Tell the Senate Appropriations Committee to Save the NHPRC!

On July 10, 2008, the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to markup the Financial Services and General Government fiscal year 2009 bill that includes funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Recently, the House Appropriations Committee approved a funding bill that provides the NHPRC with its highest funding level in five years. We want to ensure that the Senate follows suit and provides the NHPRC with $10 million for grants and $2 million for administrative expenses in FY ’09.

For the fourth consecutive year, President Bush has proposed eliminating funding for the NHPRC. The National Coalition for History strongly opposes the President’s irresponsible recommendation and is requesting Congress to appropriate FY 2009 funding at the fully authorized level – $10 million for the NHPRC national grants program and an additional $2 million for staffing and related program administration.

In fiscal year 2008, Congress saved the NHPRC from elimination, and provided $7.5 million for grants, a $2 million increase from the previous fiscal year. However, the NHPRC has not received its fully authorized amount of $10 million in grant funding since FY 2004. In the following three fiscal years the NHPRC only received only half that amount, or approximately $5 million per-fiscal year for grants.

Please go to the Humanities Advocacy Network and ask your Senators to support the fully authorized $10 million in grant funding and $2 million for administrative costs for the NHPRC. If your Senator is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the system will recognize your zip code and send them a specially targeted message.

You may also call your Senators through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

The markup will occur right after Congress returns from its 4th of July recess, so please act today!

One thought on “Tell the Senate Appropriations Committee to Save the NHPRC!

  1. Dear Senate Committee Members,

    On behalf of the George C. Marshall Foundation I am writing today to urge your support for funding of the NHPRC.

    Our nation has recognized the importance of preserving federal documents, archives, and our history by its support of national institutions such as the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution. However, this support does not address the other vital archives being held in state and local governments, historical societies, and library history collections.

    It is essential that more resources be directed to states and localities to ensure that the people of this nation can readily use documents and archival records for a host of purposes. When archival documents are preserved in our states and communities, we protect the evidence of ownership of land, the rights and privileges of individual citizens, the right to know about the workings of government, the genealogy of our families, and the cultural heritage of our nation.

    The organizations managing this essential evidence face many challenges, from fire and hurricanes to mold and mildew; from decaying materials to ensuring the recovery of outdated electronic media. This part of the American record needs attention now to ensure that the documents, records, and collections we need and treasure are cared for and available to all Americans for generations to come.
    The NHPRC is the only grant making organization, public or private, whose mission is to provide national leadership in the effort to promote the preservation and accessibility of historical records and to publish the papers of significant figures and themes in American history.

    If Congress allows the NHPRC to be zeroed out of the federal budget, this important program, which has played an essential federal leadership role and has an outstanding success record of using a small amount of federal funds to leverage other contributions, would come to an end.

    This would be devastating to projects editing and publishing the papers of nationally significant individuals and institutions; the development of new archival programs; the promotion of the preservation and use of historical records; regional and national coordination in addressing major archival issues; and a wide range of other activities relating to America’s documentary heritage.

    Brian D. Shaw

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