The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum must adhere to the following Federal laws and regulations while processing the Nixon Presidential Materials.
- Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (PRMPA), which applies only to the Nixon Presidential Materials, stipulates that those materials relevant to the understanding of Abuse of Governmental Power and Watergate are to be processed and released to the public prior to the release of all other materials.
- Those materials related to the Abuse of Governmental Power and the constitutional and statutory duties of the President and his White House staff are retained by the National Archives. PRMPA mandates that the National Archives preserve and process these materials, and prepare them for public access. The law also states that the National Archives must segregate and return to the estate of former President Nixon those materials identified as purely "personal-private" or "personal-political" and unrelated to the President's constitutional and statutory duties.
- In 2004,
Congress amended PRMPA to permit the Archivist of the United States to transfer Nixon Presidential Materials to an approved Presidential archival depository, paving the way for the eventual transfer of a significant amount of the materials from College Park to Yorba Linda.
- The Public Access Regulations set forth the policies and procedures concerning the preservation and protection of, and access to, the tape recordings, papers, documents, memoranda, transcripts, and other objects and materials which constitute the Presidential historical materials of Richard Nixon.
- Executive Order 13526 was signed by President Obama on December 29, 2009. It supersedes Executive Orders 12958 and its amendments, including Executive Order 13292.
In 1992, public interest organization
and historian Stanley Kutler filed suit against the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA),
seeking access to the Watergate-related information on the Nixon White House Tapes.
- In 1994, only 64 hours had been released.
- In 1996, Public Citizen, Kutler, the Estate of former President Nixon,
and NARA settled this suit with an agreement that provided for a schedule
to release all remaining tapes.
- On April 21, 2001, there was a change in the April 1996 negotiated agreement between NARA, Professor Stanley Kutler, and the Estate of former President Nixon. As a result of this change, the Nixon Presidential Materials Staff is making all of the Nixon White House Tapes available for duplication to the general public.
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