FCIR Makes Jeb Bush’s Email Archive Searchable

As he explores a presidential candidacy, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush released more than 1 million emails during his time in office. We decided to make those emails a little more reader-friendly. (Photo by Gage Skidmore.)

As he considers a presidential bid, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he will make 250,000 emails available for review. We’re making his hundreds of thousands of emails available for everyone to read and search. (Photo by Gage Skidmore.)

Ahead of former Gov. Jeb Bush’s publication of an ebook that will feature more than 250,000 emails from his time in office, the state of Florida released Bush’s hundreds of thousands of emails from his eight years in the Governor’s Mansion.

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Several news organizations highlighted some of Bush’s emails, and the progressive American Bridge PAC made the raw email data from the state available for download.

The email data was in 54 individual Microsoft Outlook storage files totaling more than 32 gigabytes — about 19 times larger than the data of U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks. In its native format, Bush’s email is cumbersome to read and even more difficult to search.

The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting converted batches of email to PDF files and then transferred these files to DocumentCloud, which will allow us (and you) to search, print, and more easily review the messages. We’re not saying our system isn’t cumbersome — it’s just a lot less cumbersome than working with the raw data.

If you are a member of the news media who uses these documents in your reporting, please credit FCIR. And if you like what we do at FCIR, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support this project and future ones.

Please help us crowdsource! If you find something newsworthy in these emails, send us a note to jeb@fcir.org. Please give us the relevant file name and page number, as well as a brief explanation of why you think the email you’ve found is significant. If you want to be credited for the discovery, please tell us in the email.

Search Tips

  • Use the search bar below to find specific words in the documents. Each document contains thousands of messages. If you’re searching for a specific name, put it in quotes. “Jeb Bush” will only bring back documents that include the words Jeb and Bush together. Jeb Bush, without quotes, will return documents that include the words Jeb and Bush somewhere but not necessarily together.
  • Your search may bring up multiple documents. Go to each document, and then use the search bar in the upper right of the document viewer to search that specific document for your term. It will bring you to the raw text version of the email with the word(s) you’re searching for highlighted. You may read the email from there, or you can switch over to the properly formatted version of the email by clicking on the “Document” tab in the upper left.