NARA 21, part 8: More updates to the JFK database

I am still looking at NARA 21, the updated version of the JFK ARC database.1The update is available here, in the form of six excel files. A list of my notes on the update is available here. I have had recent correspondence with NARA on the status of the database that corrects a couple of my earlier posts.

“Declassify” records

The first correction here is on the 13 records in the updated JFK database labeled “declassify”.2Previously discussed here. I had assumed that these were withheld records that were to be released when NARA posts the next set of JFKARC docs online. In fact, these documents are already released, so that “declassify” is simply a synonym for the more general term “release.” Unfortunately, NARA has still not restored its reproduction services, so we will have to wait to look at these.

Correction to the list of “Withhold” records

In my long post on withheld in full records,3Available here. I noted that five records were marked “withhold” in the updated JFK database, but were not listed in NF18, the list of redacted and withheld records released in 2018.

I also noted that these five were originally listed as withheld in NF16, the earlier list of withheld records from 2016, and therefore assumed that the change in status to “withhold” in the updated database was to correct an oversight.

In fact, these five records were all released in April 2018, so if you are interested you can find them at NARA or the MFF website. (The Drew Pearson one is especially interesting, though totally unrelated to the JFK assassination.)

This drops the number of “withhold” documents in the JFK database, documents which are not available to the public in any form, down from 602 to 597.

There is also more news on future releases from the JFKARC which I will discuss here in the next day or two.