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Document Creation Date: 
December 19, 2016
Document Release Date: 
December 19, 2006
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Publication Date: 
January 10, 1961
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PDF icon CIA-RDP73-00402R000100300036-2.pdf279.22 KB
o Approved For Relea R'_'. _b '106 0`0112119: ; { Z3 402R000100300036-2 ce Memorandum ? UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO : Chief, Records Management Staff Records Analyst, RMS DATE: 10 JAI'. 9 j 1 svsJECr: Disposition of Intelligence Reference Collections in OCR To reduce the volume of other agency intelligence documents accumulated by CIA for reference use. b. To control the future volume of such documents. 2. Facts Bearing on the Problem The member agencies of USIB produce intelligence documents copies of which are exchanged within the community for ref- erence use. CIA receives annually an average of 5 million copies of such documents. . At the present time approximately 2,000 cu. ft. of other agency intelligence documents are held by the CIA Library in hard copy or microfilm. An additional 2,000 cu. ft. are stored in the Records Center and much of this is now more than 10 years old. C. Disposition instructions for this type of material usually read "Destroy when no longer needed for reference purposes" or "Destroy when superseded or obsolete." These instrucions have accomplished little in controlling growth of the ref- erence collection because of a nebulous, unofficial opinion within CIA and some agencies of the USIB community that the CIA Library is a central, permanent repository for the USIB documents it receives. A corolary of this opinion is the notion that once a reference document is destroyed future retrieval of a copy would be difficult if not impossible. There is no official basis for this thinking and it conflicts with the findings of the Hoover Commission report of 1955 on "Intelligence Activities." This report noted that a cen- tral library for the intelligence community was impracticable. However, the influence of the unofficial opinion has contri- buted to some reluctance on the part of librarians and analysts to discard inactive reference material. STAT Approved For Release 296/i 2/19 :,G]AttRDR:73-00402;R,?00100300036-2 Agency is thus building a specialized collection of its own intelligence products. Access to these collections in case of need after destruction of inactive reference copies would encourage disposal and establish volume control of intelli- gence reference collections, d. Any working arrangement that would insure inter-agency acct to specialized collections required existence of the following conditions: 1. Each Agency would agree that copies of intelligence docu- ments used for reference., should be destroyed after be- coming-.inactive. 2. Each Agency would assume responsibility for maintaining record copies of its own intelligence documents. Each Agency would agree to furnish reference service on its record copies of intelligence documents after des- truction of reference copies in other Agencies. 4+. e. In January 1959 a meeting of Records Management Officers from USIB Agencies was called by the Chief, Records Managoment Staff, CIA (See Tab A). The purpose of this meeting was to discuss informally means of controlling growth of reference collections and to secure reactions to establishing the con- ditions noted above. It was the unanimous opinion of those present that disposal of reference collections presented a eondtant problem, and that the CIA representatives should proceed in a pioneering effort to establish disposition standards for such materials. Conclusions a. After discussions with the ARO/OCR, the Chief, Circulation Branch, LY/OCR and the Chief, Records Center a proposed in- teragency agreement on disposal of reference collections was drafted and approved by the AD/OCR. The proposal called for destruction of reference materials 5 years after becoming inactive.. This retention period was based on Records Center experience. The initial agreement was drafted for concurrence of the Department of State (Tab B) and became the basic CIA' position i ormal n'i3otiations with other USIB Agencies. Be- ginning wi h State Department, the proposed agreement was pre- sented in meetings with the Records Management Officers off. each USTB Agency. b.N The key principle of the CIA proposal, interagency access to each others intelligence collections after destruction of ref- erence copies, was concurred in by the Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force, the Department of State, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (See Tab C). Approved For Release 2006112119 CIA-R00P73-00402R000100300036-2 d. Traditionally government and non-government libraries have geared their disposal practices to the availability of shelving space. When new books or other items arrive and space is needed, the inactive material is weeded out and destroyed or transferred to the Library of Congress. In CIA books are transferred to Library of Congress and other items are stored in the Records Center. 3? e. It is cheaper to store records in proper records center facilities than to microfilm them. The Hoover Committee reported that on the average it costs $40.00 to microfilm 1 cu. ft. of records and about 60 cents.to keep the same records in-a records center for 1 year. In this instance the break even point is not reached for more than 60 years. f. Today non-government libraries are taking other approaches to controlling the volume of holdings. Microfilm is one of these. Another is the Library Center plan that provides a central storage facility for libraries of a geographical area, and a central reference service. to the materials de- posited. This plan permits disposal of duplicate holdings among member libraries of the area. There is also the so called Farmington Plan that seeks to limit growth and dup- lication of holdings. Under this plan mutual agreements are secured among certain libraries to assume responsibility for acquisitions in specialized fields of knowledge, and to fur- nish mutual reference service on these collections. a. No precedents or standards exist for the systematic disposal of intelligence reference files. This conclusion was reached after discussions with staff members of the National Archives and Records Service, GSA, and records officers of USIH agencies. b. Washington Platt in Strategic Intelligence Production (pg. 28) estimates that strategic intelligence information in peacetime depreciates at the rate of 20% per year at a constant rate. Experience of the Agency Records Center indicates that calls for retired reference materials decrease to a;negligible point within 5 years. c. Since librarians are usually involved in the administration of intelligence reference collections, a central concept of the Farmington Plan, specialization in holdings, was consid- ered to be an effective basis for negotiating the objective of this project within the intelligence community. It is essential that USIB Agencies accumulate and have ready ref- erence to each others specialized products. However, there is no necessity for retaining this reference material indef- initely after it becomes inactive, because other copies or originals are retained by the Agency of origin. Each USIB Approved For Release 2006/12 19: CIA-RDP73-00402R000100300036-2 On the basis of those a reen tints more specific disposal in- structions could be issued for reference collections of docu- ments furnished by USIB Ag neies. These instructions would read: "Transfer to Records Center when inactive. Destroy after 5 years." d. Approximately 4000 cubic feet of reference material held by the Records Center and the OCR Library are now subject to these instructions. About 25% of this material could be destroyed at once and the remainder on a continuing basis. e. Future growth of Agency reference collections could be con- trolled by application of these instructions. a. That the AD/OCR issue disposition instructions for LY/OCR ..reference collections reading: "Transfer to Records Center when inactive. Destroy after 5 years."be That copies of this staff study be released to the Records Management Officers in USIB Agencies for use as a precedent in establishing similar disposition standards within those Agencies. c. That reports on the volume of material destroyed under the new standards be submitted to the Chief, Records. Management Staff. Annexes: Tab A - Memorandum of USIB Agencies records officers meeting. Tab B - CIA - State Agreement on Disposal of Documents. Tab C - USIB Agencies Agreements. Concurrence: /, :_ f. STAT STAT Chief, Records Management Staff Approved:' STAT Signature) .Assistant Director for Central Reference Title