The tapes cover April 9-July 12, 1973, the last months Nixon recorded his conversations in the White House and follow the period in which Nixon took responsibility for the Watergate scandal that brought down his presidency and during which the last U.S. troops returned from the Vietnam war, CBS News reported.
"It's an incredibly interesting time in American history, and we have this one-of-a-kind source of highly accurate information about it," Ken Hughes, a researcher with the Presidential Recordings Program at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, told CBS News. "They provide a relatively raw, uncut view of the presidency we never had before and probably never will again."
The Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Calif., was releasing the tapes Wednesday along with more than 140,000 pages of documents.
The library said the tapes cover Watergate and other domestic issues, as well as foreign policy issues. The tapes also include recordings of Nixon's calls and meetings with world leaders and future presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. The conversations were recorded as Congress amped up its Watergate investigations.
"I'm hoping we'll get to hear Nixon try to explain Watergate to Reagan and hear what Reagan says about that," Hughes said.