Library of Congress Announces Major Reorganization

The Library of Congress recently announced a major reorganization to merge its acquisition and cataloging functions. The Library has redesigned the ways it receives and catalogs incoming materials in order to improve processing time dramatically and enhance the physical security of the collections.

Term of the Archivist of the United States (correction)

The recent article published here about the outlook for historical programs as a result of the election of Barack Obama incorrectly stated that the Archivist of the United States serves a ten-year term. Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein’s term neither expires nor is subject to resignation upon the end of a President’s term of office. The Archivist may be removed from office by the President. However, the President is required to communicate the reasons for any such removal to each House of the Congress. I apologize for the error and hope that Professor Weinstein continues to admirably serve our country for many years to come!

Historic 2008 Election Brings Uncertainty for History (revised 11/21/08)

The election of Barack Obama is undoubtedly one of the most historical moments of our time. Vitally important to the historical community is the president-elect’s commitment to nullify President Bush’s Executive Order 13233, which made it more difficult to gain access to records after a president leaves office. President-elect Obama was a co-sponsor of the bill in the Senate to overturn the executive order. Senator Obama’s campaign website cites the revocation of the executive order as a priority for his new administration’s government transparency agenda.

PIDB Grapples with Declassification of “Historically Significant” Records

Almost a year ago, Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) released its first report, Improving Declassification, to the President providing recommendations for improving the Federal government’s declassification system. Among the recommendations was one urging development of a system for prioritizing the government’s declassification efforts to ensure a greater focus on “historically significant” records, especially presidential records, with greater involvement of historians and historical advisory panels in setting these priorities.

Dr. Lucy Barber Named NHPRC Deputy Director

Dr. Lucy Barber has been named as Deputy Executive Director of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Dr. Barber is an archivist specializing in electronic records and digital technology and a noted historian of the history of protest marches on Washington. She will oversee the Commission’s grantmaking programs and general operations and serve as deputy to Executive Director Kathleen Williams.