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Notes of Woodward, Bernstein to be made available to public

AUSTIN, Texas -- While the identity of "Deep Throat" is still a well-guarded secret, the first installment of notes and quotes scribbled by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein while covering the Watergate scandal are now available to the public.

"We told the story from our perspective as well as we could. Other people should have a look at the stuff," Bernstein said yesterday at the University of Texas's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, which purchased the materials for $5 million in 2003.

Under a deal with the reporters, the Ransom Center is responsible for cataloguing and preparing the documents for public release. They will be made public for the first time today.

Self-described "pack rats" who kept dozens of boxes of materials, Woodward and Bernstein said they were meticulous about saving notes from their reporting for The Washington Post that exposed a conspiracy to disrupt the 1972 presidential election. Their reporting won the Pulitzer Prize.

"After a day or two, you could see it was going to be a really important story," Bernstein said.

Taking a brief tour of an exhibit of hastily-jotted notes, diagrams drawn on notebook paper, and transcripts of interviews and photographs of some of the prominent players in the story, the reporters said the public should be given a chance to scrutinize their work three decades later.

Woodward and Bernstein were the first reporters to establish the connection between Nixon aides and the June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington's Watergate complex.

Nixon, who faced almost-certain impeachment by the House and conviction in the Senate for his role in the scandal, resigned in August 1974. Forty government officials and members of Nixon's reelection committee were indicted and convicted on felony charges.

Ultimately, the materials at the Ransom Center will include more than 250 pocket-sized notebooks, memos, story drafts, clippings, and movie manuscripts.

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