News Notes for Ford Library Researchers - 2008

December 12, 2008
The Library has opened the audiotapes and complete transcripts for all interviews with President Ford that are part of the James M. Cannon Research Interviews and Notes. Previously only rough transcripts were available. Cannon used these interviews in writing his book Time and Chance: Gerald Ford's Appointment with History (1994). For more information about this collection, please consult the finding aid.

December 2, 2008
The Library has opened the Melvin Medema Correspondence with Gerald Ford. The letters date from throughout Ford's congressional career and cover a wide variety of issues. For more information see the collection finding aid.

November 17, 2008
The Library announced the list of recipients of Gerald R. Ford Foundation Research Travel Grants from the fall meeting of the grants screening committee.

November 7, 2008
The Library has opened to research the Ford Library Project File of Documents Declassified Through the Remote Archive Capture (RAC) Program. The collection is a copy set of all formerly classified documents opened, wholly or partly, since November 1, 2008 under the Remote Archive Capture (RAC) program described below.  Earlier RAC releases are not included.  The Project File includes copies from both processed and unprocessed collections.  It is intended as a convenience to researchers, affording expedited access to declassified information from unprocessed/closed collections.  It also allows returning researchers to more easily discover newly declassified information from previously processed/open collections.

RAC is an interagency program created to facilitate the declassification of 25-year old documents in presidential libraries.   Under RAC, approximately 275,000 pages of Ford Library classified material have been scanned to create digital copies.  These copies were then referred to Washington for declassification review by staff of participating government agencies.  This review is on-going, and new RAC “product” is delivered to the Library periodically. 

The approximately 4,700 pages that comprise the initial release are from both segments of the National Security Adviser files (Outside-the-System Chronological File, Memoranda of Conversations, NSC Europe, Canada, and Ocean Affairs Staff Files) and other Library collections (L. William Seidman Files, Arthur Burns Papers, Dale Van Atta Papers, Melvin Laird Papers).

November 6, 2008
Researchers may now borrow two tripod-mounted digital cameras to capture images of documents in the research room.  There is no charge for their use.  Researchers are still very welcome to bring their own digital cameras, a sharply rising trend in the past couple years.  Photocopy services remain available at standard National Archives fee rates.

November 5, 2008
The Library has opened to research Arthur Burns’ Handwritten Journals that he kept between January 20, 1969 and July 25, 1974 as he served as counsellor to President Richard Nixon and then Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

The journals document Burns’ personal account of private interactions, staff meetings, Quadriad meetings (meetings of Nixon administration economic policymakers), and his personal opinions of President Nixon, members of the cabinet, prominent administration officials, members of Congress, and other political players.  A few of the people discussed in the journal are Spiro Agnew, Anne Armstrong, Kenneth Cole, Charles Colson, John Connolly, John Ehrlichman, Len Garment, H.R. Haldeman, Henry Kissinger, Melvin Laird, William Safire, George Shultz, Herb Stein, and Paul Volcker.

The journals also document the development of administration policy on a whole range of economic, monetary, domestic, and foreign affairs issues. As one might expect, they contain quite a bit of discussion about banking, common markets, employment, exchange rates, federal budgets, finance, foreign investments, gold values, inflation, international monetary policy, presidential appointments, taxes, and wage and price policy.  

For more information and the container listing see the collection finding aid. The journals complement the Arthur Burns Papers, a separately donated collection.

October 6, 2008
The Library staff has compiled a new subject guide titled Core Collections on Energy Policy.

September 25, 2008
The Library has opened to research additional materials relating to U.S. relations with the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan from the Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files and the NSC East Asia and Pacific Affair Staff Files. The newly opened materials consist of documents showing direct communications between U.S. and China officials, 1973-75, and working files of the National Security Council staff members who focused on relations with China and Taiwan. The files cover a broad range of subjects within the context of the normalization process, including: the Vietnam War, détente and the Soviet Union, Taiwan, President Ford’s trip to China, domestic issues faced by both countries, Korea, the appointments and tenures of George H. W. Bush and Thomas Gates as Chiefs of the United States Liaison Office in Peking, and visits of U.S. congressional delegations to China. See a description of the Library's core holdings concerning China and Taiwan.

September 15, 2008
Deadline for the Gerald R. Ford Foundation Research Travel Grants. For more information about the grants contact William McNitt.

July 1, 2008
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is proud to announce that Adam M. Saunders has been chosen as the 2008 winner of the Gerald R. Ford Scholar Award in Honor of Robert M. Teeter.  Mr. Saunders is a doctoral student in Comparative Social Policy at Trinity College, University of Oxford and is completing his doctoral dissertation: Power and the Welfare State: The Political Economy of American and British Unemployment Insurance Reform, 1964-1986.  He is examining the role of government, business and unions in the reform of earnings-related unemployment insurance in the United States and Britain.  He explores why earnings-related benefits were introduced at the beginning of this period, why they were fundamentally changed by its end, and why contradictory measures in policy were undertaken in both countries. See additional information about this award.

June 1, 2008
The Library announced the list of recipients of Gerald R. Ford Foundation Research Travel Grants from the spring meeting of the grants screening committee.

April 3, 2008
The Library has opened to research the Mildred V. Leonard Files (8.4 feet). The bulk of the collection is routine personal correspondence between President Ford (or Mildred Leonard on his behalf) and his family, friends, colleagues, and former constituents.  Many of these letters are congratulatory in nature, but some also express opinions of the Nixon pardon and other events and policies and “get well soon” wishes for Mrs. Ford.   Access to the materials requires advance consultation with an archivist before a visit to the Library in order to request that specific folders be added to the Library’s review-for-access queue. For more information and the container listing see the collection finding aid.

March 15, 2008
Deadline for the Gerald R. Ford Foundation Research Travel Grants. For more information about the grants contact William McNitt.

February 22, 2008
The State Department Historian's Office recently has published the first five "Ford Administration" volumes in its Foreign Relations of the United States series. These are the first fruits of several years research in classified collections at the Ford Library by teams of State Department historians. The new volumes concern: China (1973-76); Cyprus-Greece-Turkey (1973-76); European Security (1969-76); South Asia (1973-76); and sub-Saharan Africa with exception of Southern Africa (1973-76).

All volumes are published online on the FRUS web site. For information about additional declassified materials at the Ford Library see the finding aids for the National Security Adviser's files or contact the Library by e-mail.

See News Notes for Ford Library Researchers for the year 2007