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ACHRE Report
Roadmap to the Project
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ACHRE Report

Final Report


Some Initial Questions and Answers


Part I: Finding Federal Records

Part II: Agency Information and Services

Part III: Personal Medical Records

Part IV: Using the ACHRE Collection as a Place to Start


. . . I have been to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C. I have seen a lot of documents. I have learned some of the codes, so please don't try to shaft me. I know a lot. The records are not here in Cincinnati, all of them on my grandmother. And I have been trying to find them. And I just would like to know where the rest of them are. So please, will you help me find them?

--Citizen at the ACHRE public forum in Cincinnati

21 October 1994

As the Advisory Committee traveled across the country taking public testimony, it heard citizens describe many of the same experiences over and over. One common thread that struck a particularly responsive chord with the Committee was the sheer frustration felt by many, even experienced researchers, who had tried to find their own records or to find out the details of government programs. The difficulty we have all faced in doing this research yields an important lesson: The government must be honest about the nature and purposes of the studies it sponsors and conducts; in sponsoring human experimentation, it has an even higher obligation to keep a fair record and provide those involved with meaningful access. The Advisory Committee has done what it can to open the door to our nation's archives. We all must see that it remains open.

This appendix is intended to help. For those who want to know whether a relative was involved in an experiment, and for historians, journalists, and others with a more general interest in human radiation experiments (HREs) and the general topic of government-sponsored research, the following pages discuss what to ask for, whom to write to, and where to go.

The Advisory Committee's records are one important place to turn (see part IV). It should be understood, though, that the Advisory Committee did not find everything there is to find about human radiation experiments, nor could we review what we did find in the detail we would have preferred. Moreover, neither the Advisory Committee nor the agencies, generally speaking, sought the medical records of individuals. But there is much information that we did recover, and the efforts of the Advisory Committee and the agencies have increased the likelihood that citizens will be able to find the personal documents they need.

This Guide has four parts: part I is an introduction to finding and using federal records; part II covers agency facilities and services, including what information is available at which agencies, and where to go and how to get it; part III focuses on finding medical records. And part IV is an introduction to the records collected and created by the Advisory Committee.