Digitizing Ernie Lazar's FOIA FBI records

John Haynes's picture

Hi everyone:

I have begun a GoFundMe campaign to preserve my paper FBI files (i.e. convert my paper files into PDF files which can then be shared online with everyone--at no cost).  
You may read all the details at the link below.  If you have any questions, I will be very happy to answer them.
As of today, more than one million people have accessed my FBI file collection which is online at Internet Archive.
During the past couple years, I have received literally dozens of emails from scholars, journalists, students, authors, and even from many relatives of individuals who were active in some organization 40 or 50 or 60 years ago.  All of these folks have seen some reference online to my FBI files collection -- and they asked for my help.
I've been able to assist about 65% of these folks but, sometimes, the FBI records which are the subject of their inquiry are not currently among the paper FBI files in my collection which are scheduled to be scanned by a student at UC-Berkeley's Center for Right Wing Studies.  
That is why I created a GoFundMe page -- in the hope that enough additional funds can be raised to finish this project.
There is one additional wrinkle concerning FBI files--especially older ones.  
The FBI has been working at warp-speed to transfer many files to NARA.  The problem with that is....
(a) NARA often takes 2-3 years to process a request and 
(b) even more discouraging -- NARA currently charges 80 cents per page to provide copies of documents (even when they scan paper documents into PDF files on a CD or DVD).  That often means that just one medium or large FBI file from NARA will cost $1000 or $2000 or more to obtain.  
Obviously, that makes historical research into FBI files virtually impossible for almost everyone.
I would therefore very much appreciate your support for saving the FBI files I have obtained over the past 37 years.   
Please forward this email to anyone whom you think would also be interested in saving our history.
Your support would mean a lot to me. Thank you so much!
Ernie Lazar