Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2007


Secrets and information, what do they have in common? A secret is something you don’t want anyone to know, something you keep to yourself or those you trust. “Knowledge obtained from investigation” is the definition of information, according to Webster’s Dictionary. As a new government documents librarian, my interest was piqued by the subject of secrecy. As I looked for information on this topic, I thought information that exposed the vulnerabilities of the United States to a terrorist attack or gave away our technology secrets would be classified. I didn’t know that something could be classified at first, declassified, and then classified at a later time. In this article I will discuss the types of material that are unavailable to the public and how that type of information has grown over the years.


This article was first published in DttP: Documents to the People, Volume 35, no. 2, pp. 18-23. (link to journal issue)

The author is holds the copyright to this article.