection that is fully open to research has its own finding aid--a narrative explanation and summation of contents plus a list of folder titles. Finding aids to open or partially open collections can be viewed by clicking on collection titles below.
  • Collection topics are mentioned selectively in order to illustrate contents. They are not comprehensive listings.
  • A parenthetical date, such as (1971) 1974-76, means that a small body of material is dated earlier or later than the bulk of the material.
  • Quantities (expressed here in linear feet of shelf space) can be translated roughly into 1 foot equals 2,000 pages.
  • In addition to the National Security Adviser's office files listed below, the Ford Library also holds the formal institutional records of the Ford National Security Council.
  • Some documents from unprocessed subcollections or unprocessed portions of subcollections are open to research as reporductions in the artificial collection Ford Library Project File of Documents Declassified Through the Remote Archives Capture (RAC) Program.
View list of other Ford Library collections, A-M or N-Z


BACKCHANNEL MESSAGES, 1974-77 (4 feet)
The file series “Martin Channel,” for especially sensitive communications between the White House and Ambassador Martin in Saigon, is open. The subcollection is otherwise closed pending archival processing.


KISSINGER REPORTS ON USSR, CHINA, AND MIDDLE EAST DISCUSSIONS, 1974-76 (2 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. It includes memoranda of conversations and related materials compiled for President Ford concerning Secretary Kissinger’s meetings with leaders of the Soviet Union, China, and Middle Eastern countries. The files also contain memoranda of conversations from President Ford’s meetings with Soviet leaders at the Vladivostok Summit and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and with Chinese leaders during his visit to Peking. Meeting summaries, Kissinger’s reports to the President, briefing papers prepared for Kissinger, drafts of agreements and communiqués, public statements, press releases, and press briefing transcripts round out the files. Important topics of discussion are SALT, CSCE, the Vladivostok Summit, President Ford’s visit to China and the normalization process, and the Sinai Disengagement Agreement between Egypt and Israel.
View the digitized reports.

KISSINGER-SCOWCROFT WEST WING OFFICE FILES, 1974-77 (16 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. An unusually rich file of material from the White House West Wing office of the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Included are communications at the highest levels between the United States and countries such as the Soviet Union, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Great Britain, France, West Germany, and China. Topics include the Vietnam War, arms control negotiations, détente, the Cyprus crisis, the process of normalizing relations with China, Middle East peace negotiations, status of Berlin, and the Kurds. Also administrative materials concerning National Security Council staffing, organization, and procedures.


LEGISLATIVE INTERDEPARTMENTAL GROUP FILES, 1971-74 (1976) (one foot)
The subcollection is fully processed. The LIG, which was most active 1971-72, coordinated the efforts of key agencies to deal with Congress on foreign affairs and defense matters.


MEMORANDA OF CONVERSATIONS, 1973-77 (8 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. The National Security Adviser’s staff created, from handwritten notes, transcript-like records of President Ford’s conversations with foreign officials and senior U.S. national security officials. The collection includes similar records for some of President Nixon’s conversations in 1973, as well.
View the digitized memoranda of conversations.

MICROFILM APERTURE CARDS: Documents filed in PA and WHCF, 1974-77 (3 feet)
Closed pending archival processing.


NSC DOCUMENT TRACKING SYSTEM: Printouts of tracking logs, 1974-77 (6 feet)
Closed pending archival processing.


NSC EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC AFFAIRS STAFF: Files, (1969) 1973-76 (17 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed and is comprised of the working files of Richard Solomon and his staff concerning U.S. relations with and events in specific countries in the Far East and Pacific Ocean; trips there by American officials; visits to the U.S. by Asian and Pacific leaders; U.S. territories in the Pacific; and meetings of the National Security Council, Washington Special Actions Group, and Senior Review Group.


NSC EUROPE, CANADA, AND OCEAN AFFAIRS STAFF: Files, 1974-77 (31 feet)
This subcollection is fully processed and is comprised of working files of A. Denis Clift and his staff concerning U.S relations with and events in specific countries in Europe and Canada, trips there by American officials, visits to the U.S. by European and Canadian leaders, and ocean policy.

NSC INFORMATION LIAISON WITH COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES: Files, 1974-77 (16 feet)
Vietnam War files are open. The subcollection is otherwise closed pending archival processing.


