More Cold War Espionage Transcripts Released

On October 24, 2008, in response to a petition filed by the National Security Archive and several historical associations, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released the previously secret grand jury transcripts of eight witnesses related to Cold War espionage prosecutions. The nearly 300 pages of transcripts from the Brothman/Moskowitz grand jury reveal important new details about the testimony of Elizabeth Bentley, the so-called “Red Spy Queen,” and Harry Gold, who led authorities to David Greenglass and the Rosenbergs. In addition, NARA released the testimonies of Vivian Glassman, Edith Levitov, and Frank Wilentz from the Rosenberg grand jury.


PIDB to Discuss Declassification of “Historically Significant” Information

The Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) has announced it will meet on October 31, 2008, to discuss the lack of a satisfactory means to identify and prioritize the declassification review of “historically significant” information. The PIDB had identified a need to address this issue in the Board’s report to the President, titled Improving Declassification.


NEH Extending Application Deadline for “Picturing America” Program

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced that it was extending the deadline for a second round of applications for its Picturing America program. The deadline is being extended to November 14, 2008, from the original deadline of October 31st. Picturing America is a free educational resource that helps teach American history and culture by bringing some of our nation’s greatest works of art directly to classrooms and libraries.


Gilder Lehrman Institute Announces 2009 Summer Seminars for Teachers

The Gilder Lehrman Institute has announced it is accepting applications for its 2009 Summer Seminars for Teachers. The seminars are designed to strengthen participants’ commitment to high quality history teaching. Public, parochial, independent schoolteachers, and National Park Service rangers are eligible. Forty seminars will be offered in the 2009 program. The application deadline is February 15, 2009.


Upcoming US FOIA Training for Academic Researchers

On December 5, 2008, George Washington University and the National Security Archive will join forces for a daylong workshop on “Effective FOIA Requesting for Researchers.” This session will offer a unique opportunity for graduate students currently enrolled in PhD programs to learn the fundamentals of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and how to use it.


GAO Questions NARA’s Readiness to Accept Bush Records in January 2009

In a report to Congress issued this week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) questioned the readiness of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to begin accepting the Bush administration’s records on January 20, 2009. GAO expressed concerns that NARA has yet to develop a plan to mitigate the risk of not having a fully functional system in place on Inauguration Day.