The Carter White House allowed the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to conduct exit interviews with departing staff. In addition, NARA staff interviewed a number of members of the Carter and Smith families between 1978 and 1980.

The Library has worked to augment this collection by acquiring interview tapes, notes, and transcripts from other sources. The National Park Service conducted interviews between 1985 and 1990 with friends and family members of the Carters in Plains, GA, and has allowed the Library to have copies. The White Burkett Miller Center of the University of Virginia conducted a series of lengthy oral history interviews in the early 1980s and has made those available through the Library. Explore the items below to view the current availability of those interviews and more.

NAME (All transcripts open to research)PAGES
Braunstein, Mary Elizabeth (sister of President’s mother)26
Carter, Betty Jennings (widow of Alton Carter, brother of the President’s father)62
Carter, Donnel (President’s cousin)41
Carter, Hugh A., Sr. (President’s cousin)34
Carter, Lillian (President’s mother)36
Clark, Rachel (Carter family housekeeper)27
Dolvin, Emily Gordy (sister of President’s mother)64
Dolvin, Emily Gordy9
Gordy, Fannie (widow of Tom Watson Gordy, brother of President’s mother)32
Lowery, Jeannette Carter (sister of President’s father)62
Pratt, Helen (half-sister of the President’s paternal grandmother)18
Slappey, Willard O. (President’s cousin)39
Smith, Allie (First Lady’s mother)55
Smith, Allie30
Smith, Elder Fulford (brother of First Lady’s father)36
Smith, Jerrold (First Lady’s brother)61
Smith, Murray Lee (First Lady’s brother)26
Smith, Oliver C. (brother of First Lady’s father)24
Wall, Allethea Smith (Mrs. Carter’s sister)22

According to the National Park Service, “arrangements must be made with the National Park Service before this material is used for publication purposes. Individual review of works containing this material by the interviewees or their heirs may be required before publication.” The Carter Library does not have the tapes from which these transcriptions were made by the National Park Service.

Aerial, Dan (pastor of the Maranatha Baptist Church)18
Barrett, Leila (Journalist, Americus GA Times Recorder)19
Blanton, Lauren (classmate of Rosalynn Carter)43
Carter, Hugh A., Sr. (President’s cousin)43
Carter, Hugh A., Sr.52
Carter, Jimmy and Rosalynn354
Carter, Jimmy and Rosalynn109
English, Ida (campaigned for Jimmy Carter)41
Forrest, Eleanor (President’s first grade teacher)35
Godwin, Pete (former mayor of Plains)37
Hayes, Rudy (Journalist, Americus GA Times Recorder)25
Jackson, Ruth (Sumter County, Georgia native)36
Lundy, John (former Plains High School employee)12
Murray, Gladys (First Lady’s cousin)34
Pope, John and Betty (Carter friends and Peanut Brigaders)65
Reese, Maxine (Carter campaigner)53
Sheffield, Lang (Peanut Brigader)48
Smith, Allie (First Lady’s mother)35
Spann, Gloria Carter (President’s sister)94
Spann, Gloria Carter34
Walters, Beth (Plains native and historian)34
Williams, Jan (Amy Carter’s fourth grade teacher)57
Wise, David (Plains native and former city councilman)50
Wise, P. J. (Plains native and Peanut Brigader)41
Wise, P. J.36

Between 1977 and 1981, the National Archives Office of Presidential Libraries maintained a liaison office in the Old Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House. This liaison office had a number of archival and historical missions which were designed to supplement the textual and audio-visual documentation for the Carter Presidency. One of these missions was the Exit Interview Program for members of the White House Staff. National Archives employees had conducted a similar interview project during the Nixon Administration. Between June 1978 and January 1981, liaison office staff conducted 163 exit interviews, the majority of which were recorded on audiotape, either reel-to-reel or cassette. Marie Allen, David Alsobrook, and Emily Williams Soapes conducted the majority of these interviews. Lee Johnson and Tom Soapes also interviewed some White House staffers. The interviewees included senior-level Presidential advisers as well as other members of the White House Staff.

