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Nixon White House Tapes FAQ

General Information FAQs

Nixon White House Tapes FAQ

Audiovisual Materials FAQs

Textual Materials FAQs

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The information below is regarding the Nixon White House Tapes. You may also find useful information in the Audiovisual Materials FAQ section.


Q:   Are the Nixon White House Tapes available?

A:   Yes. Visit the White House Tapes section to find out which conversations are available for research.

  • The Nixon staff is currently processing the remaining tapes in accordance with the provisions of the 1996 Tapes Settlement Agreement and the 2007 Deed of Gift.

Q:   How do I obtain reproductions of the Nixon White House Tapes?

A:   Visit the Obtaining Nixon White House Tapes section of this web site.

  • All Nixon White House Tapes released to the public are available for reproduction.
  • Researchers can make copies of tapes at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California, and the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, provided they bring their own recording equipment.
  • In addition, researchers may order copies of tapes through a vendor (see Ordering Information).
  • Some of the tapes are also available online.

Q:   During what time period was the Nixon taping system in operation?

A:   The taping system was installed in the Cabinet Room and the Oval Office on February 16, 1971. The History of the White House Tapes provides details about when the system was expanded and removed.


Q:   How can I find Watergate-related conversations that may be of interest to me?

A:   Visit the Research the Materials – Watergate-Related Tapes section of this web site. The tapes are organized in several segments.

  • Watergate Trial Tapes
    • Descriptive information and transcripts are available for the 12 and a half hours hours of excerpted Nixon White House tape conversations that were played in open court during the Watergate trials.
    • These descriptions include date, location, participants, exhibit number, abstract, and cassette number.
    • These tape segments include "Smoking Gun", "Cancer on the Presidency", and the "Dean Resignation" conversations.

  • Watergate Special Prosecution Force (WSPF) Tapes
    • Descriptive information and transcripts are available for the 60 hours of excerpted Nixon White House tape conversations that were subpoenaed by the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.
    • These descriptions include date, location, participants, and cassette number.

  • Abuses of Governmental Power (AOGP) Tapes
    • Descriptive information and Tape Subject Logs are available for the 205 hours of AOGP segments
    • These Tape Subject Logs include AOGP conversations from February 1971 to July 1973.

Q:   Where are the "Smoking Gun," the "Cancer on the Presidency," and the "Dean Resignation" on the tapes?

A:   Visit the Excerpted Watergate-Related Conversations section of this web site.


Q:   How accurate are the transcripts for the Watergate Trial Tapes and the WSPF tapes?

A:   Visit the How the Taped Conversations are Described section of this web site.

  • The National Archives neither created nor corrected the transcripts and does not vouch for their accuracy. Variations in sound quality and in the hearing of listeners can produce different interpretations of what is heard. While transcripts may be prepared with great care and substantial effort, many points of ambiguity are inevitable. Erroneous interpretations from transcripts are always possible.

  • To ensure full confidence in quotations from the Presidential recordings, users are strongly urged to check all transcribed renditions against the actual tape recordings and judge for themselves what they hear. Every effort has been made to ensure that the electronic version is a faithful copy.

Q:   How can I find Chronological or Cabinet Room conversations that may be of interest to me?

A:   Visit the White House Tapes Finding Aids section of this web site.

  • The Nixon staff has prepared Tape Subject Logs (detailed subject outlines) and Finding Aids for the Chronological and Cabinet Room Complete Conversations
  • A free CD-ROM containing these Tape Subjects Logs and Finding Aids is available.  [See Also:  White House Tapes CD-ROM Finding Aid]

Q:   Is there a recording of the meeting between Nixon and Elvis?

A:   No. Richard Nixon met with Elvis Presley in the Oval Office in December 1970. The White House taping system was not installed by Nixon until February 1971.

  • The When Nixon Met Elvis online exhibit provides a behind-the-scenes story of the famous 1970 meeting as told through original letters, memorandums, and photographs.

Q:   Are there copyright restrictions on the Nixon White House Tapes?

A:   Visit the Copyright, Restrictions, and Permissions Notice section of this web site.

  • The Nixon White House Tapes are in the public domain, and are not subject to copyright restrictions. For more information on U.S. Copyright Law visit Copyright Law of the United States.

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