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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 2 million pages of scanned reports and documents, more than half declassified since 1997. See the Document Archive FAQ for more information.

John F. Kennedy Assassination

Martin Luther King Assassination

Robert F. Kennedy Assassination


Intelligence Investigations Documents

Special Collections


Over a thousand photos, dozens of hours of audio, and special video resources:


Readable book excerpts and fully searchable 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:

Sources of materials in the Archive

Feeding the Archive: How we process materials

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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