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National Archives

White House Office of Records Management

The White House Office of Records Management (WHORM) Subject File consists of 58 broad subject classifications developed by the Office of Records Management during the Kennedy Administration to facilitate the filing and retrieval of White House records. The WHORM system allows White House personnel to file individual documents according to subject. Therefore, the Subject File is comprised of a limited number of main (or primary) categories (in this case 58) which in turn are divided into sub (or secondary) categories. Each primary category is assigned a two letter code i.e. FI for Finance. All subcategories listed under finance are also assigned the same two letter code (FI) with a numeric extension of up to six numbers. For example: FI001 stands for Accounting - Audits while FI004-02 stands for Estimates - Budget. Within each category or subcategory, each document is assigned a unique six digit number. All told, the WHORM Subject File contains a total of 370,000 individual documents.

Currently, 45 primary categories (including all subcategories) are available for research. The remaining thirteen primary categories (together with their subcategories) are only partially available for research. Eight of the thirteen primary categories have one or more subcategories processed and available. For a description of what is available in the eight partially open categories click here or use the chart below and select the "Guide" option to view a complete description of the category, all subcategories, and availability for research. Primary and secondary categories that are currently unavailable for research can be requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for further information on filing a FOIA request. When requesting unprocessed subject files please indicate the title and code for each category (and subcategory) you request.

Please note that the Bush Library searches the entire subject file when processing Freedom of Information requests and only processes relevant documents (indicated by individual numbers on the FOIA finding aid). We will only process an entire category or subcategory if the entire category is relevant to the request or the requestor asks that we make the entire category or subcategory available.

How to Read the Chart Below

Below, please find a complete list of all WHORM categories. Selecting the category name will bring you to a finding aid that describes all available primary and secondary categories in detail. If the category does not have a link, no categories are currently available for research in their entirety. However, individual documents responsive to FOIA requests are made available on a document by document basis even if the entire category or subcategory is not available in its entirety. Selecting the word "Guide" after each category will bring you to description of the codes (i.e. FI004-02) and what they represent (in the case of FI004-02, Estimates - Budget).

When examining the finding aid for a particular category or subcategory, please note that some categories may contain no documents. Also, please note the size of the category in the description. For reference purposes, .2 linear feet is equivalent to approximately 400 pages, .4 linear feet approximately 800 pages, .6 linear feet approximately 1,200 pages etc. Also, please note that some or all of the material in a particular category or subcategory may be closed due to the restrictions contained in the Presidential Records Act (PRA) or the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Finally, in some instances (particularly on FOIA finding aids) WHORM Subject File records may be identified as Scanned, Unscanned, or C.F. The Scanned and Unscanned designations are for administrative purposes only. The C.F. designation indicates that the document was considered sensitive (but not necessarily classified) and was (is) stored in a location apart from the balance of the records. In most cases, the White House Office of Records Management inserted a blue card into the Subject File category to act as a place marker for a C.F. document that was removed. When these documents are processed and available, they can be found in a C.F. folder at the end of the subject file category or subcategory.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station, Texas 77845
Telephone: (979) 691-4000 | Facsimile: (979) 691-4050 | TTY: (979) 691-4091