Q: What is the best way to begin my research?
A: We advise all researchers to begin their research with published sources
in order to be familiar with their topic. Since this is an archives, our holdings
are maintained in their original order and are not organized by subject,
as is the case with library holdings of books.
You are encouraged to know important dates and names of White House staff members that would have been involved with your topic.
This information is necessary
because many of our collections are White House Staff Member and
Office Files and/or are arranged chronologically.
- Review the Getting Started section for background information on how the materials are organized.
- Follow the How to Find Materials process.
- View the Finding Aids to see if we have material on your topic.
- More detailed descriptions of the collections are available
by request and
in the Research Room.
Q: How can I find something specific on this web site?
To find specific materials, use any of the following tools:
Where is the Nixon Library located and why do I need to go there to review the materials?
The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is in Yorba Linda, California. Currently, very few original materials are available online, and we are not staffed to do substantive research.
Must I make advance arrangements to use the Nixon materials?
No. However, if you notify the staff of your upcoming research trip, we will be able to prepare in advance.
Q: Who may use the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) holdings?
A: Anyone can use the National Archives. You do not need to be an American citizen or to present credentials or a letter of recommendation. There are two requirements:
For more information see Regulations for Using the National Archives.
- There must be records or other materials on your topic among National Archives holdings. If you are better served by visiting your local library or another institution, we will refer you there.
- You must be at least 14 years old. Children under 14 can be admitted under limited circumstances and only with the prior approval of research room management. If you have questions, contact the manager of the research room you plan to visit.
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Q: Is photocopying allowed at the Library?
A: Self-service copying by researchers is permitted under specified conditions using:
- Library in-house equipment such as coin or card-operated electrostatic copiers;
- Researchers' own equipment ranging from cameras and scanners to audio duplication equipment that has been specifically approved by the National Archives for work with the records in question.
- More details are available on the NARA reproductions overview page.
Q: Can I bring and use cameras, scanners, and laptops?
A: You may bring equipment. All bags and carrying cases must be left in lockers outside of the Research Room.
- Cameras may be used only with natural light.
- Flatbed scanners without sheet feeders are allowed. When you are using a scanner, you must show it to the research room staff and receive special instructions.
Q: Can I do research by mail?
We are not staffed to do substantive research for mail requests.
We suggest using this web site to identify
the topics you are interested in and then visiting us.
[See Also: How to Find Materials]
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Q: Are travel and research grants available?
A: Neither the Nixon Library nor the National Archives offers
travel or research grant funds at this time. For more information,
please see Presidential Libraries Grants
Q: How shall I cite material found at the Nixon Library?
A: The citation format varies according to type of material and its physical location.
Citing the Textual Materials
Type of document; names of sender and recipient, or title of document;
date; folder title or White House Central File Code; box number; collection
title; Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California.
Memo; John Dean to President Nixon; 15 July 1972; folder Memoranda to the President, July 1972: Box 63; White House Special Files: Staff Member and Office Files: John Dean; Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California.
Letter; President's meeting with Ambassador Smith; 22 March 1972; folder FO 3-1 Executive; Box 54; White House Central Files; Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California.
Citing the White House Tapes:
Location of conversation, Conversation Number; Date; White House Tapes; Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California.
OVAL 741-2; June 23, 1972; White House Tapes; Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California.
Folder title. Box #. Campaign 1946. Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation, Yorba Linda, California.
Folder Title. Box #. Post-presidential Correspondence with Ronald W. Reagan (1974-1993). Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation, Yorba Linda, California.
Folder title. Box #. The H.R. Haldeman Collection. Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation, Yorba Linda, California.
National Archives and Records Administration
Folder Title. Box #. Series # (if applicable). Richard Nixon Pre-Presidential Materials (Laguna Niguel). Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California. National Archives and Records Administration.
Q: Can I request declassification of security classified material?
Yes, researchers may request declassification of security classified materials.
Each item must be clearly identified by the requester using the information from the
Document Withdrawal sheets located in the files.
Declassification requests should be submitted to the Nixon Staff for processing.
Follow the Mandatory Review Request instructions.
The National Archives and Records Administration acts as the facilitator of the review process; the declassification is done by the originating agencies or agencies with an interest in each document.
Additional information about access to closed materials is available on this web site under How Textual Materials are Withdrawn.
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Q: Can I order document reproductions by mail?
A: Document reproductions can be ordered at the current standard fee set by
the National Archives. However, citations must be specific. Our staff cannot
select documents for you. See the Get Copies section for more information.
Q: How does copyright law affect research?
A: The copyright law of the United States, Title 17 United States Code, governs the making of
electrostatic copies, photographic prints, and audio and video tape recordings
of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the
law, libraries and archives may furnish reproductions. One specified condition
is that the reproduction of copyrighted material is not to be used for
any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. If a user
makes a request for, or later uses a reproduction for, purposes beyond those
of "fair use", that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution
reserves the right to refuse to accept a reproduction order if, in its judgment,
fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.
Neither the Nixon Library nor the National Archives
has legal authority to rule on questions of copyright.
The Library of Congress' Copyright Office will, for a fee, research the copyright status of audiovisual
materials made available from the Nixon Library.
For more information, see:
Q: May I reproduce other NARA records?
A: In general, all government records are in the public domain and may be freely used. We do have some donated or other materials that might be copyrighted.
If you have questions about specific records, speak to an archivist or reference staff who handles those records.
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