Restricted Information

What Kind of Information is Restricted?

Materials in the Library are available on an equal basis to all researchers. However, researchers will find portions of some processed manuscript collections closed either in accordance with restrictions imposed by the donors or by government regulations. Furthermore, some manuscript collections described in the list of holdings have not yet been processed and opened to research, while other collections have been only partially processed and opened.

General categories of material closed at present include papers containing information the disclosure of which would endanger the nation's security or injure living persons. Descriptions of restricted documents may be found on "withdrawal sheets" in the file folders from which such material has been removed. Researchers having questions about the availability of specific collections should write to the Library.

Some portions of oral history interviews are also closed in accordance with the wishes of the donors. When an entire interview is closed, or advance permission is required in order to use transcripts, the restriction is noted in the list of oral history transcripts. Researchers desiring to use transcripts should write to the Library and inquire about specific restrictions.

Under the provisions of Executive Order 12958 as Amended by Executive Order 13292, researchers may request a mandatory declassification review of security classified materials in the custody of the Library. Such requests must be made in writing and must describe the material to be reviewed in sufficient detail to enable the Library staff to identify it. The Library will provide instructions concerning procedures to be followed in initiating requests for mandatory review of classified materials.

Provisions of the Freedom of Information Act are not applicable to donated historical materials accessioned by the Library. However, the Library does have in its custody a small quantity of federal records, portions of which are closed by statute or agency restrictions, to which the FOIA does apply. Persons wishing to initiate requests for access to closed federal records under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act should consult with the Library staff.