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Super 8 Motion Picture Film Collection

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6/7/1969 Presidential aide John Ehrlichman shoots a scene with his Super8 movie camera outside of the President's helicopter as it departs from San Clemente. Roll-Frame number:   WHPO 1261-16 The Nixon White House Staff Super 8 Motion Picture Film Collection contains FBI-confiscated films recorded between 1969 and 1973. The film was found in the office files of John Ehrlichman after he resigned his post as Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs on April 30, 1973.

  • The 204 rolls of “Super 8” and one roll of color silent 16mm motion picture total about 14 hours.

The office files were confiscated by the FBI during the investigations into the Watergate scandal and became the property of the United States Government with the passage of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (PRMPA).  [See Also:  Special Files:   John D. Ehrlichman]


  • The Super 8 films were shot not only by Ehrlichman but also by President Nixon's Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, Haldeman's assistant Larry Higby, and Deputy Assistant to the President Dwight L. Chapin.
  • The raw motion picture film stock was provided by the U.S. Navy Photographic Film Center, which also processed the exposed films.

Title Listing

The Finding Aid is a chronological title listing with entries relating to:

  • subject matter
  • participants
  • date
  • geographic location
  • applicable restrictions  [See Also:  Restrictions]


Subject matter for these films broadly includes the activities of the President and the White House Staff, both in and around the White House complex and on various domestic and foreign trips and may include speeches, press briefings, and ceremonial occasions.

Restriction Status  [See Also:  Restriction Codes]

  • Some of this material is withdrawn.

Copyright Information  [See Also:  Copyright Policy Restrictions on Audiovisual Materials]

Some of this material is copyrighted.

Filmed materials of a private and personal nature have been edited from the original motion picture film and returned to the Ehrlichman estate.

Preservation and Edited Compilation

The material retained from the original films, all relating to the constitutional and statutory duties of the President and the White House Staff, were reproduced onto 16mm color internegative motion picture film stock at 18 frames per second (the same speed as the original Super 8).

  • 16mm color work prints were created from these negatives.
  • Videotape reference copies on S-VHS were created from the work prints.

55 rolls of these films were Super 8 work prints edited into thematically linked longer rolls (probably by the U.S. Navy Photographic Center).

How to Get Copies  [See Also:  Obtaining Audiovisual Materials]

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