Photostatic copies of notes taken by White House staff members during senior staff meetings. Ford Library staff assembled these documents from several individual collections at the Library. The notes are arranged chronologically, and a folder of background material begins the collection.

2.5 linear feet (ca. 2,000 pages)

For the donor of any given document, consult the guide to the collection where the original document is located.


Consult the guide to the collection where the original document is located.

Prepared by Frank Mackaman and Jennifer Sternaman, October 1993
[s:\bin\findaid\white house senior staff meeting notes files.doc]


Although the frequency varied, the senior White House staff met about three times weekly, usually for 30 minutes, during the Ford Administration. The meetings were informal, with no agendas apparently prepared and no formal minutes recorded, and could include office principals or their "alternates."

To make documentation of these meetings more accessible, archivists searched the individual collections at the Library and copied scattered meeting notes prepared by White House staff. That search produced information for 11 meetings in 1974, 102 in 1975, 203 in 1976, and 11 in 1977.

The quality of the notes varies considerably. In most cases, they are cryptic, listing perhaps only the topics discussed. Occasionally, the notes associate more extensive remarks with individuals. Often, only one set of notes exists for a particular meeting, although there are many meetings, especially in 1976, when two or more staff members' notes exist. Topics include legislative strategy, press relations, public policy issues, political campaigns, and White House administration.

The following collections produced the most comprehensive or numerous notes: James M. Cannon Files, Ron Nessen Papers, John W. "Bill" Roberts Papers, and the Margita E. White Papers. Scattered notes appeared in the files of Philip W. Buchen, Dean Burch, Richard B. Cheney, Kenneth R. Cole, James Connor, Jerry Jones, John Marsh, L. William Seidman, and White House Central Files (FG 6-11-2).

It is likely that additional meeting materials may be found elsewhere in the Library's holdings, and they will be added to the series. In some cases, it is difficult to attribute handwritten notes to specific meetings. For example, Kenneth R. Coles's files contain extensive handwritten notes, but most are not identified by meeting and were not copied for this series.


Box 1 - Meeting Notes Files

  • Undated
  • August 16, 1974 - October 15, 1975

Box 2 - Meeting Notes Files

  • ca. October 16, 1975 - February 13, 1976

Box 3 - Meeting Notes Files

  • February 16, 1976 - May 28, 1976

Box 4 - Meeting Notes Files

  • June 1, 1976 - August 30, 1976

Box 5 - Meeting Notes Files

  • September 1, 1976 - January 18, 1977