The National Archives has some explaining to do!
The provenance of a work of art or historical artifact is a grave concern of the archivist. Items which have been uniquely crafted and have historical value are preserved for future generations. If a work of art has a troublesome period in which it is “lost,” its provenance may be questioned, and its value may decrease. Artifacts of dubious provenance may be interesting enough for a circus sideshow, but irreplaceable works of art and artifacts should be maintained under strict security.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is responsible to the American people to preserve and protect historical artifacts, documents, and the artwork that has been acquired by our country. I am writing this paper to scrutinize a particular egregious error that NARA has as yet ignored. I expect a written response to my research from the Archivist of the United States. I also expect an investigation which should be assisted by appropriate non-governmental researchers. The National Archives needs to clean up its act and take steps to prevent the problems that I describe here.
Serious JFK assassination researchers expect the National Archives to maintain the records and artifacts entrusted to them. NARA limits assassination researchers’ access to many parts of the JFK assassination holdings. These limits may include a written request, proof of a specific need, or a strict prerequisite to see the material. Even when materials are approved for viewing, the researcher must undergo numerous security checks and restrictions. Should not we also expect NARA to take its archival and preservation roles seriously?
You can download the entire PDF of my paper that details the switch: The-National-Archives-Switches-Shells-in-Midstream-11-22-2016.pdf.
You can also view the Switched Shell Photo Gallery.
If you are concerned by this mistake, you can send an email to The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection at the National Archives, or call them at +1 (301) 837-3510.