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How Much is Redacted from the JFK and LBJ Tapes?

Some of the presidential recordings collections have been fully processed and released. Some small collections, such as the FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower tapes, have been released in full.

The JFK Tapes and LBJ Telephone Tapes have also been fully processed, but they’ve been released with excisions. Here’s a quick summary of how much has been redacted from the releases thus far.


JFK Tapes Redactions

JFK Library archivists completed processing and released of the JFK tapes in January 2012.

The total collection consists of about 257 hours. The bulk of those recordings, or about 245 hours, are meeting tapes. Only about 12 hours consist of Dictabelt recordings, consisting of about 275 or so telephone conversations and dictations.

Of that 257 hours, just over 10.5 hours of recording remains closed, or around 4.3 percent.

Most of the excisions are national security excisions, with a small portion due to the terms of the deed of gift (usually family or personal information). The shortest excision is 4 seconds long. The longest excision is nearly 54 minutes.



LBJ Telephone Tapes Redactions

The LBJ Library archivists completed processing of the LBJ telephone tapes in December 2008.

The archivists estimate that of the 643 hours of the telephone tapes, about 10 hours are currently closed. That’s just under 1.6 percent.

There is another collection, known as the Cabinet Room tapes, that is currently being processed. There is currently no public schedule for their release.