National Security Archive, George Washington University

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The National Security Archive, located at George Washington University is independent non-governmental research institute and library that Archive collects and publishes declassified documents. It also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States. The Archive won the 1999 George Polk Award, one of U.S. journalism's most prestigious prizes, for--in the words of the citation--"piercing the self-serving veils of government secrecy, guiding journalists in the search for the truth and informing us all."[1]

The Archive obtains its materials through a variety of methods, including the Freedom of Information act, Mandatory Declassification Review, presidential paper collections, congressional records, and court testimony. Archive staff members systematically track U.S. government agencies and federal records repositories for documents that either have never been released before, or that help to shed light on the decision-making process of the U.S. government and provide the historical context underlying those decisions.

The Archive's mission of guaranteeing the public's right to know extends to other countries outside the United States. The organization is currently involved in efforts to sponsor freedom of information legislation in the nations of Central Europe, Central and South America and elsewhere, and is committed to finding ways to provide technical and other services that will allow archives and libraries overseas to introduce appropriate records management systems into their respective institutions.

The Archive's $2.5 million yearly budget comes from publication revenues, contributions from individuals and grants from foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Open Society Institute. As a matter of policy, the Archive seeks no U.S. government funding.

References

  1. About the National Security Archive, National Security Archive, George Washington University