About the Archive
The Mary Ferrell Foundation Archive is the largest searchable electronic collection of materials related to the JFK assassination. It includes both primary and secondary sources:
Over 1,300,000 pages of scanned reports and documents, more than half declassified since 1997. See the Document Archive FAQ for more information.
- Warren Commission: Warren Report, 26 volumes of Hearings and Exhibits, executive session transcripts, Warren Commission Documents
- Garrison Investigation: Clay Shaw trial transcript, Orleans Parish grand jury transcripts
- Rockefeller Commission: Report and selected documents
- Church Committee: 14 published reports, over 100 interview transcripts
- House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA): Final Report, 12 appendix volumes, executive session transcripts, interview transcripts
- Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB): Final Report, medical testimony and exhibits, 1995 and 1996 CIA and FBI releases
- FBI: Headquarters files on Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby, Mexico City Field Office File on Oswald, Headquarters files (HSCA Administrative Folders series). Subjects files
- CIA: Russ Holmes Work File, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, LA Div Work File
- Department of Defense: JSC Central Files, Taylor Papers, Wheeler Papers, Lemnitzer Papers, Califano Papers (Vietnam, Cuba)
- State Department: Foreign Relations of the United States volumes
- National Archives: finding aids, miscellaneous declassified documents
- LBJ Library: phone call tapes and transcripts
- And more, including documents from President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), Pike Committee, White House Communications Agency (WHCA), and papers of Dallas Police Captain Will Fritz, the "Yeltsin" documents, and more.
- House Select Committee on Assassination (HSCA): Final Report, 13 appendix volumes
- FBI: MURKIN files
- Trial of Sirhan Sirhan: Trial transcript, appeal documents, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
- FBI: Los Angeles Field Office files
- LAPD: LAPD Special Unit Senator files
- Watergate Committee report volumes
- House Judiciary Committee hearings
- Watergate Recording Transcripts
- Report of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force
- Rockefeller, Pike, and Church Committee reports and files
- MK-ULTRA hearings
- Logs and calendars of FBI Director Hoover
- CIA "Family Jewels"
- Assassination Attempt on George Wallace
- Iran-Contra Reports & Documents
Over a thousand photos, dozens of hours of audio, and special video resources:
- Photos - White House photos from the JFK Library, evidence photos from National Archives, Warren Commission and HSCA photos, and more
- Audio - Recorded audio of LBJ's presidential phone calls, HSCA and ARRB investigative interviews
- Video - Interview clips with authors and experts, special mini-documentary pieces, gateway to internet video
Readable book excerpts and fully searchable books:
- Chapter-length readable excerpts from over a dozen books
- Full text of hundreds of books with a "fair use" search engine for locating names and phrases
- Online copy of Bill Simpich's "State Secret"
- Documents and resources to accompany several prominent books
The MFF is host to dozens of the best essays on the JFK assassination and other topics. Our Essay Archive also serves as a searchable gateway to hundreds more essays on the internet.
Complete back issues of Kennedy assassination journals in electronic form:
- Kennedy Assassination Chronicles
- The Third Decade
- The Fourth Decade
- Dealey Plaza Echo
Sources of materials in the Archive
- Documents are almost entirely public domain documents published by the federal government or available in the JFK Records Collection and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Some have been obtained directly from NARA; others come from the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), History Matters, the collection of Mary Ferrell, and and other private contributors.
- Books come primarily from the collections of Mary Ferrell and History Matters, supplemented by donations from other private collections.
- Essays are gleaned from the vast archive that is the internet. The MFF also publishes essays directly on this website.
- Journals come from the journal publisher. Our archive currently includes Kennedy Assassination Chronicles, published by JFK Lancer Productions and Publications, Third and Fourth Decade journals published by Jerry Rose, and Dealey Plaza Echo, published by the Dealey Plaza UK group.
Feeding the Archive: How we process materials
- Scanning - Paper-based materials such as documents, books, and journals are first scanned into image files on a computer.
- OCR - Next, optical character recognition is done to find the searchable text within the image of each page.
- Indexing - Indexing is the process of adding titles, section markers, cataloging information, and other metadata to each document.
- Upload - Materials are then uploaded to our web server, and the searchable text is added to our master search index.
About the website technology
The document presentation engine which is at the heart of the website has been custom-developed to provide the most engaging and responsive research experience. Although PDF copies of documents are available to Pro members, our custom engine focuses on individual pages, allowing cross-linking which is not possible with other document-based formats. This allows essays to link to a specific page in a document, and for search tools to deliver you right to the spot you're looking for.
The search engine is built on top of ElasticSearch, an extension of the popular and powerful Lucene search engine. But we have added many features beyond the core, enabling searching of National Archives' RIF fields, sophisticated filtering by document set, document type, and date range, and more.