Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
The Life The Times Virtual Library The Museum For Kids For Teachers For Researchers Plan Your Visit News & Events About Us Plan Your Event
How the Taped Conversations are Described

Getting Started


Guide to Holdings

Collections by Subject

Textual Materials

White House Tapes

Audiovisual Materials

Oral Histories

Research Bibliography

Links to Learning

Get Copies

Notice to Researchers:  The tapes and transcripts contain language that some users might find objectionable.

The Nixon Library does not routinely transcribe White House taped conversations. Some conversations were transcribed by the Watergate Special Prosecution Force (WSPF) or in response to litigation.

The Nixon Library staff prepares Tape Subject Logs and Finding Aids to assist researchers with locating pertinent conversations.

About the White House Tape Subject Logs

The Tape Subject Logs provide a subject outline of the conversations to assist researchers with locating relevant conversations. The Subject Logs enable researchers to search for keywords and/or events.

  • The logs describe the content of each conversation, noting major topics, sub-topics, etc.
  • The logs include activity statements that indicate when people enter and leave a room.

Each log contains:

  • the original Nixon White House tape number
  • the assigned conversation numbers
  • the recording location of the conversation
  • the date and time of each conversation
  • the names of the participants involved in the conversations

In instances when the same conversation is recorded on two different tapes (for example, telephone and room), the logs also contain cross-references noting the tape and conversation number to all corresponding telephone recordings.

About the Transcripts

Some of the Tape Subject Logs include partial transcripts. The transcripts were prepared by the Watergate Special Prosecution Force (WSPF) for use in their investigation and for use in Watergate trials.

A few partial transcripts were created by the former Nixon Presidential Materials Staff in response to court orders.

  • In cases where partial transcripts exist, the tape subject log contains a notation to indicate a transcript has been created for a portion of the conversation.

  • Transcripts are cross-referenced in the Tape Subject Logs.

Accuracy of the Transcripts  [See Also:  Audio Quality of the White House Tapes]

  • As a general policy, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) does not create transcripts of conversations and considers these existing transcripts to be an interpretation of the record rather than the record itself.

  • NARA considers the tapes to be the record and strongly urges users to listen to the tapes to form their own interpretation of the conversations.

  • Variations in sound quality can cause listeners to interpret conversations differently.

  • The transcripts were prepared with great care and substantial effort. Points of ambiguity are inevitable.

Listen Online to the Tapes
White House Tape Collections
Tape Release Schedule

Home Contact Us FAQs Sitemap

The Nixon Library and Museum is part of the Presidential Libraries system administered by the National Archives
and Records Administration
, a Federal agency. View our Privacy Statement. View our Accessibility Statement.