National Security Archive
An independent non-governmental research institute and library located
at The George Washington University, the Archive collects and publishes
declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information
Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records
on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign,
intelligence, and economic policies of the United States. The Archive
won the 1999 George Polk Award, one of U.S. journalism's most prestigious
prizes, for--in the words of the citation--"piercing the self-serving
veils of government secrecy, guiding journalists in the search for
the truth and informing us all."
The Archive obtains its materials through a variety of methods, including
the Freedom of Information act, Mandatory Declassification Review,
presidential paper collections, congressional records, and court testimony.
Archive staff members systematically track U.S. government agencies
and federal records repositories for documents that either have never
been released before, or that help to shed light on the decision-making
process of the U.S. government and provide the historical context
underlying those decisions.
The Archive regularly publishes portions of its collections on microfiche,
the World Wide Web, CD-ROM, and in books. The Washington Journalism
Review called these publications, collectively totaling more
than 500,000 pages, "a state-of-the-art index to history."
The Archive's World Wide Web site, www.nsarchive.org, has won numerous
awards, including USA Today's "Hot Site" designation.
As a part of its mission to broaden access to the historical record,
the Archive is also a leading advocate and user of the Freedom of
Information Act. Precedent-setting Archive lawsuits have brought into
the public domain new materials on the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Iran-Contra
Affair, and other issues that have changed the way scholars interpret
those events. The Archive spearheaded the groundbreaking legal effort
to preserve millions of pages of White House e-mail records that were
created during the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations.
The Archive's mission of guaranteeing the public's right to know
extends to other countries outside the United States. The organization
is currently involved in efforts to sponsor freedom of information
legislation in the nations of Central Europe, Central and South America and
elsewhere, and is committed to finding ways to provide technical and
other services that will allow archives and libraries overseas to
introduce appropriate records management systems into their respective
The Archive's $2.5 million yearly budget comes from publication revenues,
contributions from individuals and grants from foundations such as
the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John
S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T.
MacArthur Foundation, and the Open Society Institute. As a matter of policy, the Archive seeks
no U.S. government funding.
For further information contact Thomas S. Blanton, Executive Director
of the National Security Archive.
To use the Archive's collections, search
www.nsarchive.org, visit our reading room at George Washington
University's Gelman Library, or ask your university or public library
to subscribe to the Digital National Security Archive published by