Apr 3, 2006 8:53 pm


As readers of this publication are aware, once again the Bush Administration has proposed 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). The NHPRC supports the work of making the documentary record of our democracy, history, and culture accessible (often through "papers projects" that is, documentary editions of famous people) and it supports varous archival projects at the state and regional level. If this "zero-funding" level of funding is also embraced by Congress there will be no funds for new national grants and only enough staff funding to administer existing NHPRC grants ­ once they come to their conclusion the agency would shut down. We can’t let that happen!

For the NHPRC's FY 2007 funding this year we urge readers of the NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE to communicate your support to members of Congress for no less than “full-funding” for national grants -- $10 million ­ plus an additional $2 million for staffing and other program administration related costs in FY 2007. Funding to the full authorized level is necessary to continue to provide access to key documents of our democracy, history, and culture and to provide adequate federal support for records held by state and local governments, historical societies, libraries, and related organizations.

As has been reported in this publication, several national archival groups are advocating for double this amount ­ $20 million or twice the present Congressionally sanctioned authorization for the NHPRC. For additional information on the proposed “The Partnership for the American Historical Record” (PAHR) go to Regardless of what funding figure organizations and individuals this year choose to embrace for the NHPRC, the point is to communicate the need to Congress for NO LESS THAN $10 MILLION for the NHPRC. We urge you to do so today!

A packet of information to assist in this year's advocacy effort on behalf of the NHPRC has been posted on the National Coalition for History website at: . There -- in the blue box titled "NHPRC Take Action!" -- you will find the National Coalition for History (NCH) basic "Issues Briefing Sheet" for the NHPRC along with other essential information on how to effectively communicate with your members of Congress. You may find the self-explanatory "Guidelines for Writing Letters to Members of Congress" useful as well as the "Responses to Possible Objections/Concerns About the NHPRC" which you may want to take a look at before you compose your letter; this attachment provides sample answers to questions that a member of Congress may have about the NHPRC.

Finally, there is a list of the members of both the House and Senate Appropriations Committee Members to whom your should address your letters. While there is value in writing to any member of Congress advocating a restoration of funding for the NHPRC, these appropriators are in key positions to insure that the NHPRC gets the funding it needs and deserves. IF YOU ARE A CONSTITUENT of any of those listed in bold BE SURE TO WRITE as because you are a “constituent” your letter receives special attention from your member of Congress.

From now until mid-April what is especially needed are E-MAILED OR FAXED LETTERS from organizations and individuals addressed to the HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION, TREASURY, AND HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, THE JUDICIARY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (2358 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington D.C. 20515); the subcommittee is chaired by Representative Joseph Knollenberg (R-MI). E-mail testimony (preferred mode of communication with committee staff) or faxed letters need to be sent so that they arrive PRIOR to the 14 April 2006 deadline for organizational testimony; the e-mail address is or the fax number is (202) 225-0900.

Won't you take a moment to help save our nation's historical record? PLEASE ACT TODAY!

Who We Are... The National Coalition for History (NCH) is a nonprofit educational organization that provides leadership in history related advocacy; it serves as the profession's national voice in the promotion of history and archives, and acts as a clearinghouse of news and information of interest to history related professionals. Membership in the history coalition is open to organizations that share our concern for history and archives.

For information on how your history/archive organization can become a member, visit our website at and click on the "Join the Coalition" web link.

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More Comments:

Jason KEuter - 4/7/2006

At first, I thought there was something to be saved. Now I see that "saving" really means spending twice as much. Sort of like "fully funding" government programs, which actually means, "approve additional spending of dubious merit".