Prior to conducting interviews, the liaison staff carried out research and developed a standard list of questions to be asked. These standard questions usually served as a basic format for the interview. Whenever possible, the interviewers encouraged spontaneity on the part of the interviewees. A typical exit interview lasted from forty-five to sixty minutes. However, in some cases, the interview extended beyond sixty minutes, and in a few rare cases, there was a follow-up interview.

In each interview, liaison office staff primarily sought to elicit information about the White House staffer’s role during the Carter Administration—daily and longterm projects, important assignments, memorable events, personal interaction with the President, etc. Questions also were asked about the organization of particular White House offices and units. In some instances, specific questions were asked about a staffer’s background prior to his/her White House experience, including any service with Carter political campaigns.

These interviews vary significantly in terms of audio quality and historical value. In some of the recordings, there is a great deal of background noise and tape distortion. On the other hand, many of the tapes are of broadcast quality. Regarding content, some interviews consist primarily of an interviewee’s comments about the organizational structure of a particular office or unit. Other interviews focus exclusively on the details of particular events or decisions of historical significance. Many of the interviews were conducted during or immediately after staff reorganizations, such as those which occurred during the summers of 1978 and 1979, or in the spring of 1979, when many staffers left the White House to work in the President’s re-election campaign. Many of the interviews conducted during these periods include a great deal of information about changes in the staffing patterns and organization of various White House units. Some interviewees also explained why the reorganizations occurred (Note: Some of these interviews are not available for research [indicated by a “closed” remark] and some are available only on audio cassette [indicated by an asterisk].

