November 2, 2000
Modest But Mighty Federal Program Reauthorized NHPRC Preserves and Publishes Historical Records
Washington, DC. . . Today President Clinton signed into law a bill re-authorizing the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). NHPRC is the grant-making affiliate of the National Archives and Records Administration, and the bill authorizes funding up to $10 million. The NHPRC has been called the "mouse that roared" because its impact is so much larger than its budget.
The reauthorization process drew numerous testimonials to the NHPRC's disproportionately huge impact in the face of its extremely small portion of the Federal budget, and to its ability to leverage additional non-Federal dollars for historical, archival and electronic records projects. "The NHPRC is the only national grant-making organization in the Nation whose sole focus is the preservation and publication of America's documentary history," noted Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, quoting from the Senate report on NHPRC reauthorization during the markup of the bill.
Congressman Roy D. Blunt (R-MO), who represents the House of Representatives on the Commission, commented that NHPRC funds act as seed money for ongoing state commitments and declared that such "national support has attracted far more local money than the cost of the Federal government's (i.e., NHPRC's) investment."
Congressman Steve Horn (R-CA), who introduced the reauthorization legislation, said, "The commission continues to provide an invaluable service to the Nation and to the maintenance of its history."
Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin, who chairs the NHPRC, said, "As chairman of the Commission, I am grateful to the Congress and the President for approving this legislation. Thanks to them, we can now carry on the vital work of safeguarding historical records in states and localities throughout the country, publishing papers of great leaders from Thomas Jefferson to Martin Luther King, Jr., and enabling archivists everywhere to improve their methods and meet new challenges. This includes the need to preserve electronic records, which will be crucial for historians of the future. This legislation had bipartisan support, and the leadership on both sides deserves great credit."
The NHPRC, which is a 15-member body, composed of the Archivist of the United States, representatives of the three branches of the Federal government and of professional historical and archival associations. It provides grants to archivists, historians, State and local governments, and non-Federal agencies and institutions across the Nation. It supports a wide range of activities to preserve, publish, and encourage the use of documentary sources relating to the history of the United States. These grants have become extremely competitive, with requests this year exceeding available funds by 128%. NHPRC programs benefit students, teachers, genealogists, historians, and ordinary citizens seeking state and local records that prove their entitlement to benefits.
For more information about NHPRC programs and grants, check the website: www.archives.gov or contact the NHPRC at 202-501-5600
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.