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National Security Archive

National Security Archive

The National Security Archive, founded in 1985, is an independent, non-profit research organization, library facility and publisher in Washington, DC. With a staff of 30 and a budget of $1.3 million, the Archive provides scholars, journalists, librarians, students and other researchers with unclassified and declassified government documents — the primary source documents that are indispensable for research and informed public debate on important issues of foreign, intelligence, defense, and international policy.

To maximize public access to significant declassified U.S. government information, the Archive disseminates materials on its website from a wide variety of sources including: requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Mandatory Declassification Review process, donations, research at the National Archives and presidential libraries, official court records, Congressional reports and testimony, and oral histories. Moreover, the Archive publishes documents in its Digital National Security Archive series, a subscription service that it publishes with ProQuest.

As a leading advocate of the FOIA, the Archive enlists major Washington law firms to perform pro bono FOIA representation. The Archive’s lawsuits have broken new ground on a variety of issues, for example successfully challenging the fee barrier used by agencies as a threat against reporters and researchers to deter them from using FOIA. The Archive as early as 1989 brought the first lawsuit to preserve and obtain access to government electronic mail. Other cases have forced the release of thousands of previously classified records including the complete list of all documents ever declassified by the CIA and the FBI’s internal memos on the attempted recruitment of librarians as informants.

A Scoville Fellow would work in tandem with analysts on one or more current research projects. While individual projects may require specific tasks or be at different stages of development, assignments typically include a range of research activities such as building chronologies of events, helping obtain, analyze, and index government documents, performing research in libraries, archives and on Capitol Hill, and helping to develop on-line postings.