Research at the National Archives

State Archiving System (SAS), 1973-1979

On July 1, 1973, the Department began phasing in a new central recordkeeping system. Records were no longer arranged by subject. Documents were indexed using an automated tool with most telegrams being stored electronically and hard-copy documents (beginning January 1, 1974) being stored on microfilm but indexed electronically.  To locate documents of interest users must rely on the electronic tools.

You may gain access to the declassified telegrams (through 1979) and declassified index information (through 1979) about the microfilmed documents on the National Archives website. Paper copies of the declassified documents on the microfilm (through 1976) are available for use at the National Archives.

Central file records dating 1980 and later remain in the custody of the Department of State. Researchers must file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request directly with the Department to request access to records in their custody.

More information about the records is in this FAQ and a more detailed finding aid available in the Research Room at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland.

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