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Contact Your Member Of Congress

Contact Your Member Of Congress And
Ask Them To Provide
The Authorized Amount Of $10 Million
Plus $2 Million In Administration Funding To
The National Historical Publications And Records Commission – reposted from ALAWON


President Bush’s FY 2007 budget request proposes zeroing out all funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the grant-making arm of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).NHPRC is composed of fifteen members, representing the three branches of the federal government and six professional associations of archivists, historians, documentary editors, and records officers. NHPRC makes grants each year to institutions across the country to preserve historical records, publish historical papers, and to make historical materials more accessible.

Yesterday we sent out an ALAWON with incorrect information. Please contact your Members of Congress and ask them to provide the authorized amount of $10 million plus $2 million for administration.

Background
The National Historical Publications Commission was created with the National Archives in 1934, given its own staff in 1951, authorized to make grants in 1964, and reorganized in 1975 as the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. It is composed of fifteen members, representing the three branches of the federal government and six professional associations of archivists, historians, documentary editors, and records officers.

In order to accomplish its mandate, the NHPRC sets strategic priorities and uses modest federal grants to stimulate state, local, institutional, and private contributions and the assistance of its experienced staff to grantees to address these priorities. It is the only grant making organization, public or private, whose mission is to provide national leadership in the effort to promote the preservation and accessibility of historical records and to publish the papers of significant figures and themes in American history.

As characterized by former Archivist of the United States John Carlin, the NHPRC is “History’s venture capitalist” — through federal outright and matching grants, it successfully leverages private sector contributions to projects such as the publishing of the papers of nationally significant individuals and institutions.

The NHPRC is currently helping to fund dozens of papers projects, including those of founders Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Adams, and Madison; projects documenting the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the First Federal Congress; the correspondence between Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, the Papers of Eleanor Roosevelt, the Frederick Douglass Papers, and the Papers of General George C. Marshall. It has funded hundreds of projects designed to preserve historical records of enduring value and cooperative state, regional, and national projects that address common archival issues, such as the complex problem of electronic historical records.

The President’s proposed FY2007 would abruptly terminate the livelihood and programmatic integrity of this vital agency. If the President’s recommendation of zero funding is adopted, documentary publications projects, which are already universally understaffed and underfunded, will lose experienced staff and their progress will be slowed, or even halted altogether. Efforts to digitize the products of these projects would be curtailed as well. The very existence of state and regional activities in planning and implementing archival programs, already seriously hampered by funding cutbacks in the states, is imperiled. Without adequate funding, research on the pressing problem of electronic records will be curtailed, jeopardizing the preservation of important historical documentation–the raw materials for historians of the future.

The Commission has an excellent record of accomplishment and is seen as a model federal grants program. For example, following the disastrous events resulting from the terrorist attack of 9/11, it was due to a NHPRC grant that New York City archivists and curators had a disaster preparedness plan in place and were able to cope with and minimize the detrimental impacts of the World Trade Center collapse on collections in lower Manhattan.

Additional information on NHPRC can be found at: http://www.archives.gov/nhprc/.
(Provided by The National Coalition for History)

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