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President Nixon's Taping System

Between February 1971 and July 1973, President Richard Nixon secretly recorded 3,700 hours of his phone calls and meetings across the executive offices. Currently, approximately 3,000 hours of these tapes have been declassified, released, and made available to the public. Neither the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) or the Nixon Presidential Library have produced official transcriptions or made the complete audio files available online. Instead, they have left this monumental task a task that NARA once estimated took 130 hours of staff time to transcribe 1 hour of tape to individual researchers and scholars. More information about the Nixon taping system can be found here.

About is the only website dedicated solely to the scholarly production and dissemination of digitized Nixon tape audio and transcripts. This site exists as a public service, plain and simple. It does not contain advertisements and does not collect personal information of visitors. We have the most complete digitized tape collection in existence approximately 3,000 hours spread over 6 terabytes of hard drives that contain more than 10,000 audio files. There is currently no plan to release the final 700 hours of Nixon tapes. These final tapes contain various restrictions preventing release, whether national security classification, materials deemed private or personal, non-historical material, and recordings that violate the privacy rights of living people. When any of these tapes are released, they will be posted on this site. 

The purpose of this website is to make freely available the best-quality digital audio and selected transcripts to scholars, journalists, and members of the public who are not able to travel to NARA's Archives II facility in College Park, Maryland, or to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California. To aid researchers, we do more than simply post the audio files: we also make available the NARA-created tape logs and time codes, the president's daily diary, and pertinent information about each conversation that makes your listening experience better and the tape collection more accessible.

At great personal expense, with technical assistance by Tom Blanton and others at the National Security Archive, we have transferred the audio from analog cassettes to archival quality Digital Audio Tapes (DATs), and finally to uncompressed digital formats, and have posted these files here in easy-to-download compressed formats such as mp3. This multi-year conversion work which was greatly aided by the help of Rick Moss was completed during mid-2009. We maintain both a physical copy of the complete digitized tapes and also thanks to advances in technology a security copy in the "cloud."

In order to ensure the highest level of accuracy, we listen to the best possible quality digital audio and review each transcript posted on this site multiple times. Again, we benefitted from the help of others, most notably Rick Moss and Anand Toprani. There is no guesswork involved in making accurate transcripts: if there is more than one opinion about something we hear on the tapes, we mark the segment "[unclear]". It is very difficult to render the natural speech found on the tapes; the audio quality ranges from unintelligible to fair. We encourage visitors to this site to listen to the audio while reviewing the transcripts, and we welcome your feedback.

     Editor of

Luke A. Nichter is a Professor of History and James. H. Cavanaugh Endowed Chair in Presidential Studies at Chapman University. His area of specialty is the Cold War, the modern presidency, and  U.S. political and diplomatic history, with a focus on the "long 1960s" from John F. Kennedy through Watergate. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Norwegian Nobel Institute, an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Massachusetts Historical Society, a Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan's Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford's Rothermere American Institute, and a Hansard Research Scholar at the London School of Economics.

He is a New York Times bestselling author or editor of eight books, including, most recently, The Year That Broke Politics: Collusion and Chaos in the Presidential Election of 1968 (Yale University Press), which was chosen as a Best Book of 2023 by the Wall Street Journal. It is the first rigorously researched historical account of the most controversial election in modern U.S. history to have cooperation from all four major sides Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, and George Wallace. Luke interviewed approximately 85 family members and former staffers, in addition to extensive archival research and access to new evidence that dramatically changes our understanding of the election. This work was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.

Luke's last book was The Last Brahmin: Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. and the Making of the Cold War (Yale University Press). It was the first full biography of Lodge whose public career spanned from the 1930s to the 1970s based on extensive multilingual archival research. This work was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Grant. He is also the author of Richard Nixon and Europe: The Reshaping of the Postwar Atlantic World (Cambridge University Press), which was based on multilingual archival research in six countries, and is now at work on a book tentatively titled LBJ: The White House Years of Lyndon Johnson.    

He is a noted expert on the secret White House recordings of Franklin D. Roosevelt through Richard Nixon, and wrote an authoritative history of their taping systems commissioned by the White House Historical Association. His website,, featured by CBS Sunday Morning, was the basis for the New York Times bestselling The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Co-edited with Douglas Brinkley, along with a sequel volume, The Nixon Tapes: 1973 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), the volumes won the Arthur S. Link - Warren F. Kuehl Prize for Documentary Editing, awarded by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. Jane Kamensky, Professor of History at Harvard University and Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women, called the volumes among the five best books on th 1970s.

Luke is a former founding Executive Producer of C-SPAN's American History TV, launched during January 2011 in 41 million homes. A feature of the series is "American Artifacts," a weekly program that Luke conceptualized, which lets viewers experience a museum, an archive, or a historic site from behind the scenes something different than what they would ordinarily see as a member of the visiting public. In August 2020, the White House announced his appointment to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, which was created in 1966 as part of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society initiative transforming the role of the federal government from destroyer to protector of historic, cultural, and tribal sites. Luke's appointment ended in  April 2023 after serving in both Democratic and Republican administrations.

He has filed over 2,000 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the purpose of opening historically importat records to public access work that has been officially endorsed by the American Historical Association. His petition before Judge Royce Lamberth of the District Court for the District of Columbia unsealed thousands of pages of government records in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration. For 2022-2024, Luke was appointed by the Archivist of the United States to serve on the federal government's FOIA Advisory Committee.

Luke earned his Ph.D. in History from Bowling Green State University, and lives in Orange, California and Bowling Green, Ohio.

More information about Luke can be found at

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