The National Historical Publications and Records Commission’s (NHPRC) budget would increase by $1.75 million from the current fiscal year’s $11.25 million to $13 million under the fiscal year (FY) 2010 funding bill passed last week by the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.
Most importantly, the NHPRC would receive the entire $13 million in fiscal year (FY) 2010 funding for grants. In FY ’09, the NHPRC received $9.25 million for grants (plus $2 million for administrative costs). The Obama administration had requested $10 million for the NHPRC.
NHPRC FY ’010 Budget Summary:
$13 million for grants ($9.25 million grants) +$3.75 million
The $2 million that the NHPRC receives in administrative costs is usually transferred from the National Archives and Records Administration’s operating expenses account. For FY 10, the support for NHPRC will be included as part of the Operating and Expenses account base funding.
The President’s budget had requested funding be allocated to three program areas (see below) in FY 2010. Since the Subcommittee’s report language is not yet available it is unclear how the additional $3 million above the President’s request would be allocated or whether the Subcommittee agreed with the President’s proposed allocation.
$4.5 million–Founding Fathers Online: Funding will be used to continue this initiative begun in 2009, a pilot project to develop a new approach to publishing the papers of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. Funding will support the document preparation and encoding for online searching; and initiate a fully searchable online portal for the Founders’ papers that is free to the public.
$2 million–Publishing Historical Records: Continues a core NHPRC program of support for publishing the papers of key figures and movements. Documentary editions are detailed collections of all of the documents concerning a figure or topic. In FY 2010 the Commission will focus its support on new projects that deliver products in an online format and existing editorial projects that modernize their work flows, transcription processes, and editorial techniques. Support will be contingent upon stringent production milestones being met and publication targets completed on time. The $2 million is estimated to be able to fund approximately 30 projects.
$3.5 million–Archives Preservation, Access, and Digitization: This initiative will continue to focus on projects to process historical records and perform preservation of major collections; to target digitization of entire series of the most important historical records and to support efforts to preserve electronic records; to support state historical records boards in their statewide services; and to enhance the professional development of historical editors, archivists, and others. The $3.5 million would fund approximately 60 projects.