On October 20, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the appointment of Dr. Matthew Wasniewski as the new Historian of the House of Representatives. Dr. Wasniewski, who currently serves as the historian in the House Clerk’s Office of History and Preservation, received the unanimous recommendation of the House Historian Search Committee appointed by Speaker Pelosi with the input of House Republican Leader John Boehner who concurred on the appointment.
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the grant-making arm of the National Archives, has announced a cooperative agreement with The University of Virginia (UVA) Press to make freely available online the historical documents of the Founders of the United States of America.
Congress recessed for the fall elections without passing any of the twelve individual fiscal year 2011 appropriations bills. FY 2011 began on October 1. The Congress passed legislation, known as a continuing resolution, to temporarily fund federal agencies until early-December at current FY 2010 levels.
The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), the agency created by Congress to oversee compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and serve as an ombudsman for FOIA requesters, recently marked its first year of existence. OGIS has issued a report on its website documenting the agency’s performance over the past year.
The 2010 Secrecy Report Card was recently released by the watchdog group OpenTheGovernment.org. The report shows a continued decrease in most indicators of secrecy since the end of the Bush Administration and growing backlogs in the declassification system as old secrets move through the system. The report covers the first 9 months of President Obama’s Administration.
The Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB) has released a major report detailing the state of sound-recording preservation and access. “The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age,” outlines the issues that threaten the long-term survival of America’s sound-recording history.
In response to user requests, for the month of November, 2010, the National Archives at College Park, MD (Archives II) will undertake a pilot program to provide archival records retrieval service for textual records on Saturdays.