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Nixon Presidential Returned Materials Collection: White House Special Files (WHSF): User Guide

Document Collections

Presidential Daily Diary

National Security Memoranda

WHSF Returned Materials

Exit Interviews

Public Papers of the President

Pentagon Papers

President Nixon's Grand Jury Testimony

 

Welcome to the Nixon Presidential Returned Materials Collection: White House Special Files (WHSF) Digitization Project. You will need Adobe Reader 9 to view the materials. Click here to download Adobe Reader.

The materials on this site are an exact digital reproduction of the original collection at our Yorba Linda, California facility. The boxes and folders you see on this site match the originals.

This guide is designed to help users navigate through the materials on this website. All screenshots below can be clicked for enlargements. If you have any questions or comments please contact the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum at 714-983-9120 or Nixon@nara.gov.

To Begin Your Search

WHSF Index

From the main page, you should first access the WHSF Index page. When first accessing the index page, you will see this screen:

WHSF Index Page

The WHSF Index consists of entries for each document scanned. Each entry contains the following information about each document:

  • Box Number
  • Folder Number
  • Document Date
  • Document Type
  • Document Description (a brief summary of the document's contents, including the number of pages)

Because the index is in PDF format, the text is fully searchable. You can do this in two ways:

  1. Click on the binoculars on the left side of the screen and enter your search term. Each document that contains your search term will be listed.
  2. Use the find field at the top of the screen. Each document that matches your search term will be highlighted.

Following is an example of each search using the term "Vietnam." Search strategy 1:

Vietnam search strategy 1

Search strategy 2:

Vietnam search strategy 2

Currently the index is only searchable by text. We are working on an update to allow the index to be also be searchable by date. Please check back for future updates.

Boxes and Folders

After you have identified the materials you want to view, return to the main page. There, you will see links for each of the 72 boxes scanned.

Main WHSF page

When you select the particular box you want to view, the next screen will show the list of folders from each box:

Box 1 folder title listing

Next, click on the folder you would like to view. Each folder begins with a table of contents that contains the same information as the WHSF Index including Box Number, Folder Number, Document Date, Document Type, and Document Description:

Box 1, folder 37 title listing

The document description in the table of contents is identical to the description in the WHSF Index. You will notice that the descriptions in the table of contents have a blue line under them. This means that the description is linked directly to the document. As an example, we will click the second description from the table of contents below, “From Daniel P. Moynihan to RN RE: advice for the incoming president. 15 pgs.” The next screen shot shows the first page of the document selected.

Box 1, folder 37 title listing with Moynihan link highlighted

Document titled 'From Daniel P. Moynihan to RN RE: advice for the incoming president. 15 pgs.'

Because many of the folders scanned can have up to 100 pages, the table of contents was created to make it easier to find a particular document. Once you have found a particular document, and to avoid excess scrolling, we suggest using the thumbnail feature of Adobe Reader to return to the table of contents. See below:

Box 1, folder 37 title listing with thumbnail view enabled

To view the metadata from each scanned folder, right-click your mouse on the document and select "Document Properties..." See below:

Box 1, folder 37 title listing, selecting 'Document Properties...'

Box 1, folder 37 title listing, showing 'Document Properties...'

Notes

  • When printing materials from this collection, we recommend making note of the metadata for citation purposes. The preferred citation is: Folder title. Box #. Nixon Presidential Returned Materials Collection: White House Special Files (WHSF). Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, CA. National Archives and Records Administration.
  • The original materials in this collection contained numerous newspaper articles, books, magazines and pamphlets. Materials of this nature have either not been scanned or, in the case of a book or magazine, only the cover was scanned. The WHSF Index or folder table of contents will have a full entry for these types of materials with “not scanned” or “cover scanned” in the description. If you would like more information or a copy of one of these items, please contact the Library.
  • The archival staff at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is working on updates to this website. In addition to creating an index by date, we are also working on linking each entry in the WHSF Index directly to the folder were the document is located. This will allow users to click the description in the index and be taken directly to the document folder. Please check back for these and other updates.

Thank you for viewing the Nixon Presidential Returned Materials Collection White House Special Files (WHSF) Digitization Project. Again, if you have any questions or comments please contact us at 714-983-9120 or Nixon@nara.gov.


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