To see a list of material, please click on the 'Select' Tab

The Library does not currently have a full inventory of the System File. The material listed here is case files processed from the System File and made available for research. Please note, when a folder is available for research, it may still have withdrawn material due to Freedom of Information Act restrictions. Most frequent withdrawn material is national security classified material, personal privacy, protection of the President, etc. 

For further information about requesting additional case files for processing under the Freedom of Information Act, please contact our archival staff at 1-800-410-8354, or email reagan.library@nara.gov


The National Security Council used the System File for processing, controlling and monitoring correspondence and memoranda on national security matters. The Administration used five systems: System I through System V. In each System, material on a specific topic, event or action was grouped together and given an identifying number constituting case files. In general, the systems are increasingly sensitive in the nature of their material and involve greater restrictions for access.

The Library has arranged the System I and II series. Many case files were processed and made available for research before this arrangement was completed. The box lists will show the individual case files and/or the boxes with folders from the current arrangement. We have provided a full content list for all folders. In most cases we have tried to provide a general subject/topic for the case files.

The Library currently has one case file for System IV open and available for research. It is listed following the System II case files.

The system files currently have only a classified microfiche index available. Some parts of the microfiche have been processed in response to Freedom of Information requests. This material is currently not part of a series but is listed at the end of the inventory.

The National Security Council also maintained a “chronological file” for the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor. This Chron File was also filed by System numbers and non-log items. Both the Chron File and the System File often contain the same case file numbers. In most cases, one version of the case file is fuller than the other, including background material and memoranda. Please refer to the National Security Affairs, Office of the Assistant to the President: Chron File for additional System case file material.

This collection currently consists of two series: SERIES I: System I File; SERIES II: System II File.


SERIES I: System I, 1981-1989

This series consists of a general correspondence processing and tracking system for the majority of correspondence received and created by the National Security Council (NSC) staff. This includes the day-to-day activities of the White House and the NSC on national security matters such as head of state correspondence; appointments with the President, First Lady, and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs; records of conversation amongst various Reagan administration officials (primarily the President) and others; Congressional correspondence; public diplomacy; and reports and background information on various foreign policy topics.

SERIES II: System II, 1981-1989

This series consists of an institutional documents system recording, monitoring, compiling, and controlling NSC policy and actions on multiple topics. It also includes meeting information; National Security Decisions Directives (NSDDs); National Security Study Directives (NSSDs); minutes of NSC meetings and other particularly sensitive information.

Last Updated: 01/10/2023 11:34PM

Filter by Status

Filter by Status

See Also

National Security Affairs, Office of the Assistant to the President: Chron File

Contact an Archivist

Have a research question? Contact an archivist about this collection or about research at the Reagan Library.

Contact Us

Archival Resources

Here are quick links to the most used resources at the Reagan Library. 

White House Staff & Office Files

White House Office of Records Management (WHORM) Subject Files

WHORM Alphabetical Files

Topic Guides

Back to Top