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The Defense Department has removed from the basement of Littauer about half of the classified World War II research material stored there since 1946.
The University has made repeated requests to the Government either to take charge of or to declassify the records of research projects conducted here during the War. Librarians claim that the documents have taken up much-needed stack space and cost the University $1200 a year in storage expenses.
David C. Weber, Senior Assistant to the Director in the College Library, revealed yesterday that part of the material had been carefully examined this summer and that trivial administrative documents including "records of office supplies such as pencils and pads," had been removed by government authorities, presumably to be burned.
One of the key dilemmas surrounding the situation has been that no one knows exactly what part of the material is classified and what part consists of unimportant office records. Yet at the same time no one at the University, until this summer, was authorized to look at the material in order to determine this distinction.
The study was carried out by Richard W. Pratt, Director of the Office for Research Contracts, two of his assistants, and two representatives of the Navy.
Weber said that the Office of Naval Research in Boston had been "co-operative" in attempting to secure some ruling on the material remaining in Littauer, but that the examination required was extremely time-consuming and no fast action could be expected.
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