NHPRC Receives $10M; Archives $315M in House Bill

On June 5, the House Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved its fiscal year 2008 “Chairman’s Mark.”

The recommendation includes $315 million ($2.1 million above the President’s request, and $35.7 million above fiscal year 2007) for operating expenses of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

The recommendation also includes $10 million for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), for grants to states, local governments, universities, local historical societies, and others to help preserve and archive materials of historic significance. The Administration had sought to eliminate the NHPRC.

The recommendation did not make clear whether the $10 million is totally for grants, or whether it will be split $8 million for grants, with $2 million allocated for staffing as in past years.

The $2.1 million in additional funding above the president’s request is designed to ensure evening and weekend hours for public research at the Archives every week (rather than only one week a month, as has been the case since last October), as well as an increase in the number of archivists to help process public requests for access to historic documents (the archivist workforce has been cut back over the last couple of years). Funding is also included for additional space to house an increase in archival documents.

The full committee is tentatively scheduled to markup the bill on June 11, 2007.