Aaron, David (Deputy—National Security Council)20
Abramowitz, Beth (Domestic Policy Staff)20
Adams, Roberta (Presidential Personnel)12
Aiello, Stephen (Special Assistant to the President [Ethnic Affairs])14
Anderson, Ann (Deputy Press Secretary—First Lady’s Office)9
Angarola, Bob (Assistant Director for International Affairs and Legal Counsel for Drug Abuse Policy)14
Aragon, Joe (Special Assistant to the President)9
Babbit, Anita (Secretary—Hamilton Jordan’s Office)Closed
Bario, Patricia (Associate Press Secretary—Media Liaison)*
Bauer, Pat (Editor—White House News Summary)*
Baux, Lori (Presidential Personnel)14
Beck, Jay (Presidential Reorganization Project)*
Beckel, Robert (Bob) G. (Congressional Liaison)15
Belford, Tom (Presidential Reorganization Project)10
Benefield, Carol (Administrative Assistant to the First Lady)10
Bergman, Barbara (Deputy—Counsel’s Office)15
Bolten, Seymour (Drug Abuse Policy—Domestic Policy Staff)10
Boswell, Priscilla (Anne Wexler’s Office)13
Brenner, Doris (Congressional Liaison)*
Brzezinski, Zbigniew (National Security Adviser)13
Bugg, Rubye (Mail Analysis—Correspondence Unit)*
Burnett, Scott (Sarah Weddington’s Office)*
Burns, Mary (Head of the White House Telephone Service)19
Bush, Rhonda (Director of First Lady’s Correspondence)9
Cable, Bill (Congressional Liaison)16
Cade, Kathryn (Kathy) (Director of Projects for the First Lady)18
Camilli, Ralph (Congressional Liaison—SALT II Project)Closed
Carp, Bert (Deputy Assistant to the President—Domestic Policy Staff)*
Condon, Karen (Correspondence Unit)*
Connor, Caryl (Presidential Speechwriter)10
Crites, Ann (White House Comment Office)11
Cruikshank, Nelson (Presidential Counselor on Aging)Closed
Cutler, Lloyd (Counsel to the President)15
Daft, Lynn (Associate Director for Agriculture and Rural Development—Domestic Policy Staff)9
Devine, Maury (Assistant Director—Drug Abuse Policy—Domestic Policy Staff)12
Dobelle, Kit (First Lady’s Staff)27
Dobmeyer, Ann (Counsel’s Office)29
Dogoloff, Lee (Associate Director for Drug Abuse Policy)16
Donilon, Thomas (Congressional Liaison—Frank Moore’s Office)9
Donovan, Hedley (Senior Adviser to the President)10
Doolittle, Jerry (Speechwriter to the President)15
Dow, Elizabeth (Intern—Hugh Carter’s Office)*
Edwards, Anne (Special Assistant—Press Advance)18
Ehrhardt, Sylvia (Media Liaison)14
Eidenberg, Eugene (Secretary to the Cabinet and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs)21
Eizenstat, Stuart (Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs and Policy)11
Erwin, Nancy (Esther Peterson’s Office)*
Fallows, Jim (Chief Speechwriter)16
Fenderson, Jane (Director of Scheduling for the First Lady)*
Fitzgibbons, Dennis (Intern—Presidential Speechwriters)*
Flick, Jeanne (Special Projects—Correspondence Unit)*
Forbes, Mari (Congressional Liaison)*
Forehand, Mary Anne (Special Reply Unit—Presidential Correspondence)1
Francis, Les (Deputy Assistant—Congressional Liaison)16
Frank, Jane (Deputy Assistant to the Cabinet)11
Free, Jim (Congressional Liaison)23
Fulton, Hazel (Presidential Reorganization Project)*
Gammill, Jim (Presidential Personnel)*
Giannini, Valerio (Deputy Special Assistant for Administration)22
Gilson, Larry (Associate Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs—Jack Watson’s Office)12
Gold, Nancy (Mail Analysis—Correspondence Unit)1
Goldsboro, Thalia (Secretary—Anne Wexler’s Office)*
Gotschall, Elizabeth (Visitor’s Office)*
Granum, Rex (Deputy Press Secretary)11
Haas, Ann (First Lady’s Correspondence)16
Hall, Montte (Correspondence Unit)1
Harden, Richard (Special Assistant for Information Management)Closed
Hartzell, Mary Lynn (Reply Processing—Presidential Correspondence Office)1
Harwell, Rebecca (Central Reference)*
Hemphill, Gwen (Secretary to Tim Kraft)*
Hendrix, Becky (Rafshoon’s Office)*
Hertzberg, Rick (Chief Speechwriter)26
Hios, Joanne (White House Central Files)Closed
Holcombe, Hugh (Skip), Jr. (Administration and Facilities Manager)*
Hoyt, Mary (Press Secretary to the First Lady)47
Hurley, Joanne (Domestic Affairs and Policy Staff)Closed
Jacoby, Amy (Esther Peterson’s Office)*
Jagoda, Barry (Special Assistant to the President for Media and Public Affairs)16
Jarrell, Karen (Landon Butler’s Office)*
Jenkins, Ray (Press Office)10
Johnston, Carol (Correspondence Unit—Special Reply)*
Kahn, Alfred (Chairman of the Council on Wage and Price Stability and Presidential Adviser on Inflation)*
