Easy NixonContactAbout

The goal of this website is to provide an easy-to-use archive of the Richard M. Nixon administration’s “White House Tapes” for scholars and researchers. Several years ago, the National Archives released metadata of all 22,723 conversations that have been cataloged from the 949 labelled tapes. In combination with MP3 files of the conversations that have been released into the public domain by the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and by the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, it was possible to set up a basic archive of the audio of the tapes.

Since some of the individual conversations have never been spliced from the audio files of the full tapes (which have been divided into two-hour sections), where possible, I also scraped and offered the start and end times for the individual conversations from spreadsheets that the Nixon Library has provided. However, in some cases, those spreadsheets were not available, and even when the start and end times are known, it can sometimes be a bit of an exercise to add up the times and locate the conversation within the tapes that are divided into segments. A long-term goal should be to have all conversations spliced into easy-to-use MP3 files, and we may want to crowdsource this if it is not a priority for NARA or the Nixon Library. For now, however, for some conversations, researchers will need to spend some time locating the start and end points.

Of course, for many people, having transcripts of the tapes will be more useful than having the audio, and I encourage readers to obtain the volumes that result from the painstaking efforts of Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter. I do think that it will be in the interest of researchers to have the full tape transcriptions in the public domain some day, but that would require a good amount of funds and labor. If you are interested in brainstorming about how such an effort could be achieved, please contact Todd Fine at tdfine@gmail.com.

The developer of this website, Todd Fine, is a Ph.D. student at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. This project was initiated as a part of his coursework with K.C. Johnson. Todd Fine is working on a dissertation on Cold War intellectual history. He is also a founder of the Washington Street Historical Society and has been advocating for a memorial in Lower Manhattan for the writers of the “Little Syria” neighborhood.