News service focuses on center archive

The vast archives of the Center for American History at the University of Texas include the papers of TV newsman Walter Cronkite, the records of Exxon Mobil Corp. and more than 5 million photographs of everything from cowboy life to the Vietnam War. Until now, hardly anyone knew the center's holdings also include 700 feet of boxes of materials related to the case of Timothy McVeigh, the decorated Gulf War veteran and government hater who was executed in 2001 for bombing the federal building in Oklahoma City. Transcripts, FBI reports, correspondence, videotapes, photographs and other materials were donated years ago to UT by McVeigh's lead counsel, Stephen Jones of Enid, Okla., but the existence of the archive did not come to light publicly until a federal court ruled this month the lawyer could not take a charitable tax deduction for the gift. The archive, consisting of defense materials as well as copies of prosecution materials that were shared with McVeigh's team, is likely to prove a treasure trove for academic researchers, conspiracy theorists and those merely curious about the April 19, 1995 attack that killed 168 persons. "How come we haven't told anyone about it?" asked Don Carleton, director of the Center for American History. "We were faced with a situation of: 'How do you promote the existence of the research archive without seeming to be insensitive to victims' families?' We didn't want to make this appear in any way like a celebratory kind of thing. "We just decided to preserve the collection and kind of sit on it. It's open to the public. Some congressional investigators have looked at it."

Cox News Service
Texas Center Holds McVeigh Archive
(Nov. 22)