Kaptur, Marcy (Domestic Policy Staff)19
King, Gregory (News Summary Office)*
Kite, Landon (Director—Presidential Correspondence Unit)Closed
Kraft, Nancy (Special Reply—Mail Analysis Unit)*
Kraft, Tim (Political Liaison)12
Kramer, Orin (Director—Assistant Policies and Issues)11
Kujovich, Gilbert (Counsel—Intelligence Oversight Board)27
Lambrix, Tom (Assistant Director—Energy and Natural Resources—Domestic Policy Staff)16
Landolt, Joe (Mail Security)*
Lazarus, Si (Associate Director for Government Reform—Domestic Policy Staff)13
Lewis, Randy (Aide—Press Office)*
Lichtman, Vivian (Assistant to Joe Aragon)*
Lipshutz, Robert (Counsel to the President)26
Lucey, Laurie (Confidential Assistant to Hamilton Jordan)15
Maddox, Ed (White House Advance)*
Maddox, Robert (Special Assistant to the President—Religious Affairs)28
Martin, Louis (Special Assistant to the President—Black Affairs)11
Mathews, Chris (Presidential Reorganization Project)26
McHugh, Vicki (Assistant Social Secretary)*
Miller, Arnie (Head of Presidential Personnel)16
Moffett, George (Jordan-Watson’s Office)16
Molina, Gloria (Presidential Personnel)*
Moore, Frank (Assistant to the President for Congressional Liaison)15
Neustadt, Rick (Assistant Director for Governmental Reform—Domestic Policy Staff)Closed
Nuechterlein, Jeff (Intern—Congressional Liaison)*
O’Neil, Kathy (Staff Assistant—Presidential Personnel)*
Onek, Joe (Domestic Policy Staff)Closed
Paterson, Ann (Administrative Assistant for House Liaison)Closed
Peek, Linda (Special Assistant—Office of Media Liaison)Closed
Peterson, Esther (Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs)27
Pettigrew, Richard (Assistant to the President for Reorganization)21
Pleasant, Janet (Writer, Special Reply)1
Poston, Gretchen (Social Secretary)13
Powell, Jody (Press Secretary)8
Press, Frank (Science Adviser to the President)12
Purks, Jim (Assistant Press Secretary—Media Liaison)*
Queen, Avis (Special Reply, Presidential Correspondence Office)2
Rafshoon, Gerald (Assistant to the President for Communications)11
Rambo, Carroll Ann (Director—First Lady’s Advance)10
Raymond, Alan (Director of Special Projects—Office of Media Liaison)*
Robinson, Mary Ellen (Secretary—White House Press Office)*
Rock, Diana (Presidential Personnel)Closed
Rosen, Marc (Public Liaison)*
Rubenstein, David (Deputy Director—Domestic Policy Staff)8
Russell, Robert (Bob) (Congressional Liaison)13
Sandage, Lyn (Speechwriters Staff)*
Schmitt, Robert (Intern—Scheduling Office)1
Schneiders, Gregory (Deputy Assistant to the President for Communications)31
Schoon, Kelly (Correspondence Referral Unit)1
Schuman, Mary (Domestic Policy Staff)Closed
Schwartz, Gail (Secretary—White House Press Office)*
Scott, James (White House Fellow—Anne Wexler’s Office)*
Sharpe, Michael (Central Files Mail Analysis)*
Simmons, Steve (Domestic Policy Staff)*
Slade, Steve (Assistant to Dan Chew—Computerized Correspondence)*
Smith, Edward (Associate Director for Public Liaison)3
Spring, Bill (Domestic Policy Staff)*
Starr, Joyce (Joe Aragon’s Office)77
Stern, Al (Assistant Director for Arts and Humanities—Domestic Policy Staff)12
Stevenson, Martha (Special Reply Unit)*
Stewart, Gordon (Speechwriter)13
Straus, Jeanne (Editorial Assistant—White House News Summary Office)*
Sullivan, John (Jake) (First Lady’s Advance Office)Closed
Summer, Gael (First Lady’s Office)*
Sweaney, Deborah (Data Processing—White House Central Files)2
Thomas, Allison (Intern—Anne Wexler’s Office)*
Thomson, Robert (Bob) (Congressional Liaison)14
Torres, Esteban (Special Assistant for Hispanic Affairs)*
Voorde, Fran (Deputy Appointments Secretary)*
Wales, Jane (Anne Wexler’s Office)Closed
Watson, Jack (Secretary to the Cabinet—Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs and Chief of Staff)17
Watson-Irwin, Paula (First Lady’s Office)*
Weddington, Sarah (Assistant to the President)12
Wexler, Anne (Assistant for Public Outreach)10
Wides, Burton (Counsel—Intelligence Oversight Board)14
Williams, Richard (Assistant Director for Management and Enforcement—Drug Abuse Policy)10
Wimberly, Dorothy (Sarah Weddington’s Staff)1
Wishman, Seymour (Deputy Assistant for Public Liaison)13
Woodward, Ellis (Director of White House Advance Office)*
Wooten, Carrie (Mail Analysis Unit)1
Wurfel, Walt (Deputy Press Secretary)20
Yarham, Pat (Confidential Assistant to Jack Watson)20

