News & Information

Rss Feed

CIA Releases Five Million Pages of Historical Records

Press Release
November 20, 2003

In fiscal year 2003, the Central Intelligence Agency released more than five million pages of declassified records to the public at the National Archives (NARA) facility in College Park, MD. Included are 1.5 million pages released on 30 September 2003 in the form of digital images in a full-text searchable database called CREST (CIA REcords Search Tool). The FY 2003 release is in support of Presidential Executive Order (EO) 12958 that provides for automatic declassification of unreviewed records of permanent historical value over 25 years old on December 31, 2006.

The most recent additions to the electronic CREST system include approximately 110,000 documents and 1.5 million pages. These 1945 - 1981 records are from all CIA directorates and include:

  • Directorate of Intelligence publications files (including a large collection of the Central Intelligence Bulletin daily serial publications).
  • Directorate of Operations field information reports.
  • Director of Central Intelligence policy files.
  • Directorate of Science and Technology (DS&T) policy files and research and development (R&D) files.
  • Directorate of Administration policy files, directives, and task force and briefing files.
  • National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) ground photo caption cards and photo interpretation reports; NIMA intelligence publications files; R&D files, translation surveys, and other miscellaneous files.

Overall, the CIA has released approximately 545,000 documents or 8.7 million pages in the CREST system, at NARA, under the automatic declassification provisions of EO 12958. CREST includes Cold War finished intelligence documents, operational information reports from the field, policy files from all CIA Directorates and administrative records documenting the establishment and management of the CIA. These documents chronicle major CIA programs such as the U-2 airborne system development and deployment, including records of the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC), and translated summaries of foreign publications.

In addition, CIA has also released under the EO thousands of reels of motion picture film, millions of ground-level photographs of virtually every country in the world, publications in hard copy form such as the National Intelligence Surveys, and over a million pages of translations of foreign language documents to NARA's College Park facility.

Since its inception in 1995, the CIA Declassification Center has released some 27 million pages of formerly sensitive records under EO 12958. Additional information on how to access CIA records at NARA and the CREST System is available from the NARA Web site,

Historical Document
Posted: Apr 12, 2007 07:58 AM
Last Updated: Jun 17, 2008 03:21 PM