Fred Graboske

Fred GraboskeCredentials

Former Chief Archivist Nixon Tapes


Born 1945; raised in the Wyoming Valley of the Susquehanna River.

Graduated Wyoming Seminary College Prep School; 1962.

B.A. from American University, Washington, DC; double major in History and Education. Minor in Japanese History.

Military service 1967-1969, including 1 year in Vietnam; 1st Infantry Division.

Loan officer, Major Finance Corporation; Silver Spring, MD.

Read "The Creation of the American Republic" by Gordon Wood; was inspired to return to academe.

M.A. from Catholic University, Washington, DC, in 1973; major in American History.

Entered Ph.D. program at American University; completed course work in 1975.

Hired by the Office of Presidential Libraries, National Archives; January 1976; entered 1-year training program.

February 1977; was assigned to inventory and pack President Ford's foreign gifts. This was followed by his Bicentennial gifts. Then was assigned to inventory President Nixon's foreign gifts.

In 1978, was assigned as the 1st Supervisory Archivist of the Nixon White House Tapes. Scrapped the previous NARA plan for transcription as too expensive, too time-consuming and poor sound quality of the tapes; impossible to produce 100% accurate renderings. The tapes were the record. Developed the topic outline plan, with a double staff review of the content, participants and the special categories (Watergate, National Security, Personal). Produced sound-enhanced master copies of the original tapes; personally reviewed all edits. Completed the double review in 1988; began planning for public access to the tapes. Concurrently reviewed and released the White House Communication Agency recordings of President Nixon's public and semi-public appearances. Developed oral history project and interviewed Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Colson, Ash, Richardson and others.

September 1988, detailed to the National Security Council staff to do FOIA and declassification review of records from the Administration of President Kennedy to the current Administration. Completed the backlog in 1990; assigned personally by, then-Archivist of the US, Trudy Peterson, to process records at the Washington National Records Center.

Cooperated with Seymour Hersh on his article about NARA's handling of the Nixon materials, which appeared in "The New Yorker" Magazine; January 1992.

January 1992, hired as Archivist of the Marine Corps operational records and personal papers in the History and Museums Division at the Washington Navy Yard. Negotiated an arrangement with the Japanese National Diet Library for their employees to microfilm the Marine Corps World War II records. Obtained funding to digitize over 1 million pages of Vietnam War records onto CD-ROMs; distributed these free to veterans. Worked with the Navy Historical Foundation to obtain grant from the Douglas Dillon Foundation to digitize Navy and Marine Corps oral history tapes. Retired from federal service in 2005 when the Division was transferred to Quantico.

Joined Milliken & Associates of Miami, FL as a Records Manager contractor. Oversaw project in the Office of the Legal Advisor at the State Department to make folder title lists of all their records. Expanded project to include digitization of over 5 million pages before contract expired in 2012.