Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE) Collection at the National Archives, College ParkOverview: 665 cubic feet of records from the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments have been deposited at the National Archives and made part of Record Group 220, Presidential Committees, Commissions, and Boards. The collection can be accessed through the Archive's Textual Reference Branch located at Archives II, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland. The phone number is (301) 713- 7250.
The collection consists primarily of documents collected from Federal agencies and other sources during the Committee's research process, but also includes the Committee's administrative files, meeting documentation, notes, and other records generated by the staff.
Organization: The ACHRE collection is divided into 12 major series. The series of primary interest to most researchers is the Research Collection Series, which consists of two major components: the Archives file and the Library file. The Archives file represents the primary documents collected from agencies and other sources; the Library file encompasses secondary sources, such as journal articles and published reports. The Archives file is organized by accession number. Each deposit of records to ACHRE was assigned an acces-sion number which consists of an acronym for the document source, the deposit date, and an alpha designator which represents the sequence of deposits from that source on that date; i. e., DOD-062194-C represents the third Defense Department deposit of June 21, 1994. An accession may consist of one document or several boxes of documents.
Finding Aids at the Archives: Paper copy finding aids are found in five binders at the National Archives. The finding aids provide basic access to the 12 records series. The finding aid for the Archives file identifies the current box number for each accession number. Copies of the ACHRE Final Report and supplemental volumes are also available. Supplemental Volume 2A includes a complete listing of all accessions in the Archives collection, of all publications in the Library collection, of all experiments identified by ACHRE, and of individual documents within each accession which were specifically described, including those cited in the Final Report. Volume 2A also includes indexes of this data sorted in several ways, such as by subject. The electronic index to the collection is not available to researchers at NARA.
Other Finding Aids to the ACHRE Collection: The Lotus Notes database created by the Advisory Committee is available to researchers at the National Security Archive, a private nonprofit organization, located in the Gelman Library at George Washington University, (202) 994- 7000. However, some familiarity with Lotus Notes may be necessary for a researcher to search the database.
The National Security Archive also maintains a Web site for ACHRE information (www.seas.gwu.edu/nsarchive/radiation/). The site includes information such as transcripts and related materials for Committee meetings, the text of the Final Report, and the complete listing of the research document (archives) collection, publications (library) collection, and experiments. Word searches can be performed using the capabilities of an Internet browser (such as Netscape).
Barriers to Access: The ACHRE collection at the National Archives has material protected by the Privacy Act interspersed throughout. As a result, most boxes of records must be screened by Archives staff to remove this material prior to being provided to researchers. The Archives has indicated that it needs at least 1 week of lead time for any requests which involve more than a few folders, to allow time to review the requested material. In some cases, it can take up to several months. Researchers are asked to be as specific as possible in their requests.
Please note that it may be difficult to locate a specific document within an accession because the documents have not been assigned individual document identifiers (i. e., document numbers). It may be necessary to review an entire accession to locate the desired document.
Other ResourcesDOE Office of Human Radiation Experiments (OHRE) Home Page (www.ohre.doe.gov): OHRE created a Web site in early 1995 to make its human radiation experiment document collection and other important information readily available to the public. The site provides access to the text of OHRE's publications- the Roadmap, the Experiment List, and a series of oral histories conducted by OHRE- as well as other material of interest such as the transcript of a stakeholder's workshop held in February 1996. The text of the Advisory Committee Report is also accessible from this home page. This site also provides links to other relevant sites, including all those referenced in this document.
The major feature of the home page is the Human Radiation Experiments Information Management System (HREX), which was developed by DOE to provide users with the ability to conduct full-text searches of its 250,000 page historical document collection and to retrieve images of those documents. All documents placed on the Web have been screened for Privacy Act material and personal identifiers have been removed (redacted). Each document in the collection has been assigned a unique document number and identified with provenance (source) information. The original copy of the document is maintained by the facility or institution identified in the provenance information. Please note that most, but not all, of the documents provided to the Advisory Committee are in HREX. The exceptions are a small number of documents retrieved by Committee staff directly from DOE sites and not processed through OHRE.
Interagency HREX (hrex.dis.anl.gov): In November 1996, a new version of HREX was made available to the public. This enhanced version of HREX allows access to historical documents collected by other agencies involved in the Interagency Working Group (Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Veterans' Affairs, Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). As above, all documents placed in the Interagency HREX are screened for material protected by the Privacy Act, and personal identifiers are removed (redacted). This interagency system currently has more than 300,000 pages of documents (including the DOE documents) and when completed will contain approximately 500,000 searchable pages.
The Coordination and Information Center (CIC): Paper copies of all DOE documents found in HREX are stored at the CIC in Las Vegas, NV. Paper copies of all DOD's documents have recently been transferred there as well. In addition to its holdings related to human radiation experiments, the CIC possesses a large collection of documents from the era of atmospheric atomic weapons testing. To request documents, contact the CIC in writing at P. O. Box 98521, Las Vegas, NV 89193- 8521 or by phone at (702) 295- 0731. Small numbers of documents can be printed off the Internet, but large volume requests for paper documents are better directed to the CIC. Individuals may access unredacted documents about themselves or about their next-of-kin from the CIC if they provide proof of identity.
The complete index of DOE holdings at the CIC (including the human radiation experiments collection) is available on the Internet via OpenNet (apollo.osti.gov/html/osti/opennet/opennet1.html). OpenNet, sponsored by the DOE Office of Declassification, also provides bibliographic information on recently declassified DOE documents and other document collections.
DOE Public Reading Rooms: Redacted paper copies of all documents located by DOE facilities as part of the human radiation experiments search and included in HREX have also been deposited in the public reading room for that facility.
List of Publications