A revised file count for NARA 18

[First posted on January 7, 2019, at rgr-cyt.org.]

This post discusses NARA 18, a spreadsheet posted at the National Archives and Record Administration on 26 April 2018. NARA 18 gives a cumulative list of documents released from the JFK Assassination Records Collection from July 2017 to April 2018.

After a recount, I have to revise the file count I gave for NARA 18 on 5 May 2018 (here). There are ten bad filenames on the spreadsheet, rather than 5 as I previously stated. A table of the bad filenames is here.1

Bad filename means that no files with the names given on these ten rows exist on the NARA server. In my original 5 May post, I caught only five of these, and as a result counted 19,045 rows linked to files on the NARA server. This correction means that there are actually only 19,040 rows linked to files. This does not mean, however, that the records cited on each of these rows have not been released by NARA.

In fact, all of the record numbers listed in the ten rows appear multiple times in NARA 18. This is true of many records in the 4/26 release (and earlier releases as well). As a result, there is no document cited in these ten rows that does not have an associated file elsewhere in the release. There is therefore no reason to assume that a document scheduled to be released in this set has been omitted.

As I’ve noted previously, the reason for these duplicate listings in NARA’s ARC releases is unclear. The ten rows here all refer to FBI documents, and for many FBI records, NARA released a single pdf file which included multiple ARC documents, so that NARA 18 links to the same pdf file multiple times. Perhaps this practice caused a problem in the case of these ten rows. This is of course just a guess on my part.

  1. In the list, the row number column indicates which row in the NARA 18 spreadsheet the filename occurs. As I’ve noted before, when giving spreadsheet row numbers, I include the first, or header row.