NSC INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AFFAIRS STAFF: Files, (1973) 1975-76 (6 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. Included are files of Robert Hormats and his staff re the Rambouillet and Puerto Rico economic summits, various bilateral economic relationships, and international economic policy.

NSC LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS STAFF: Files, 1974-77 (6 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed and is comprised of the working files of NSC staff Stephen Low, David Lazar, and Jon Howe.


NSC MEETING MINUTES, 1974-77 (one linear foot)
The subcollection is fully processed and includes detailed minutes, agendas, and/or background material for the 39 meetings of the National Security Council during the Ford administration. Topics include, for example, SALT, Middle East, southern Africa, Vietnam, the Mayaguez incident, defense policy, Panama Canal negotiations, and the intelligence community.
View images of minutes.

NSC MIDDLE EAST and SOUTH ASIAN AFFAIRS STAFF: Files, 1974-77 (34 feet)
Archival processing is in progress. Three series are currently open for research: Country File, Visits File, Subject File, Kissinger Trip Files, and Presidential Briefings Files. Please contact the Library for more information.


NSC PLANNING AND COORDINATION STAFF: Files, 1972-75 (2 feet)
Only Vietnam War files are open. The subcollection is otherwise closed pending archival processing.


NSC PRESS AND CONGRESSIONAL LIAISON STAFF: Files, 1973-76 (3 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. These files of Leslie Janka and Margaret Vanderhye primarily concern press guidance given daily to the White House press secretary, 1973-76, and memoranda of conversations and briefing papers from several Presidential-Congressional meetings.


NSC PROGRAM ANALYSIS STAFF: Files, 1969-77 (26 feet)
Only Micronesia files and a folder on naval force requirements are open. The subcollection is otherwise closed pending archival processing.


NSC STAFF SECRETARY: Files, (1973) 1974-77 (4.6 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. The collection consists of a fragmentary chronological file of outgoing correspondence and memoranda along with a small subject file. Although occasional minutes of meetings or memoranda of conversations appear, the material is mostly routine in nature and the bulk of it concerns administrative matters.


NSC VIETNAM INFORMATION GROUP: Intelligence and other reports, 1967-75 (5 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. It primarily includes State Department and CIA cables concerning: the Vietnam War; relations with the Saigon government; South Vietnam’s political climate, opposition groups, religious and ethnic groups, labor unions, corruption, and censorship; peace negotiations; North Vietnam’s military and economy; and events in Laos and Cambodia.


NATIONAL SECURITY STUDY MEMORANDA AND DECISION MEMORANDA, 1974-77 (less than one foot)
The subcollecion is fully processed. A Study Memorandum initiated a formal study of a U.S. national security concern. NSSM 238, for example, initiated a study of U.S. policy toward the Persian Gulf region. A Decision Memorandum, by contrast, articulated the basic tenets of U.S. national security policy on a given topic or area. NSDM 314, for example, addressed worldwide population growth. Over half of the NSSMs and NSDMs of the Ford administration have been declassified.
View NSSMs and NSDMs.

“OUTSIDE THE SYSTEM” CHRONOLOGICAL FILES, 1974-77 (2 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. It includes documents that were not logged into the NSC computer control number tracking system either because of the high sensitivity or routine nature of their content, or because of their time sensitivity. The documents cover a wide range of topics, including nuclear test ban and arms control treaty negotiations, arms sales, military assistance to Israel, the Middle East peace process, Angola, U.S. relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba, and reorganization of the intelligence community.


PRESIDENTIAL AGENCY FILES, 1974-77 (9 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. It contains material, organized by agency name, that relates to President Ford's involvement in specific policy decisions, budget and personnel matters, meetings, and issues affecting national security or diplomacy. The largest files concern Department of Defense, CIA, NATO, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.


PRESIDENTIAL BRIEFING MATERIAL FOR VIP VISITS, 1974-77 (9 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. It contains briefing materials prepared for President Ford’s meetings with visiting heads of state and government officials.  There were over 50 official visits, and the material covers a wide array of foreign policy topics.  Also included are materials relating to more routine aspects of preparations for visits by foreign dignitaries.


