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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.

John F. Kennedy Assassination

  • 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.

Martin Luther King Assassination

  • House Select Committee on Assassination (HSCA): Final Report, 13 appendix volumes
  • FBI: MURKIN files

Robert F. Kennedy Assassination

  • 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

Intelligence Investigations Documents

  • Rockefeller, Pike, and Church Committee reports and files
  • MK-ULTRA hearings
  • Logs and calendars of FBI Director Hoover
  • CIA "Family Jewels"

Special Collections

  • 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

  • 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.

HTML5 and Javascript are used in pages to provide responsive user interaction, for example the ability to smoothly zoom into a document page.

Getting Started with the MFF Archive

This website features sophisticated tools for browsing and searching the materials in the MFF Archive. The material is vast and can be overwhelming. Here are a few ways to begin:

1. Use the Starting Points. These mini-essays provide an abundance of links to documents and other resources related to the page's topic. There are three document Walkthroughs that also provide many links.

2. Browse the Collection. You can navigate to any document using the hierarchy of document listings. Start with the main Document Archive and work up and down the various collections to get the lay of the land.

3. Use the Search Tools. Obviously search is the most powerful way to get what you're looking for. But notice where in the collection you end up, not just the words on the page.

4. Use the Help system.

Once you have mastered the basics, you can move on to the more sophisticated search tools, like RIF search. Don't forget the other aspects of the site - the innovative research Projects, the Multimedia Archive, Book Resources, and much more. The home page provides a great launch point to many of these resources.

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