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News Release — March 23, 2007

Deep Throat Materials from Woodward and Bernstein's
Watergate Papers Open for Research at Ransom Center

Typed memo

Bob Woodward's notes from meeting with
Mark Felt at a bar in Prince George's County,
Maryland. March 5, 1973.
Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers.
Harry Ransom Center.

AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center has opened materials from Watergate journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's on Mark Felt, the source known as Deep Throat, to researchers, scholars and the public.

A selection of the Deep Throat materials can be viewed in an web exhibition, and portions of the materials from the Felt file will be displayed on the first floor of the Ransom Center from Friday, March 23, through Sunday, April 8.

Woodward and Bernstein's papers, including notebooks, memos, interviews, story drafts, clippings and manuscripts for "All the President's Men" and "The Final Days," are housed at the Ransom Center.

On June 19, 1972, while pursuing leads about one of the burglars caught in the Democratic National Headquarters two days earlier, Woodward called a friend at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This was the first of at least 17 contacts between Woodward and his friend, FBI Associate Director Mark Felt.

Woodward's accounts of these meetings in "All the President's Men" (1974) and "The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat" (2005) indicate that between June 1972 and November 1973, Woodward called Felt seven times, and met him once at his FBI office for an on-the-record interview, once at Felt's house, once at a bar in Prince George's County, Md., once at an undisclosed location and six times in a parking garage in Rosslyn, Va.

Woodward never took notes when meeting with Felt but would often type memos of their conversations soon after they talked. Some conversations were so specific or short that no memo was written.

Felt would not allow Woodward to quote him or identify him as a source. He resisted providing Woodward with new information, preferring to confirm information already known by Woodward or suggest a particular path of investigation.

Felt's role was revealed for the first time when "All the President's Men" was published in 1974, but he was identified only as a source nicknamed Deep Throat. His identity remained a well-guarded secret until May 2005 when Vanity Fair magazine published Felt's announcement that "I'm the guy they called Deep Throat."

The University of Texas at Austin acquired the Watergate papers of Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein for $5 million, an acquisition entirely supported by donors. Woodward and Bernstein were the first journalists to establish the connection between the June 17, 1972, break-in at the Democratic national headquarters in the Watergate complex and aides to President Richard M. Nixon.

To celebrate the collection, the Ransom Center is hosting a public program titled "The Legacy of Watergate: Why It Still Matters." The event, sponsored by the Austin American-Statesman and statesman.com, consists of two panel discussions, each involving Woodward and Bernstein, on Friday, March 23, at The University of Texas at Austin campus.

Participants in the first panel, "Watergate and Presidential Accountability," include Bruce Buchanan, professor of government; Francis J. Gavin, associate professor of public affairs; and Sanford Levinson, professor of law. Panelists for "Watergate and the Media: Did the System Work?" include Roderick P. Hart, dean of the College of Communication; Richard Oppel, editor of the Austin American-Statesman; and David Oshinsky, professor of history.

The University of Texas at Austin is indebted to the following donors who made it possible to bring the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers to the Ransom Center: The Cain Foundation, Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP, Guaranty Bank, Christopher M. Harte, Hobby Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph D. Jamail, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, Audre and Bernard Rapoport, RGK Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Judy S. and Charles W. Tate, University Co-Op and Martha Ann Walls.

Materials housed at the Ransom Center may be viewed by researchers in the Center's reading room. Information about accessing the Center's collections may be found online.

High-resolution press images from the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers are available.

 

 
 

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Harry Ransom Center
The University of Texas at Austin
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Austin TX 78713-7219

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