Some of these interviews are available online at the Miller Center’s Carter Oral History Page.

Beckel, Robert (Office of Congressional Liaison)78
Bell, Griffin (Attorney General)63
Bergland, Robert (Secretary of Agriculture)127
Brzezinski, Zbigniew (including Madeleine Albright, Leslie Denend, and William Odom)(National Security Office)91
Caddell, Patrick (Pollster)Closed
Carp, Bertram (including David Rubenstein)(Domestic Policy Staff)86
Carter, Jimmy76
Cutler, Lloyd (Counsel to the President)38
Eizenstat, Stuart (Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs and Policy)139
Hertzberg, Hendrick (including Christopher Matthews, Achsah Nesmith, and Gordon Stewart)(Speechwriters)165
Jordan, Hamilton (including Landon Butler)(Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff)98
Kahn, Alfred (including Ron Lewis and Dennis Rapp)(Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board, Adviser to the President on Inflation, and Chairman of the Council on Wage and Price Stability)147
Kirbo, Charles (Lawyer and Atlanta-based adviser to the President)46
Klutznick, Philip (Secretary of Commerce)36
Lance, Bert (Director of the Office of Management and Budget)80
Marshall, Ray (Secretary of Labor)50
McDonald, Al (including Michael Rowny) (Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Staff)131
McIntyre, James (including Hubert Harris, Van Ooms) (Director of the Office of Management and Budget)127
Moe, Richard (including Michael Berman)(Office of the Vice President)132
Moore, Frank (including William Cable, Dan Tate, and Robert Thomson) (Office of Congressional Liaison)135
Powell, Jody (including Patricia Bario, Al Friendly, Rex Granum, Ray Jenkins, Dale Leibach, and Claudia Townsend) (Office of the Press Secretary)124
Rafshoon, Gerald (Assistant to the President for Communications)75
Schlesinger, James (Assistant to the President for Energy and Secretary of Energy)117
Schultze, Charles (Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers)109
Watson, Jack (including Berry Crawford, Jane Hansen, and Bruce Kirschenbaum) (Cabinet Secretary and Chief of Staff)105
Wexler, Anne (including Michael Chanin, Richard Neustadt and John Ryor)(Assistant to the President)131

Carter, Jack (June 25, 2003 by Martin Elzy of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum)39
Dean, John Gunther (September 6, 2000 by Charles Stuart Kennedy on behalf of ADST)419
Elzy, Martin I. (April 20, 2004 by Albert Nason of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum)18
Jones, Frank (March 10, 2003 by Kay Hamner of the Carter Center)16
Jova, Henri (February 26, 2003 by Kay Hamner of the Carter Center)12
Lipshutz, Robert (March 6, 2003 by Kay Hamner of the Carter Center)14
Mickiewicz, Ellen (March 14, 2003 by Kay Hamner of the Carter Center)31
Moore, Frank (July 30 and July 31, 2002 by Martin Elzy of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum)63
Watson, William C. (December 18, 2002 by Kay Hamner of the Carter Center)16
Spencer, Dayle (June 25, 2003 by Kay Hamner of the Carter Center)18

Carter, Jimmy (November 1984 by Vision Associates for use in exhibits at the Jimmy Carter Library)128
Carter, Jimmy (May 4, 1993, by West Georgia College’s Georgia Political Heritage Project regarding his governorship)*
Carter, Rosalynn (December, 1974 by Joyce Gallagher of the Georgia Department of Archives and History)21