Archive for November, 2007

Government Declines to Appeal Ruling Opening Up Presidential Records

Friday, November 30th, 2007

This week, the Bush administration decided not to appeal a federal district court judge’s decision that invalidated a crucial section of Executive Order (EO) 13233, which broadened the rights of presidents and former-presidents to withhold federal records from the public for indefinite periods of time. Read the full article »

Nixon Library Releases New Trove of Documents

Friday, November 30th, 2007

On November 28, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum released approximately 122,800 pages of historical materials from the Nixon presidency at the National Archives in College Park, MD. Read the full article »

Federal Judge Orders White House to Preserve E-Mails

Friday, November 16th, 2007

A federal district judge this week issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the White House from destroying back-up copies of millions of deleted emails while a lawsuit is pending to gain access to them. The judge also consolidated two separate suits filed by the National Security Archive (NSA) and Citizens for Ethics in Washington (CREW) against the Executive Office of the President (EOP), including the White House Office of Administration (OA), and the National Archives and Records Administration. Read the full article »

Washington Post Endorses Presidential Records Bill; Fallout Continues for the Clinton Campaign

Friday, November 16th, 2007

The Washington Post issued an editorial this week calling for Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) to lift his hold on Senate consideration of the Presidential Records Reform bill (H.R. 1255) that would revoke President Bush’s Executive Order 13233. The National Coalition for History has argued for years that the EO 13233 has contributed to delays in the release of presidential records. The editorial cited both the EO and the lack of adequate financial resources at the National Archives as the reasons why the processing of presidential records, including those of the Clintons, have been delayed. Read the full article »

NCH Comments on Proposed Regulatory Changes to FOIA Rules on Presidential Records

Friday, November 16th, 2007

On November 13, 2007, the National Coalition for History (NCH) submitted comments on a proposed regulation issued by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) implementing changes in the management of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) dealing with, among other issues, the handling of presidential records. Read the full article »

NARA Issues Proposed Rule on Access to Federal Records in Lawsuits

Friday, November 16th, 2007

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is proposing to revise its regulations relating to demands for records or testimony in legal proceedings. The rule is intended to facilitate access to records in NARA’s custody, centralize agency decision-making in response to demands for records or testimony, minimize the disruption of official duties in complying with demands, maintain agency control over the release of agency information, and protect the interests of the United States. Read the full article »

2007 Humanities Medals Awarded by President Bush

Friday, November 16th, 2007

In a ceremony at the White House on November 15, 2007, President Bush awarded the National Humanities Medals to nine individuals. Among those receiving the awards, four were recognized for their accomplishments in history: Russell Freedman, a writer of non-fiction and history for young adults; Victor Davis Hanson, best known for his writings on Greek history; Richard Pipes, a historian of the Cold War, and Pauline L. Schultz, a curator and author from Wyoming. Read the full article »

HHS Requesting Comments on Institutional Review Boards

Friday, November 16th, 2007

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is requesting written comments on a proposed amendment to the categories of research that may be reviewed by an institutional review board (IRB) through an expedited review procedure. Comments must be submitted by December 26, 2007. Read the full article »

NARA Issues “Media Neutral Schedules” Final Rule

Friday, November 16th, 2007

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has issued new final regulations on scheduling Federal records to make future records schedules and certain existing approved records schedules applicable to series of records regardless of the medium in which the records are created and maintained. This rule makes all new schedules media neutral unless otherwise specified and allows schedules previously approved for hard copy records to be applied to electronic versions of the files if certain conditions are met. Read the full article »

Senate Panel Clears Bill Creating Database For Civil War-Era African-American Records

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

This week, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee marked up a bill (H.R. 390) directing the National Archives to create an electronically searchable database of historic records of servitude, emancipation, and post-Civil War reconstruction contained within federal agencies for genealogical and historical research and to assist in the preservation of these records. Read the full article »

Congress Fails to Override Bush Veto Of Labor, HHS & Education Bill

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

On November 15, the U.S. House of Representatives by a 277-141 vote came two votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override President Bush’s veto of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3043; H. Report 110-424). The conference agreement included $120 million for the Teaching of Traditional American History program at the Department of Education, a $210,000 increase over the FY 2007 level. Read the full article »

Controversy Shifts To Release of Clinton Health Care Task Force Records

Friday, November 9th, 2007

This week, the continuing controversy over the release of records from the William J. Clinton Presidential Library concerning Senator Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) time as First Lady moved to the courts. The conservative public interest group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in federal court against the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) seeking to force the release of records related to the National Task Force on Health Care Reform, chaired by then First Lady Clinton. Read the full article »

Archives IG Criticizes Presidential Libraries Artifacts Preservation

Friday, November 9th, 2007

This week, National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Inspector General (IG) issued an audit report critical of how Presidential Libraries are inventorying and preserving the over 500,000 artifacts entrusted to their care. For example, of the approximately 100,000 artifacts maintained by the Ronald Reagan Library, the IG’s office found the library had the information necessary to locate less than 20 percent of them. Read the full article »

Congress Passes Funding for Teaching American History Grants and IMLS

Friday, November 9th, 2007

This week, Congress sent to the President, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3043; H. Report 110-424). The conference agreement includes $120 million for the Teaching of Traditional American History program at the Department of Education, a $210,000 increase over the FY 2007 level. The conferees also recommended that the Department provide initial three-year grants, with two additional years if a grantee is performing effectively. Read the full article »

Slave Labor Task Force Issues Report to House Panel

Friday, November 9th, 2007

On November 7, 2007, the House Administration Committee held a hearing on the role slave labor played in the construction of the United States Capitol. The Slave Laborers Task Force, chaired by Representative John Lewis (D-GA), submitted a report and recommendations to the Committee on how to best commemorate the contribution of enslaved African Americans in building the Capitol. Read the full article »

National Archives Electronic Records Advisory Committee

Friday, November 9th, 2007

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has announced a meeting of the Advisory Committee on the Electronic Records Archives (ACERA). The committee serves as a deliberative body to advise the Archivist of the United States, on technical, mission, and service issues related to the Electronic Records Archives (ERA). ACERA will meet on November 28-29, 2007, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. The meeting will be held at the National Archives main building in Washington. Read the full article »

Senator Clinton Criticized For Delays in Release Of First Lady Papers

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

The disposition of presidential records was injected into the Democratic presidential campaign when Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was accused in a televised debate of contributing to the delay of the release of her papers as First Lady from the National Archives. Read the full article »

First Lady Urges Passage of Historic Preservation Bills

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

At a Capitol Hill press conference this week, First Lady Laura Bush announced introduction of bipartisan legislation authorizing two complementary historic preservation grant programs–Preserve America established by the Bush Administration and Save America’s Treasures established by the Clinton Administration. Read the full article »