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Watergate Papers Go Public

Buzhardt died in 1978 at the age of 54.

Ransom Center Director Tom Staley called the archive "an unparalled, behind-the-scenes perspective into the nature of investigative journalism, the American political process and the Nixon presidency."

University President Larry R. Faulkner said that consolidating the files of Woodward and Bernstein while they are still alive is important and will provide a "rich tool" for researchers for years to come.

Carl Bernstein, left, and Bob Woodward preview some of the material in their voluminous Watergate papers at the University of Texas, which will open the collection to the public today. At top, Bernstein and Woodward in The Post's newsroom in 1973. (Ralph Barrera -- Austin American-statesman)

_____Watergate Revisisted_____
Richard Nixon Special Report: Revisit the Watergate break-in and The Washington Post's investigation of the coverup that led to President Nixon's resignation.

"There are few people who would debate that this was one of those important chapters in the history of American journalism and the history of American politics," Faulkner said.

The identities of some sources remain with Woodward and Bernstein, including that of the famous Deep Throat, the Nixon administration official whose deep-background information was crucial to The Post's pursuit of the story. Bernstein said the materials pertaining to those sources are housed in a Washington vault and will not be released to the Ransom Center until the deaths of the sources.

Attempts to uncover the closely guarded identity of Deep Throat, known only to Woodward, Bernstein and former Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, have been the subject of books and college journalism class projects for years. One book, "In Search of Deep Throat," published in 2000 by former Nixon aide Leonard Garment, speculated that White House colleague John Sears was Deep Throat. Sears and Woodward denied it.

In 1999, Bill Gaines, a journalism professor at the University of Illinois and a former investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune, began a class project to solve the mystery. Four years later, he and his students concluded that Nixon White House deputy counsel Fred Fielding was Deep Throat. Fielding also has denied it.

Undeterred, Gaines is still on the case. He and three of his students left Champaign, Ill., at 7 a.m. yesterday so they could be the first in line when the Ransom Center opens the Watergate archive at 9 a.m. today.

They will spend two days copying material and looking for what's there and not there.

Highlights of the collection can be viewed at www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/online. An online finding aid at www.hrc.utexas.edu/research/fa/woodstein.hp.html provides a description of the papers.

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