Tell Congress to “Preserve America’s Historical Records!”

We need your help in securing cosponsors in the House of Representatives for the “Preserving the American Historical Record Act (PAHR)” (H.R. 6056). The PAHR legislation would establish a new federal program of formula grants to the states and territories to support archives and historical records at the state and local level. Please go to the Humanities Advocacy Network and ask your Member of Congress to cosponsor the PAHR bill (H.R. 6056).

Congressmen Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Chris Cannon (R-UT) introduced H.R. 6056 last month. The eighteen current co-sponsors for the bill are: John Lewis (D-GA), Sanford Bishop (GA), Baron Hill (D-IN), Nita Lowey (D-NY), James Walsh (R-NY), Joseph Crowley (NY), Eliot Engel (NY), Steve Israel (NY), Carolyn Maloney, (NY), Jim McDermott (WA), James McGovern (MA), John McHugh (NY), Jerrold Nadler, (NY) and Edolphus Towns, (NY), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Peter Welch (D-VT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Since the Humanities Advocacy Network allows you to personalize your message, you are strongly encouraged to use your e-mail letter to thank these Representatives for their support.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) would administer the Preserving the American Historical Records program. The legislation authorizes $50 million a year for five years for the initiative to preserve and provide access to historical records by supporting:

  • The creation of a wide variety of access tools, including archival finding aids, documentary editions, indexes, and images of key records online;
  • Preservation actions to protect historical records from harm, prolong their life, and preserve them for public use, including digitization projects, electronic records initiatives, and disaster preparedness and recovery;
  • Initiatives to use historical records in new and creative ways to convey the importance of state, territorial, and community history, including the development of teaching materials for K-12 and college students, active participation in National History Day, and support for life-long learning opportunities; and
  • Programs to provide education and training to archivists and others who care for historical records, ensuring that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfill their important responsibilities.

Base funding would be provided to each state or territory, with the remainder of funding distributed using a population/area-based formula. A 50 percent match for any funding awards would be required of state and local partners.

Please contact Congress today either through the Humanities Advocacy Network or by calling them through the U.S Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.