Herbert G. Klein Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1973


Descriptive Summary

Title: Herbert G. Klein Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1973
Dates: 1969-1973
Collection Number: 2790635
Creator/Collector: Klein, Herbert G. (Herbert George), 1918-2009
Extent: 3 linear feet, 6 linear inches; 8 boxes
Online items available
Repository: Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Abstract: Herb Klein was the Director of Communications for the Executive Branch. In this capacity he coordinated the public relations activities of the White House and the Federal agencies. The Special Files contain only a small segment of the overall Klein files in the custody of the Nixon Project. The Special Files segments of Klein materials consist primarily of memoranda to and from the President or H.R. Haldeman.
Language of Material: English


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

Herbert G. Klein Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1973. 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.

Scope and Content of Collection

Herbert G. Klein, who had been associated with the political campaigns of Richard M. Nixon for two decades, became Director of Communications for the Executive Branch in January 1969. His duties included the coordination of all public relations activities, not only of the White House but also of the entire executive branch. Despite his sweeping responsibilities, Klein was soon overshadowed by other White House staff members. Klein later stated he would have left the administration before July 1973, but he did not want to give the impression his departure was connected with the deepening Watergate scandal. In May 1974, Klein returned briefly to the White House to help coordinate the release of the transcripts of the White House Tapes to the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment inquiry. The materials of Herbert Klein in the White House Special Files date from the 1969-73 period. There are practically none from the last six months of Klein's tenure at the White House. The materials are arranged into three series: Name File; Memoranda with the President; White House Action Memoranda. The Name File contains correspondence between Klein and selected members of the administration whose surnames begin with the letter "H". This series appears to be part of a much larger alphabetical series, which Klein's office had sent to the White House Central Files for routine maintenance but was removed by the Special Files Unit. The largest concentration of correspondence in this series is that between Klein and H.R. Haldeman. Subjects covered include Presidential scheduling, press appointments, internal White House procedures, and media relations. The only substantive correspondence in this series is between Klein and Carol Harford, a cultural affairs advisor at the United States Information Agency. This correspondence concerns the administration's promotion of the fine arts, and especially the exhibition of American art abroad through the offices of the United States Information Agency. The Name File is arranged alphabetically under the single letter "H," and chronologically under the individual names. The Memoranda with the President file contains suggestions and comments regarding press conferences, television appearances, and interviews. It is arranged chronologically. The White House Action Memoranda file deals with suggested projects requiring the attention of Klein's office. Actions recommended include countering critical press reactions, presenting the administration's point of view on various issues, helping friendly media personnel, and analyzing poll results. The memoranda were often the consequence of Presidential request and were directed through the Staff Secretary's office. The memoranda bear a number, sometimes including a "P" prefix and an "H" suffix, which was assigned by the Staff Secretary's office. A fragment of a log of action memoranda present in the series indicates that Klein's office assigned its own set of numbers to the memoranda, though they are seldom evident on the documents themselves. The series is arranged in a corrupt chronological order. Also available is a tape recording and a transcript of an exit interview with Klein conducted by the Office of Presidential Papers on July 13, 1973.

Indexing Terms

Klein, Herb

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