Archive for September, 2007

World War II Crimes Working Group Issues Final Report to Congress

Friday, September 28th, 2007

On September 28, the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG) issued its final report to Congress describing the seven-year, approximately $30-million government-wide effort to locate, declassify, and make publicly available U.S. records of Nazi and Japanese war crimes. Read the full article »

Information Security Oversight Chief Leonard Retires

Friday, September 28th, 2007

On September 28, Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein announced that he had “reluctantly” accepted the resignation of J. William Leonard, Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). Read the full article »

House Passes Woodrow Wilson Library Bill

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

On September 24, by voice vote, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1664, a bill that would authorize the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to make pass-through grants towards the establishment of a Woodrow Wilson presidential library in Staunton, Virginia. A private foundation currently owns and manages Wilson’s birthplace, a museum and library in Staunton. Read the full article »

Smithsonian TV Channel Make Its Debut

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

The long-delayed Smithsonian television channel finally made its debut this week on satellite provider DirecTV. The launch ends a lengthy saga of fits and starts and controversy since the Smithsonian Institution first announced its exclusive deal with the Showtime Networks, Inc. to develop a television network nearly two years ago. Originally conceived as an on-demand digital channel, the network debuted on September 26 as a traditional channel with regular programming scheduled 24-hours a day. Read the full article »

Hearing Considers Public Access to the Statue of Liberty

Friday, September 21st, 2007

On September 18, the House Resources Committee’s National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee held a hearing on whether visitors to the Statue of Liberty should have access to the observation deck on the crown of the Statue. The Statue’s crown has been closed to the public since the terrorist attacks on New York City of September 11, 2001. Read the full article »

NEH and IMLS Award Initial Digital Partnership Grants

Friday, September 21st, 2007

This week, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced the first three grant recipients under the Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership program. The initiative brings humanities scholars together with museum, library, archives, and IT professionals to develop digital projects. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Tufts University, Medford; and The University of California, Berkeley, will receive a combined total of $1,047,455 under the initial grants.

Smithsonian Names Director of American Indian Museum

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

On September 11, 2007, Kevin Gover was named director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, effective Dec. 2. He is currently a professor of law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in Tempe, an affiliate professor in its American Indian Studies Program and co-executive director of the university’s American Indian Policy Institute.

During the Clinton administration, Gover served as assistant secretary for Indian affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior where he oversaw the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Gover grew up in Oklahoma and is a member of the Pawnee tribe. Read the full article »

National Archives Proposes Changes in FOIA Regulations

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

In the September 11, 2007, Federal Register, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) announced proposed revisions to its regulations implementing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The proposal updates the regulations for access and release of information under the FOIA among NARA’s archival holdings and NARA’s own operational records. Comments on the proposal are due by November 13, 2007.

National Archives Requests Comments on Digitization Plan

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is seeking public comment on its draft Plan for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007-2016. The draft plan outlines planned NARA’s strategies to digitize and make more accessible its historic holdings. The request for comment was posted in the September 10, 2007, edition of the Federal Register. Read the full article »

Anonymous Hold Placed on Senate Presidential Records Bill

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

The National Coalition for History (NCH) has learned that just prior to the Congressional adjournment last month, an anonymous hold was placed by a Republican senator on, the “Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007 (H.R. 1255).” Supporters had sought to have the bill considered under the Senate’s unanimous consent rule that allows non-controversial bills to be brought up on an expedited basis. Read the full article »

Battle Over Missing White House E-Mails Escalates

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

The on-going battle to gain access to missing White House e-mails intensified this week as the National Security Archive (NSA) filed suit against the Executive Office of the President (EOP), including the White House Office of Administration (OA), and the National Archives and Records Administration. NSA is seeking the recovery and preservation of millions of e-mail messages that were apparently deleted from White House computers between March 2003 and October 2005. The National Security Archive is a member of the National Coalition for History. Read the full article »

Court Denies Blanket Exemption for Presidential Security Briefs

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week held that the disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act of two Presidential Daily Briefs written for President Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s could “reveal protected intelligence sources and methods.” The Court rejected, however, the Central Intelligence Agency’s “attempt to create a per se status exemption for PDBs.” Read the full article »

Report Card Finds Increased Government Secrecy

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Government secrecy saw further expansion last year despite growing public concern, according to an annual report released on September 1 by OpenTheGovernment.org. The 2007 Secrecy Report Card, which identifies trends in public access to information, found a lack of transparency in military procurement, increased assertions of executive privilege, and expansion of “sensitive” categories of information, among other areas. Read the full article »