JFK Assassination Records

JFK Assassination Collection Reference System

Due to increased interest in the JFK Collection arising from the release of formerly withheld materials, you may experience difficulty using the JFK Assassination Collection Reference System.  NARA is aware of the issue and is working on a resolution.  In the meantime, we appreciate your patience.


To Search: archives2reference@nara.gov


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The  Reference System

The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Reference System is an electronic index to many (but not all) documents from the JFK Assassination Records Collection in the National Archives. The JFK Act of 1992 required agencies that held assassination records to record information about these records on Record Identification Forms (RIFs) for input into a master database. A copy of the RIF is also attached to each document. All of the records described are open for viewing and reproduction, but ARE NOT AVAILABLE ON LINE.

Some documents in the database are still under review by certain agencies or have been postponed from disclosure. This information is noted in the RESTRICTIONS field or the CURRENT STATUS field of the RIF. Updates to the system are made as agencies complete their reviews and transfer newly opened records to NARA. The database was last updated on May 12, 2008, and currently contains 319,106 records.

Not all the material found in the Collection is indexed in the database. Material that was open for research on October 26, 1992, the day the JFK Act was signed, and was in the custody of the National Archives, did not have to be entered into the database. Most notably, most of the materials gathered by the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy (commonly called the Warren Commission) have not been separately indexed. Additionally, documents received from private donors outside of the Federal government are not described in the database. Finding Aids describe records not in the JFK Database.


Users should be aware, this database is a compilation of entries input by the originating agencies. Although the National Archives and Records Administration provided guidelines for data entry, the master database is inconsistent in the terms used to describe records. Please keep this in mind when planning your database searches.

Contact Information

Questions concerning information in the database should be made to the Special Access and FOIA Staff at the National Archives and Records Administration.

Written inquiries:
Special Access and FOIA Staff,
National Archives at College Park
8601 Adelphi Road, Room 5500
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Telephone: (301) 837-3190

E-mail: specialaccess_foia@nara.gov