On March 19, 2008, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released 11,046 pages of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s White House schedules. These records are available on-line at the Clinton Library website. The records are being released in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.
On March 17, 2008, the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) heard public comments on its report Improving Declassification that was sent to the President in 2007. The PIDB is an official advisory group promoting the declassification of historical federal records related to national security. Late last year, the PIDB provided detailed recommendations to the President on fifteen issues it identified that would improve the federal government’s declassification procedures.
This week, the National Security Archive at George Washington University named the U.S. Department of the Treasury as the winner of its annual “Rosemary Award” for the worst performance by a federal agency in responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
John Updike, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, poet, author and critic, will deliver the 2008 Jefferson Lecture, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced this week. The annual NEH-sponsored Jefferson Lecture is the most prestigious honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.
The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) recently unveiled its annual report on the status of the nation’s historic battlegrounds. The report, entitled History Under Siege: A Guide to America’s Most Endangered Civil War Battlefields, identifies the most threatened Civil War sites in the United States and what can be done to rescue them.
In a recent report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sharply criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) handling of the reorganization of its library system in 2006 that included closing libraries and dispersing, disposing of, and digitizing library materials. The GAO found that EPA did not have a reorganization strategy in place when the process began, that it failed to engage in outreach with affected stakeholders and did not take adequate steps to ensure oversight of the process.
On March 15, 2008, the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents announced that Dr. G. Wayne Clough, president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, had been unanimously elected the 12th Secretary of the Smithsonian. He will officially assume the office on July 1, 2008.
A bill (H.R. 5582) to reauthorize the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) was recently introduced in the House by Representative Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO). The bill would reauthorize the NHPRC at an annual level of $20 million for fiscal years (FY) 2010–2014. The current reauthorization expires in FY ’09 and authorized spending at a level of $10 million, so if enacted this would be a significant funding increase.
On Tuesday, March 4, 94 humanities advocates visited 127 House and Senate offices representing 23 states and the District of Columbia. These grassroots advocates distributed issue briefs, discussed humanities projects in their states and districts, and asked that Members of Congress support increased funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Historical Publications & Records Commission within the National Archives.