On June 28, 2010, Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), the longest-serving Member of Congress, passed away. Senator Byrd was 92 years old. Senator Byrd was considered the “father” of the Teaching American History Grants program at the U.S. Department of Education. Since its inception in fiscal year 2001, nearly $1 billion in federal dollars have been spent to raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of American history.
On June 7, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and the National Archives held a hearing to consider ways to strengthen the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Subcommittee Chairman Wm. Lacy Clay has introduced legislation (H.R. 1556) to reauthorize the NHPRC at a $20 million level through fiscal year 2014.
On June 17, 2010, the Information Policy, Census and National Archives Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing to review the status of the management of electronic records at federal agencies, and explored ways to improve the scheduling and preservation of electronic records.
On June 21, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library opened a final batch of 1,750 pages of files relating to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s tenure at the White House Domestic Policy Council and the White House Counsel’s Office. The Clinton Library has released approximately 170,000 pages since the initial request for Kagan’s records was made in a May 18, 2010, letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.
On June 21, the Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress (ACRC) met at the U.S Capitol Visitors Center. The Advisory Committee is comprised of the officials in Congress responsible for its records (Clerk of the House, Secretary of the Senate, Senate Historian, and House Historian) and the Archivist of the United States, who is responsible for the administration of the archived records of Congress.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced $20 million in grant awards and offers for 120 humanities projects. New funding supports a wide variety of projects nationwide, including traveling exhibitions, collaborative research, scholarly editions, advanced scholarly training in digital humanities, digitization of historic newspapers, programming offered by state humanities councils, and preservation of cultural heritage collections.
National Park Service (NPS) Director Jonathan Jarvis recently named Stephanie Smith Toothman, Ph.D., as the Service’s new Associate Director for Cultural Resources. Toothman will be responsible for history, historic preservation, and cultural programs in 392 national parks and a host of community programs that make-up the NPS role in a national preservation partnership among federal, Tribal, state and local governments and nonprofits. She will begin her job in mid July.
Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero recently announced the retirement of Martha Morphy, Assistant Archivist for Information Services and the agency’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), effective July 2, 2010. Charles Piercy, Deputy CIO, will be Acting Assistant Archivist for Information Services and Acting CIO, until a permanent replacement is named.
Claudine K. Brown has been named director of education for the Smithsonian Institution, effective June 20. Brown, 60, has been the director of the arts and culture program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York since 1995.
Historian William Roger Louis will survey the differences and similarities in European colonial empires from the 19th century to the post-World-War-II era, in a lecture July 12 at the Library of Congress.