YORBA LINDA, CALIF. -- Richard Nixon's presidential library will pick and choose who can do research there and probably will keep out Pulitzer Prize-winning Watergate reporter Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, library officials say.

The library also will lack a full set of memos, letters and other documents from Nixon's White House years when it opens later this month.

That's because the originals are in the custody of the government, and Nixon has chosen to copy only those he considers important to the library.

The actions have irked some scholars who say they mistrust a library where documents will be screened.

"Who knows what the Nixon people have screened out?" said Stanley Kutler, a Wisconsin history professor who recently published a book on the Watergate scandal that led to Nixon's resignation as president on Aug. 9, 1974.

The library's director, Hugh Hewitt, says every document of any importance, including many relating to Watergate, will be in the library. But he acknowledged that Woodward probably wouldn't be allowed to study them.

"I don't think we'd ever open the doors to Bob Woodward, he's not a responsible journalist," Hewitt said.

"It would be far more of a taint to let the premises be used indiscriminately by groups who oppose everything he {Nixon} has worked for," he added.

Woodward and fellow Post reporter Carl Bernstein uncovered the White House coverup of the botched 1972 burglary of Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate complex.

Woodward, now The Post's assistant managing editor for investigations, said the suggestion that he or others would be kept out "demonstrates that the library will be part of a continuing coverup."

The Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library will be able to use its autonomy as a privately run facility to choose the scholars it allows to do research.

Of the nation's other presidential libraries, only the Rutherford B. Hayes library is privately operated. Eight are run by the National Archives, which will also control the Ronald Reagan library under construction in Simi Valley, Calif.

The Nixon library's exhibition section will be dedicated July 19 at a ceremony to be attended by President Bush and former presidents Reagan and Gerald Ford. The archives will open sometime next year.

Hewitt said the library will include a "Watergate Hall" and many documents detailing the scandal, including the 1972 "smoking gun" tape recording in which Nixon says he will ask the CIA and FBI to halt the Watergate investigation. Excerpts will be played for visitors.

That's not enough to satisfy Kutler, who accused Nixon of being obsessed with secrecy and control.

The idea that Nixon wants to control the library's contents is "a presumption on the part of the liberal Nixon haters," said Walter Annenberg, Nixon's ambassador to Great Britain.

"That library is going to contain everything, favorable or unfavorable," said William E. Simon, president of the library foundation. "Academics and historians have always hated Nixon."