CIA seizes Sen. Jackson papers

SEATTLE – Five federal government officials, including three from the CIA, have removed several documents from the archival papers of the late Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson housed at the University of Washington.

Last week the federal document security team spent three days in the special collections division of the UW Suzzallo-Allen library. The officials, which also included people from the Department of Defense and Department of Energy, combed through 1,200 boxes of material using a five-binder index to find the targeted papers.

Carla Rickerson, head of special collections, said the team removed up to 10 documents.

She would not disclose the exact number or subject matter of the documents because of the university’s privacy policies.

Rickerson said the papers, now considered classified, are being held in a secure location on campus until federal authorities declassify them.

The majority of the Jackson papers span his years in Congress, the period of 1940 to 1983. A portion are drawn from his pre-congressional years when he worked as a private attorney in Everett and as the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney.

Jackson was born in Everett and earned his lifelong nickname “Scoop” as a paper boy for The Everett Daily Herald.

Jackson’s widow, Helen, donated the collection to the university following the senator’s death in 1983.

At that time, a team of UW library staff removed classified information before making the files accessible.

The massive collection includes Post-It notes, constituent letters, personal correspondence, official reports and photos.

They cover a range of policy matters with a significant amount in Jackson’s areas of expertise: national defense, foreign policy and the environment.

Since the documents were made available to the public, hundreds of researchers have reviewed them to gain insight about Jackson’s role as a public servant.

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