In April 2003, The University of Texas at Austin purchased Woodward and Bernstein's Watergate papers for $5 million. Paid for through private donations, the papers provide students, researchers, legal scholars, political historians, journalists, and the public with unparalleled behind-the-scenes resources to study Watergate, investigative journalism, and the American political process.
Housed at the Harry Ransom Center, the papers will further document the historical record of the Watergate era and support the academic mission of the University of Texas. In addition to providing their primary documents and sources for public availability, Woodward and Bernstein have established a $500,000 endowment to promote the study and use of the papers through academic conferences, lectures, and programs.
Of key importance in opening the papers to the public was the establishment of a system of access that will ensure Woodward and Bernstein's guarantee of confidentiality to their sources who are still living while maintaining the historical integrity of the papers and ensuring their availability for future disclosure. Towards that objective, files and documents that could reveal the identity of journalistic sources who are still living will remain closed until the death of the individual source, or Woodward and Bernstein's release.
To assist in the access and use of the papers, a finding aid providing a detailed description of the scope and content of the papers and a listing of box and folder contents is available within the Center's reading room and web site.
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