NARA on future updates and releases in the ARC

I have recently heard from NARA on its future plans for database updates and record releases from the JFK Assassination Records Collection.

Coming soon

After the updated JFK collection database (NARA 21 for short) was posted on-line in June 2021, I wondered about NARA’s plans for further reviews, updates, and releases. A query to the NARA’s Special Access Desk brought the prompt, courteous response that characterizes the SA staff.

According to archivist Mary Kay Schmidt, the current focus for the JFK collection is on reviewing the records. Further updates to the JFK database will take place after the review is completed.

Further releases of text that is still redacted in the ARC documents will follow the review. The released materials will be posted on-line, using the same format as the 2017-2018 releases. NARA currently has no time frame for this release, however.

Coming later

In the long term, NARA hopes to digitize the entire JFK collection. The documents can then be made available via the National Archives catalog. This project would cover ALL JFK documents, including those which are not currently listed in the JFK database.

My understanding is that this last project has not yet started, and would be a long-term, multi-year undertaking. In the meantime, documents not yet included in the public access JFK database are available to the public, and there are finding aids available for them both on-line and on-site.1I have links to some of the on-line resources here.

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