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When the Archives staff assumed responsibility for processing the collection of recordings of telephone conversations, the first step undertaken was inventorying the entire collection of telephone recordings. A database was created for the inventory using Paradox 3.5 software. Information was entered for each conversation, initially based on the information provided on the slips attached to each belt. As the recordings were duplicated, additional information was entered into the database for each recording. This database has been used to create the description pages for each conversation, as well as the overall finding aid for the collection.

The following is a brief description of the database fields which appear in the description pages for each recorded conversation.

CITATION NO.: The unique number assigned to each PNO which researchers should use when citing that conversation. The Citation Numbers from one month to the next are not sequential because the staff has reserved numbers at the end of each month in the event that additional recordings or transcripts for that month are located in the future.

The same Citation Number(s) assigned to a PNO are also assigned to any corresponding transcript of that conversation. When several versions of a transcript of a single conversation exist, they are assigned the same Citation Number, but with an alpha extension to distinguish the different versions. Transcripts of conversations which originally spanned more than one belt and whose recordings have two or more PNO numbers are assigned all the Citation Numbers given the recording. The Citation Numbers are written on the upper, right-hand corner of the transcript.

TAPE: Number assigned to each tape. The tapes in the White House Series are preceded by "WH" (JFK Series are preceded by "K"), followed by the last two digits of the calendar year, two digits indicating the month of the year, a period, and two digits indicating the sequential number of each tape for that month (i.e., WH6401.03 indicates that this is the third tape containing conversations for January 1964 in the White House Series).

PROGRAM NO.: Program Number (PNO) is an electronic sub-code which has been inserted on the digital recording at the beginning of each conversation. The PNOs are assigned sequentially on a tape.

LENGTH: Length of the recorded conversation in minutes and seconds (i.e., "10:53" indicates the conversation is ten minutes, fifty-three seconds in length).

DATE: Date of the conversation.

TIME: Time the conversation occurred in the time zone where the call was recorded. Thus, if the conversation was recorded at the LBJ Ranch, it is Central Time; if it was at the White House, it is Eastern Time.

PLACE: LBJ's location when the call took place. If the field is blank, either the call took place at the White House or the Archives staff could not determine LBJ's location. If the location of the other speaker is relevant or helpful to the researcher, that information has been entered in the Comments field.

LBJ (Y/N): Yes/No field indicating if LBJ is audible on the recording. Normally it means that LBJ is a party to the conversation. It may also simply mean that he is audible in the background.


WHO?: Name of the principal conversant if it is not LBJ.

TO/FROM: "T" indicates the call is one made by LBJ (or the principal conversant if the call does not include LBJ) to the person listed in the Speaker field. "F" indicates the call was made from the person listed in the Speaker field to LBJ. This information was usually entered on the slip or Daily Diary in lowercase letters.

SPEAKER: First and last name of the caller.


SPEAKERS: Names of any additional speakers who participate in the conversation. First and last names of the speakers are entered unless space does not permit it. The term "OFFICE CONVERSATION" is used to indicate conversation in the background among people who are not actual participants in the telephone conversation.


(Y/N): Yes/No field indicating whether or not a transcript or summary of the conversation exists in the Transcripts Series.

RESTRICTION: Type of restriction of any closed material in the conversation. "A" indicates the conversation has been closed in its entirety because it contains national security classified information; "C" indicates it has been closed in its entirety in accordance with President Johnson's deed of gift (donor closure). "A-SAN," "C-SAN," and "A&C-SAN" indicate that part(s) of the conversation are closed for either national security, donor restrictions, or both.

COMMENTS: Information about physical characteristics of the recording, or information about the call as originally noted on the slips.


TOPICS: Major topic(s) of the call, from the master list compiled by the Archives staff. See Appendix B for a list of the topics and usage notes. General Topics are listed in alphabetical order, not order of importance in the conversation.

TOPICS: Specific information about the topic of the conversation. This field has been assigned the maximum length possible in the database software. Researchers should be aware that it is not possible for the Archives staff to describe every aspect of a conversation, particularly for lengthy conversations. The sequence of information in this field is not necessarily the same as the sequence of topics covered in the conversation itself.

Names of countries, federal agencies, and some terms used in the Topics field reflect contemporary terminology used during the Johnson administration (i.e., "Congo" is used, not "Zaire"; "AEC" for Atomic Energy Commission, is used not "DOE" for Department of Energy; "Negro" is used rather than "Black" or "African-American").

The Archives staff has compiled a list of standard abbreviations used in this field and in the Comments field. See Appendix C for this list. Please note that individuals whose names are abbreviated in the Topics and Comments field are spelled out in the Speaker and Other Speaker fields.