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President's Personal Files, White House Special Files, 1969-1974
595291  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Additional collection guides

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: President's Personal Files, White House Special Files, 1969-1974
    Dates: 1969-1974
    Collection Number: 595291
    Creator/Collector: United States. President (1969-1974 : Nixon)
    Extent: 84 linear feet, 5 linear inches; 193 boxes
    Online items available
    Repository: Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
    Abstract: This file is so named because it was maintained by the President's personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods, and includes documents that the President personally considered. It includes: transcripts of memoranda dictated by the President, correspondence with long-time supporters of the President, speech files, and social files.
    Language of Material: English

    Access

    Collection is open for research. Some materials may be unavailable based upon categories of materials exempt from public release established in the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974.

    Publication Rights

    Most government records are in the public domain; however, this series includes commercial materials, such as newspaper clippings, that may be subject to copyright restrictions. Researchers should contact the copyright holder for information.

    Preferred Citation

    President's Personal Files, White House Special Files, 1969-1974. Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

    Acquisition Information

    These materials are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-526, 88 Stat. 1695) and implementing regulations.

    Biography/Administrative History

    The President's Personal File is essentially a President's secretary's file, kept by Rose Mary Woods, personal secretary to the President, for two purposes: (1) preserving for posterity a collection of documents particularly close to the President, whether because he dictated or annotated them, or because of the importance of the correspondent or the event concerned and (2) giving appropriate attention–letters of gratitude, invitations to White House social events, and the like–to members and important friends and supporters of the Nixon administration. This generalization does not describe all the varied materials of a file group which is essentially a miscellany, but it does identify the reason for the existence of the file group's core.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The President's Personal File is essentially a President's secretary's file, kept by Rose Mary Woods, personal secretary to the President, for two purposes: (1) preserving for posterity a collection of documents particularly close to the President, whether because he dictated or annotated them, or because of the importance of the correspondent or the event concerned and (2) giving appropriate attention–letters of gratitude, invitations to White House social events, and the like–to members and important friends and supporters of the Nixon administration. This generalization does not describe all the varied materials of a file group which is essentially a miscellany, but it does identify the reason for the existence of the file group's core. Top of Page Scope and Content Note The materials are arranged into eighteen series: Memoranda from the President, Name/Subject File, Rose Mary Woods Name File, Rose Mary Woods Name/Subject File, President's Speech File, Raymond K. Price Speech File, White House Social Events, White House Social Entertainments Office, Republican National Committee Files, Committee for the Re-Election of the President Files, Photograph and Autograph Request File, Transition Materials, Foreign Affairs File, Selection of the Vice Presidential Nominee, Transcripts of Recorded Presidential Conversations, President's Financial and Family Papers, Materials Removed from the President's Desk, and Memorabilia The Memoranda from the President series holds a chronological sequence of transcripts of dictated messages from the President to key members of his staff, particularly to H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Henry Kissinger, and Rose Mary Woods. Others to whom memoranda are directed include Peter M. Flanigan, Bryce Harlow, Raymond Price, Patrick Buchanan, Alexander Butterfield, Charles Rebozo, and the First Family. Subjects covered include substantive policy issues, public relations with members of Congress, the press and the American people, liaison with administration friends, and the use and decoration of the White House. Very few memoranda were created after March 1973. Next follow three name and name/subject files. The first, the Name/Subject File, contains the President's correspondence with family, friends, supporters, administration members, and foreign officials. It is a file of materials in some way intimate and personal, even when concerned with the policies and programs of the administration; it is a file of materials made important by the identities of the correspondents, the significance of the events dealt with, or the nature of the documents themselves. This series seems to contain, for example, a complete or near complete collection of copies of Nixon's hand-written letters written during his presidency. Also present are hand-written or autographed communications from notable people, including hand-written notes or letters from Gerald Ford, J. William Fullbright, Jacqueline Onassis, Prince Phillip, and Prince Charles, for example, and autographed letters from Queen Elizabeth, Chiang Kai-shek, Lyndon Johnson, and Harry Truman. Events documented include the Kent State College shootings, the President's nocturnal visit to the Lincoln Memorial during the demonstrations of May 1971, Vice President Agnew's resignation, and important Presidential speeches and trips. Communications with family members and close friends are contained in this file as well. The Rose Mary Woods Name File and the Rose Mary Woods Name/Subject File are related to the Name/Subject File in the predominant intimacy of message and in the nature of the correspondent dealt with–that is, the close or long-time friend or supporter. They are distinct, though, in being primarily files of Rose Mary Woods' correspondence rather than the President's; they document her work in maintaining liaison with long-time supporters of the President and in handling certain details of the daily work which required the attention of the President's personal secretary, such as acknowledging small personal gifts or keeping the President's country club and fraternal society memberships current. Next in order are two speech files, the President's Speech File and the Raymond K. Price Speech File. The former is particularly notable for its hand-written Presidential drafts, generally in outline form on yellow legal size paper. Speechwriter drafts are also present. The coverage includes the entire administration. The Raymond K. Price Speech File is more selective, containing drafts only of some speeches, and primarily those from the administration's last two years. The Watergate speeches are represented in many drafts. The next five series reflect Rose Mary Woods liaison work with administration supporters. The White House Social Events series, the White House Social Entertainments Office series, and the Republican National Committee Files all document her efforts to remember administration supporters through invitations to White House social events and other courtesies. The Committee for the Re-election of the President Files contain correspondence from local Republican leaders, addressed to Rose Mary Woods in response to a request from Clark MacGregor, pledging their support for the President and giving their telephone numbers. The Photograph and Autograph Request File reflects Woods' work in distributing autographed photographs of the President and First Family. The rest of the President's Personal File is a miscellany. The Transition Materials series, composed only of pre-Presidential documents, has been returned in its entirety. The Foreign Affairs File consists of briefing books, biographical profiles, and compilations of the President's foreign travel. The Selection of the Vice Presidential Nominee series is composed primarily of letters from Republican Congressmen, written at the request of the White House, advising the President on a nominee to succeed Spiro Agnew. The Transcripts of Recorded Presidential Conversations series holds transcripts on conversations, in rough form and probably prepared by Rose Mary Woods' office; most of the conversations here transcribed were eventually printed in the "Submission of Recorded Presidential Conversations," released on April 30, 1974. The President's Financial and Family Papers series, much of which has been returned, is largely a consequence of allegations regarding President Nixon's property transactions, tax returns, related financial matters, and the subsequent release by the White House of the Coopers and Lybrand audit of the President's affairs. The Materials Removed from the President's Desk series holds unrelated materials removed from the President's desks at the end of his administration, ranging from briefing books and reports to photographs, dictabelts, and mementoes. The series holds a box of correspondence annotated by the President. Fuller descriptions of all of the series are given in the series descriptions, which immediately follow. Photographs, sound recordings, and museum objects have been transferred from the President's Personal File to the audio-visual unit and the domestic gift collection. Related file groups to the President's Personal File include the President's Office File, which was apparently created and maintained by Alexander Butterfield, Stephen Bull, and the Staff Secretary's office, and the staff member files for Rose Mary Woods in the White House Central Files.

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