PRESIDENTIAL CORRESPONDENCE WITH FOREIGN LEADERS, 1974-77 (2 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. It includes a mix of routine and substantive letters and telegrams exchanged between President Ford and leaders of sixty-four countries. Substantive exchanges address such topics as Angola, the British financial crisis, economic summit meetings, Middle East peace process, OPEC, Cyprus, South Vietnam, NATO, and Soviet influence in Africa and Asia.
View the correspondence.

PRESIDENTIAL COUNTRY FILES FOR AFRICA, 1974-77 (3 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. It includes cables between U.S. embassies and the Secretary of State, memos of the National Security Adviser and NSC staff, and comparable material. Arranged primarily by country, with some topical folders.


PRESIDENTIAL COUNTRY FILES FOR EAST ASIA and the PACIFIC, 1974-77 (8 feet),
The subcollection is fully processed. It includes cables between U.S. embassies and the Secretary of State, memos of the National Security Adviser and NSC staff, and comparable material. Arranged primarily by country, with some topical folders.


PRESIDENTIAL COUNTRY FILES FOR EUROPE and CANADA, 1974-77 (9 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. It includes cables between U.S. embassies and the Secretary of State, memos of the National Security Adviser and NSC staff, and comparable material. Arranged primarily by country, with some topical folders.


PRESIDENTIAL COUNTRY FILES FOR LATIN AMERICA, 1974-77 (3 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. It includes cables between U.S. embassies and the Secretary of State, memos of the National Security Adviser and NSC staff, and comparable material. Arranged primarily by country, with some topical folders.


PRESIDENTIAL COUNTRY FILES FOR MIDDLE EAST and SOUTH ASIA, 1974-77 (14 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. It includes cables between U.S. embassies and the Secretary of State, memos of the National Security Adviser and NSC staff, and comparable material. Arranged primarily by country, with some topical folders.


PRESIDENTIAL FILES OF NSC LOGGED DOCUMENTS: Selected documents arranged by log number, 1974-77 (26 feet)
Micronesia, Mariana Islands, and Vietnam War files are open. The subcollection is otherwise closed pending archival processing.


PRESIDENTIAL NAME FILE, 1974-77 (one foot)
The subcollection is fully processed. It includes a miscellaneous correspondence on foreign affairs and security matters, received from people outside the U.S. government; and internal memos on personnel and other administrative matters.


PRESIDENTIAL SUBJECT FILE, 1974-77 (10 feet)
This subcollection is fully processed. It includes material on a wide range of national security and international relations topics such as, for example, Congressional relations, SALT, CSCE, energy, military aid and exercises, Indochina refugees, and food/food aid.


PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION FILE, 1974 (less than one foot)
The subcollection is fully processed. It includes messages to heads of state giving notice of the Nixon-Ford transition; planning for the messages; talking points for the new president's first meetings with foreign ambassadors; briefing papers for the new president summarizing foreign relations issues; summaries of world reaction; and a briefing book detailing US-USSR exchanges August 9 - November 5, 1974.


SAIGON EMBASSY FILES KEPT BY AMBASSADOR GRAHAM MARTIN: Copies made for the NSC, 1963-75 (1976) (4 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. Most of the material dates from the Nixon and Ford administrations, but there are earlier materials, including a file on the Diem coup in 1963. A chronological run of Backchannel cables between Ambassadors Bunker and Martin in Saigon and national security adviser Kissinger comprise most of the collection. Also included are briefing material for and reports about meetings with South Vietnamese officials, military situation and intelligence reports, and drafts of proposed peace agreements.


SCOWCROFT DAILY WORK FILES, 1974-77 (31 feet)
Closed pending archival processing.


STAFF ASSISTANT JOHN K. MATHENY FILES, 1975-76 (4 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. Material concerning his work as an assistant to Robert C. McFarlane, primarily in the area of NSC interactions with the congressional select committees on intelligence and Ford administration efforts to reform the intelligence community. Some materials on other topics appear, including a significant file on the administration’s self-evaluation of the handling of the Mayaguez incident.

STAFF ASSISTANT ROBERT McFARLANE FILES, 1974-77 (3 feet)
This subcollection is fully processed. A small subject file and a chronological file concerning various aspects of Robert C. (“Bud”) McFarlane’s work as an aide to Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft, and William Hyland. Major topics include his role in ensuring proper and adequate coordination of presidential decision papers, the 1975 intelligence investigations and the administration’s response, and NSC congressional relations during the early months of the administration.

