Explanation of access restrictions and appeals process
Withholding of individual documents from research use (for specific or indefinite time periods) may be required by donor stipulation or by Executive Order. For each withheld document a withdrawal sheet is placed in the collection folder to indicate what has been removed and the reasons why.
Collections may be designated as "Open," "Open in part," "Permission required," or "Closed" for any of the following reasons (for more information about these designations, please consult our online FAQ):
- Removal according to the provisions of a deed of gift or deposit agreement. You may appeal such closures in writing to the Director of the Kennedy Library. Donor appeal forms are available in the Main Research Room and on our website: Donor Appeal form.
- Removal according to National Archives and Records Administration criteria, principally documents relating to investigations of individuals, documents the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy, or documents that libel a living person. You may appeal such closures in writing to the Director of the Kennedy Library. Donor appeal forms are available in the Main Research Room and on our website: Donor Appeal form.
- Removal required by national security classification. You may appeal such removals through the Mandatory Review process administered according to Executive Order 12958. Mandatory Review forms are available in the Main Research Room and on our website: Mandatory Review form. Please consult our online FAQ for guidance on submitting a Mandatory Review request.
To learn more about the document declassification process, see our blog posting "Demystifying Declassification". For further assistance please contact Kennedy.Library@nara.gov or 617.514.1629.