Archivists preparing Robert Kennedy papers

July 12, 2011 at 12:09 PM
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BOSTON, July 12 (UPI) -- Archivists are preparing to make public 63 boxes of Robert F. Kennedy's papers kept secret for 40 years, Boston's John F. Kennedy Presidential Library said.

The decision to open the 63 boxes was reached March 1 after years of efforts to persuade Robert Kennedy's widow, Ethel, to give control of his papers to the library, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Library Director Thomas J. Putnam said archivists should finish organizing and declassifying the papers in six months to a year.

For decades the family has refused to sign over title to the papers and is now talking openly about the possibility of finding a permanent home for them elsewhere.

Two longtime family friends told the Times on condition of anonymity Ethel Kennedy had talked of expecting to get millions of dollars from selling some of the papers.

The papers are currently being appraised by Sotheby's, but family spokesman former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II said there are no plans to sell any of his father's papers.

"Could there be a situation where we decide to sell a document or two? Sure, I suppose," he said.

In a recent interview, the former congressman said seeing the papers permanently housed at the Kennedy Library was the ultimate hope and desire of his family.

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