STAFF ASSISTANT PETER RODMAN FILES, 1974-77 (less than one foot)
The subcollection is fully processed. It includes a chronological file and a fragmentary subject file concerning research projects, Rodman's handling of letters addressed to Kissinger or Scowcroft, and reminders to the National Security Adviser about matters requiring his attention. Notable items include a Kissinger-Asad (Syria) memorandum of conversation and maps associated with negotiation of the Sinai Accords.


TEMPORARY PARALLEL FILE OF ITEMS OPENED FROM UNPROCESSED FILE SERIES (1972) 1974-77 (less than one foot)
This artificial collection is composed of miscellaneous items that have become open to research from otherwise unprocessed portions of the National Security Adviser’s Files.


TRIP BRIEFING BOOKS AND CABLES OF HENRY KISSINGER, 1974-77 (18 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. This rich collection has two distinct facets.  The first relates directly to Kissinger’s trips, including briefing materials for meetings with foreign leaders and reports to the President on those meetings.  The second relates to cable traffic, on myriad foreign affairs topics, exchanged during the trip between Kissinger and his travel staff on one hand, and State Department and White House officials on the other hand.


TRIP BRIEFING BOOKS AND CABLES OF PRESIDENT FORD, 1974-77 (9 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. Its nucleus is briefing books prepared for President Ford in anticipation of his meetings with foreign leaders during his trips overseas.  The collection also includes materials pertaining to advance work and trip planning.  In addition there is White House and State Department cable traffic to and from the presidential travel party, including Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft, on important diplomatic and security developments unrelated to the trips.


TRIP CABLES OF BRENT SCOWCROFT, 1975-77 (2.5 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. It contains cables exchanged between Brent Scowcroft and National Security Council and White House staff members while he was traveling with the President.  Files contain White House Situation Room reports and memoranda concerning the ongoing work of the NSC.  Subject content relates to a wide variety of foreign policy and national security matters including Lebanon, the Korean tree incident, the Middle East, and Africa.  The collection also includes material relating to the 1976 presidential campaign.

WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM. EVENING REPORTS FROM NSC STAFF, 1976-77 (1 foot)
The subcollection is fully processed. It contains daily reports from each section of the National Security Council staff summarizing important foreign affairs/national security developments, afternoon summaries produced by the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and the Evening Notes compiled by White House Situation Room duty officers.  They cover most major world events from the last seven months of the Ford administration, but not in great detail.

WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM. FORMER PRESIDENT NIXON’S BRIEFINGS, 1974-77 (less than one foot)
The subcollection is fully processed. It contains periodic memoranda sent by the Ford White House to former President Richard Nixon containing reports and analysis of world events, often presenting the inside story based on various intelligence sources.  Each memorandum covers a one to two week period and is from ten to fifteen pages in length.


WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM. LOGS OF PRESIDENTIAL ACTIVITIES AND WORLD EVENTS, 1974-77 (less than one foot)
Closed pending archival processing.


WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM. NOON AND EVENING NOTES, 1974-77 (4 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. Situation Room duty officers produced frequent memoranda summarizing the latest international developments for National Security Advisers Kissinger or Scowcroft.  The memoranda were based on cable traffic, intelligence reports, and news media stories.


WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM. PRESIDENTIAL DAILY BRIEFINGS, 1974-77 (3 feet)
The subcollection is fully processed. National Security Advisers Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft sent to President Ford, almost daily, a short highly-classified memo of disparate “Information Items” drawn from intelligence and diplomatic sources (click here for an example).  They tell of developments in various countries, international negotiations, important events, and high-level conversations and correspondence.  The information is primarily reportive and analytical rather than a briefing on current or proposed U.S. actions.  The collection has no known relationship to the “Presidential Daily Briefs” of the Central Intelligence Agency.


WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM. SCOWCROFT’S MORNING NEWSPAPER SUMMARIES, 1976-77 (1 linear foot)
The subcollection is fully processed. In 1976, the Situation Room staff prepared these daily summaries of foreign affairs and security articles appearing in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Baltimore Sun.