At a Glance


With the Freedom of Information Act, the government declassified thousands of documents, including those available here.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Vault

Over 6,000 documents from more than 150 FBI files, declassified due to Freedom of Information Act requests, are available here. No contextual information is available concerning individual documents, although file headnotes identify the person or event profiled in short one-sentence to one-paragraph descriptions. Documents, some of which are available in PDF format, have been organized into twenty categories—ranging from Popular Culture to Foreign Counterintelligence, and the Gangster Era to Unexplained Phenomena (such as UFOs and animal mutilations). Although the collection covers a variety of topics, many documents have been heavily censored and are barely legible. Cases from the first half of the 20th century include: the Sacco-Vanzetti case in the 1920s; the 1932 Bonus March; the Black Legion of the 1930s; the Young Communist League, 1939–41; and the Daily Worker in the late 1940s and 1950s. More recent cases include the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964; SNCC, beginning in 1964; the Ku Klux Klan in 1964 and 1965; a Black Panther Party chapter beginning in 1969; the Watergate break-in of 1972; the white hate group Posse Comitas in 1973; the Weather Underground in the 1970s; and the Gay Activists Alliance of the 1970s.