Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The 1991 Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant U.S. diplomatic activity. It also requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government engaged in foreign policy formulation, execution, or support, cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series have complete access to all the retired records and papers of the Department of State: the central files of the Department; the special decentralized files (“lot files”) of the Department at the bureau, office, and division levels; the files of the Department’s Executive Secretariat, which contain the records of international conferences and high-level official visits, correspondence with foreign leaders by the President and Secretary of State, and memoranda of conversations between the President and Secretary of State and foreign officials; and the files of overseas diplomatic posts. All the Department’s indexed central files through July 1973 have been permanently transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland (Archives II). Many of the Department’s decentralized office files covering the 1969–1976 period, which the National Archives deems worthy of permanent retention, have been transferred or are in the process of being transferred from the Department’s custody to Archives II.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series also have full access to the papers of President Nixon and other White House foreign policy records. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from the Department of State and other Federal agencies including the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dr. Henry Kissinger has approved access to his papers at the Library of Congress. The papers are a key source for the Nixon–Ford subseries of Foreign Relations.

Research for this volume was completed through special access to restricted documents at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, the Library of Congress, and other agencies. While all the material printed in [Page XII] this volume has been declassified, some of it is extracted from still classified documents. In the time since the research for this volume was completed, the Nixon Presidential Materials have been transferred to the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. The Nixon Presidential Library staff is processing and declassifying many of the documents used in this volume, but they may not be available in their entirety at the time of publication.

Sources for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume XV

The Nixon Presidential Materials are the single most important source of documentation for those interested in U.S.-Soviet relations during the Nixon administration. Foreign policy research in the Nixon Materials centers around the National Security Council (NSC) Files, which include the President’s Trip Files, Subject Files, Country Files, and Kissinger Office Files. The NSC files contain about 1,300 archive boxes of materials. Of these the Kissinger Office Files, which include the memoranda of conversation of all of Kissinger’s negotiations in the USSR, and the President’s Trip Files, contain the most important information on high-level policymaking for this volume. Additionally, the NSC Institutional Files (H-Files) outline the policy decisions made by the Nixon administration as they relate to the USSR, including the National Security Study Memoranda (NSSMs) and National Security Decision Memoranda (NSDMs).

In addition to the NSC Files, the Nixon Materials include important collections like the Kissinger Telephone Conversations. The transcripts of those conversations, especially those with Dobrynin, provide information on the exchange of information between the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as illustrate the development of détente.

The editors had access to the Nixon Intelligence Files at the National Security Council and the files of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense. The files of the Central Intelligence Agency, particularly the National Intelligence Council (NIC) Registry of finished intelligence, were essential for intelligence reports and assessments on which the Nixon administration based its policy decisions.

The editors made considerable use of materials already compiled for other volumes in the Foreign Relations series, including those of the Middle East, Vietnam, SALT, and earlier Soviet volumes. Readers interested in these subjects should consult the relevant volumes for further information on the specific sources used in research.

The following list identifies the particular files and collections used in the preparation of this volume. In addition to the paper files cited below, a growing number of documents are available on the Internet. The Office of the Historian maintains a list of these Internet re [Page XIII] sources on its website and suggests that readers refer to that site on a regular basis.

Unpublished Sources

  • Department of State
    • See National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 59 below.
  • National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland
    • Record Group 59, Records of the Department of State
      • Central Files 1970–1973
        • POL US–USSR, general US–USSR relations
        • POL USSR 7, visits and meetings of Soviet leaders
        • POL 1 US–USSR, general US–USSR relations
        • POL 1 USSR, general political affairs of the USSR
        • POL 15–1 USSR, head of state, USSR
        • POL 17 US–USSR, diplomatic and consular relations between the US and USSR
      • Lot Files
        • Records of Henry Kissinger, Lot 91D414
        • Records of the Office of the Counselor, 1955–1977, Records of Helmut Sonnenfeldt, 1974, Lot 81D286
  • Nixon Presidential Materials Project, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland (now at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California)
    • Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts (Kissinger Telcons)
      • Chronological File
      • Dobrynin File
    • National Security Council (NSC) Files
      • Country Files—Europe—USSR
      • Haig Chronological Files
      • NSC Institutional Files (H-Files)
      • Presidential/HAK Memcons
      • President’s Trip Files
      • VIP Visits
      • Kissinger Office Files
      • Subject Files
    • NSC Institutional Files (H-Files)
      • National Security Council Meetings
      • National Security Council Minutes
      • Policy Papers (National Security Decision Memoranda)
      • Study Memoranda (National Security Study Memoranda)
    • White House Central Files
      • President’s Daily Diary
    • White House Special Files, Staff Member and Office Files
      • President’s Office Files
    • White House Tapes
  • Central Intelligence Agency
    • DCI Executive Registry Files: Job 80–M01048A
    • NIC Files: Job 79–R01012A
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • National Security Adviser
      • Memoranda of Conversations
    • NSC Institutional/Historical Records
  • Library of Congress, Washington, DC
    • Manuscript Division
      • Papers of Henry Kissinger
        • Chronological Files
        • Geopolitical Files
        • Memoranda of Conversation
        • Miscellany, Record of Schedule
  • National Security Council
    • Nixon Intelligence Files
      • Subject Files

Published Sources

  • Congress and the Nation, 1973–1976, Volume IV. Washington: Congressional Quarterly, 1977.
  • Dobrynin, Anatoly. In Confidence: Moscow’s Ambassador to America’s Six Cold War Presidents (1962–1986). New York: Times Books, 1995.
  • Haldeman, H.R. The Haldeman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House. Complete Multimedia Edition. Santa Monica, CA: Sony Electronic Publishing, 1994.
  • Kissinger, Henry A. White House Years. Boston: Little, Brown, 1979.
  • ________. Years of Upheaval. Boston: Little, Brown, 1982.
  • Nixon, Richard M. RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1978.
  • Stebbins, Richard P., and Elaine P. Adam, eds. American Foreign Relations, 1972, 1973, 1974: A Documentary Reader. New York: New York University Press, 1976, 1977.
  • United States Department of State. Bulletin, 1972–1974.
  • ________. Documents on Germany, 1944–1985.
  • United States National Archives and Records Administration. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1972, 1973, 1974. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1973, 1974, 1975.
  • Yearbook of the United Nations, 1972, 1973, 1974. New York: United Nations Office of Public Information.