The Associated Press has filed a story on the Nixon Library and Museum’s release of more Nixon recordings. Of course, that’s not good enough for the Daily Mirror, so we tracked them down ourselves.
The library has released digital recordings of Dictabelts. If you’re too young to remember, the Dictabelt was a recording device that used a needle to transcribe audio signals into a revolving acetate belt. These were eventually replaced by cassettes and microcassettes.
The audio quality of the Nixon recordings varies from passable to ghastly. I’m not sure why the library hasn’t attempted to at least boost the volume, but it hasn’t.
The recordings are of memos and some phone conversations involving Nixon, H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, John Erlichman and others. One tape caught our interest: Erlichman and journalist Robert Novak regarding L. Patrick Gray’s nomination to head the FBI. Unfortunately, the volume is quite low and it’s ultra low-fi, so it would take a lot of tweaking to make it intelligible.