Guide to Federal Records

See also the JFK Assassination Records Collection pages

Records of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy


(Record Group 272)
1954-65 (bulk 1963-64)
365 cu. ft.

Table of Contents

  • 272.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY
  • 272.2 RECORDS OF THE COMMISSION 1954, 1961-65 (bulk 1963-64) 484 lin. ft.
  • 272.2.1 Records of executive sessions
  • 272.2.2 Subject-numeric files and related records
  • 272.2.3 Records relating to testimony
  • 272.2.4 Records relating to the publication of the commission report
  • 272.2.5 Miscellaneous records
  • 272.3 CARTOGRAPHIC RECORDS (GENERAL) 9 items 1963-64
  • 272.4 MOTION PICTURES (GENERAL) 42 reels 1963-64
  • 272.5 SOUND RECORDINGS (GENERAL) 616 items 1963-64
  • 272.6 STILL PICTURES (GENERAL) 1963-64 1,000 images

272.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Established: As a Presidential commission, by EO 11130, November 29, 1963. Commonly known as the Warren Commission after its chairman, Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren.

Functions: Evaluated facts and circumstances surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, TX, November 22, 1963; and the killing of the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, by Jack Ruby, November 24, 1963. Reported its findings to President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Abolished: Following submission of its report to the President, September 24, 1964.

Finding Aids: Marion M. Johnson, comp., Inventory of the Records of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, Inv. 5 (1973).

Security-Classified Records: This record group may include material that is security-classified.

Specific Restrictions: As specified by section 6 of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (106 Stat. 3443), October 26, 1992, disclosure to the public of certain records may be postponed, but only if there is clear evidence that such disclosure (1) would cause a threat to national security by revealing an intelligence agent whose identity currently needs protecting, or an intelligence source or method currently used or that could reasonably be expected to be used, or any other matter currently relating to military defense, intelligence operations, or conduct of foreign relations; (2) would reveal the name or identity of a living person who had provided confidential information to the government; (3) could reasonably be expected to cause an invasion of personal privacy; (4) would compromise the fact of a current understanding of confidentiality between a government agent and an individual or a foreign government; and (5) would reveal measures currently used, or that could reasonably be expected to be used, by the Secret Service or another agency to protect government officials.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

Note: This record group is administered as part of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, a research collection established by the National Archives in accordance with the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. The collection also includes pertinent records of Congressional committees and commissions, Executive branch agencies, and U.S. district courts. An electronic database maintained by the collection staff contains document-level data on records that were not available for research at the National Archives at the time that the law establishing the collection was enacted, including records in agency custody destined for eventual transfer to the National Archives. For additional information on the collection's holdings and access procedures, consult the JFK Access Staff of the National Archives.


                                  RECORDS

 

RECORD TYPES           RECORD LOCATIONS        QUANTITIES

Textual Records        Washington Area         357 cu. ft.

Maps and Charts        Washington Area           2 items

Aerial Photographs     Washington Area           7 items       

Motion Pictures        College Park             42 reels 

Sound Recordings       College Park            616 items 

Still Pictures         Washington Area      10,800 images

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272.2 RECORDS OF THE COMMISSION
1954, 1961-65 (bulk 1963-64)
484 lin. ft.

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272.2.1 Records of executive sessions

Textual Records: Proceedings and minutes, 1963-64.

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272.2.2 Subject-numeric files and related records

Textual Records: Numbered document file, 1963-64, with document list, 1964. Index to names, addresses, and identifying numbers in Secret Service reports in the document file, 1964. Index to names in Documents 1-54 of the document file, prepared for commission staff members studying the circumstances of the Jack Ruby shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, 1964. Records concerning key persons, 1963-64; other individuals and organizations involved or interviewed, 1963-64; government agencies involved, 1963-64; protection of the President, 1954, 1963-64; and investigation and evidence, 1963-64. Correspondence relating to photographs and press clippings, 1963-64; films and tape recordings, 1963-64; and public comments and inquiries, 1963-64. Investigative reports relating to photographs and films, 1964. Press clippings and newspapers, 1961-64. Administrative files, 1963-64. Memorandums and minutes, 1964. Letters received by the commission chairman, 1963. Alphabetical and reading files of letters sent and memorandums, 1963-64. Register of letters received, 1963-64. File classification manual, 1964.

Microfilm Publication: M1124.

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272.2.3 Records relating to testimony

Textual Records: Subject index to commission hearings, 1964. Transcripts of hearings, 1964. Stenotyped notes of proceedings, 1964. Depositions, 1964. Exhibits, 1964.

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272.2.4 Records relating to the publication of the commission
report

Textual Records: Correspondence, memorandums, and drafts concerning the preparation of the Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy (1 vol., 1964), 1964. Manuscript, galley proofs, and page proofs of the Report and Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: Hearings Before the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy (26 vols., 1964), 1964. Index to names of persons involved in the Hearings of the commission, 1964; and to exhibits relating to depositions, 1964. Records of the Government Printing Office (GPO) relating to the Report, 1964. Correspondence on publication of the Report and Hearings, 1964.

Photographic Negatives (9,800 images): Offset negatives used by GPO in publishing the Report and Hearings, 1964. SEE ALSO 272.6.

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272.2.5 Miscellaneous records

Textual Records: Office files of staff members, 1964. Oswald-Ruby chronology and summary, 1964. Report of staff meeting relating to psychiatric interpretation of Lee Harvey Oswald, 1964. Indexes to subjects relating to the assassination, 1964. Outline of evidence relating to the assassination, 1964. Records relating to the interrogation and trial of Jack Ruby, 1964. Related material received from the Secret Service, 1963, 1965. Technical report on wound ballistics of 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano ammunition, 1965.

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272.3 CARTOGRAPHIC RECORDS (GENERAL)
9 items
1963-64

Maps (2 items): Dallas, showing routes of the President's motorcade from Love Field to Parkland Memorial Hospital and Oswald's flight, 1964.

Aerial Photographs (7 items): Downtown Dallas, Dealey Plaza area, and other places related to the assassination, 1964.

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272.4 MOTION PICTURES (GENERAL)
42 reels
1963-64

Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans, LA, on August 12 and 16, 1963; the Presidential motorcade; the assassination, as filmed by bystanders Abraham Zapruder, Orville O. Nix, and Mary Muchmore; Oswald following his arrest; local and network television films showing the shooting of Oswald by Jack Ruby; scenes at Dallas Police Department headquarters; and a re-enactment of the assassination, filmed with the cameras used by Zapruder, Nix, and Muchmore.

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272.5 SOUND RECORDINGS (GENERAL)
616 items
1963-64

Radio coverage of the assassination and its aftermath, and the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby; interview of the Very Rev. Oscar Huber, who administered last rites to the President; audiotape of a television program (August 21, 1963) in which Oswald participated; testimony of Marina Oswald (Oswald's wife) before the Warren Commission (September 6, 1964); media interviews of Marguerite Oswald (Oswald's mother); and media interviews and public speaking appearances of attorney Mark Lane.

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272.6 STILL PICTURES (GENERAL)
1963-64
1,000 images

Photographs: Scenes at the Texas School Book Depository building, the Dallas Police Department building, and other places in Dallas, 1963-64 (350 images). Various subjects, taken from the numbered documents and key persons files, and from the exhibits file, 1963-64 (376 images).

Photographic Prints (2 images): Commission members, n.d.

Slides (272 images): Made from frames of the Abraham Zapruder motion picture film, 1964.

SEE Photographic Negatives UNDER 272.2.4.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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