1 Reply Latest reply on May 19, 2017 11:23 AM by Alex Daverede

    Question on labeling of declassified documents

    techhistorynerd Adventurer

      I'm familiar with the general rules at the NARA about correctly making copies of documents with classified markings, specifically eCFR — Code of Federal Regulations 1254.76 and 2001.25: Declassification markings.   Does the "copies of records" clause in 2001.25 require that any subsequent document using some or all of the information in the original record also preserve and propagate the declassification information?  As a concrete hypothetical, let's take a declassified missile range map from the Cold War (and assume it's public domain, seeing as access and use are both "Unrestricted").  If a website wanted to reproduce that figure without either the canceled classification stamp or the declassification authority information would that be acceptable? Or would any "derivative" graphic based on that original be obligated to keep the declassification information with it regardless, since the original from which the unmarked version is derived was originally marked TS?  I realize this question probably doesn't come up a lot, since most users of this type of material prefer to preserve the evidence of its restricted history in order to heighten audience interest, but the language of 1254.76 feels like it is primarily concerned with copies while in and leaving physical NARA sites and I was wondering if someone at the NARA could clarify what the actual labeling requirements are in subsequent use.

        • Re: Question on labeling of declassified documents

          While the derivative classification rule applies on the originating agency side of things (where agencies must appropriately mark documents with the highest level of classification of the document equal to that of the document from which the classified information came), there is no parallel requirement on the researcher side.


          As you note, CFR 1254.76 requires that copies of declassified documents can only leave NARA research spaces with a declassification marking, which is understood to be the declassification project number under which the records were declassified.  These markings usually bear the letters NND or NW followed by a five or six digit number.  I recommend that a footnote for the graphic along the lines of "Information on this graphic derived from declassified sources at the National Archives at College Park (or other specific NARA facility) from declassification project NND XXXXX"  would be helpful in the situation you describe.

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