The efforts in the past years to obtain government records under the Freedom of Information Act are finally beginning to find their way onto this website, and the new documents show up in several places.
The principal impact has been upon the Primary Sources section of the site, especially the collection of Temple records from its Guyana years. We have hundreds of additional pages as well. If you are a relative or a former member of a researcher who is looking for a certain document in particular, let us know. We may be able to provide you with the information, as well as make it available to other users of the site.
The other use of the FOIA release is as the FOIA release. This page will lead you to the two major collections we have – the records generated by the Temple which the FBI recovered in Jonestown; and the records generated by the FBI itself in the course of investigating the tragedy – as well as several inventories of what is available.
• The efforts to add more MP3’s to the Tapes section of the site finally achieved momentum this past year, with a joint commitment by the Jonestown Institute and the Special Collections division of the San Diego State University Library to set up a schedule for digitization. There is much more audio available on the page of transcribed tapes, and once that page is complete, we will turn to the balance of the tapes released to us, which are listed and summarized here. As with the Primary Sources, if you see a tape on this page that you are interested in hearing, let us know and we will put it to the head of the queue for transcription and digitization.
A story on the digitization process appears here.
• Based upon the work of Don Beck, who has complied most of the analytical information on our Jonestown Research page, we have added a timeline of the 100 most important events in the history of Peoples Temple. This is a highly subjective distillation of Temple history, and a more complete timeline – with several hundred entries – will appear soon. In addition, Ron Cabral and Judy Bebelaar, the authors of And Then They Were Gone, have graciously granted us permission to reproduce the timeline from their book.
• Finally, we receive photos – sometimes single snapshots, sometimes larger collections – which we upload to our Flickr site. Laura Kohl’s article about her work as the manager of this work appears here.
• For additional entries of individual tapes transcripts, FAQs and Primary Sources which have been uploaded to the site within the last year, we invite you to visit our What’s New page.