Courtesy of the Declassification Engine Project. Credit: Courtesy of the Declassification Engine Project

Researchers at Columbia University are working on a project they hope will save a part of U.S. history.

They are building a “declassification engine.” Using tools from statistics and computer science, the researchers are trying to archive and review millions of pages of government documents and restore sections of text that officials have redacted. They hope the project will provide a history of official secrecy and help ensure government accountability.

Reporter Amanda Aronczyk spoke with professor Matthew Connelly about the project.

Sam Ward is a senior digital producer for Reveal, where he oversees the web team. He has years of experience producing creative digital media projects for Oregon Public Broadcasting, PBS, ITVS and the Smithsonian, and he has managed projects for funders such as the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education and Annenberg Media. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Ward is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.