May 11, 2001
NHPRC Struggles to Balance Increasing Demands Against Constrained Resources
Ann C. Newhall, Executive DirectorCommission Recommends 48 Grants Totaling Up to $2,898,008
National Historical Publications and Records Commission
National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room 111
Washington, DC 20408-0001
At its meeting on May 2-3, members of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission grappled with the challenge of responding to a surge in records preservation and access proposals while maintaining the NHPRC's ongoing commitment to documentary editions. Members noted that the $18.5 million requested this year, a 33% jump over last year, was more than triple the $6 million annual appropriation for competitive grants that the Commission has received since 1998. They noted that this was a clear demonstration of rising need in areas critical to the NHPRC's mandate to preserve and make widely accessible the nation's documentary heritage.
At this second and final meeting of FY 2001, the Commission acted on 81 proposals requesting a total of $8,293,928. The Commission recommended to the Archivist of the United States grants of up to $2,898,008 for 48 projects, 47 of which were competitive projects. These recommendations included $1,989,089 for documentary editing projects which focus upon the papers of significant Americans other than the Founding Fathers (none of which received requested increases) and $31,993 for subventions. Noting that current appropriations made it impossible for the NHPRC also to fund records access projects at the levels and in the numbers justified by their importance and high quality, members voted to award $718,823 for eight records projects, of which $435,712 is to made available now, with the remaining $283,111 to be paid out either in FY 2001 from unspent funds returned from closed grants or from projects unable to raise the required level of matching funds, or from FY2002 appropriations. Two additional records projects were awarded contingent funding totaling $79,107, to be awarded only if FY 2001 returns were to sufficiently exceed the $283,111 needed to fund the projects mentioned above. Ten other records projects of superior quality which the Commission was unable to fund at this time were endorsed and encouraged to resubmit next year.
The Commission also reviewed two Congressionally earmarked projects, recommending an initial grant of $78,996 for Heritage Harbor Museum's "Native Journies" Documentation Project, Providence, RI, and approving the release of up to $1,097,550 in second-year funding for the Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.
Commission members passed the following resolutions:
Resolved, that given the inadequate level of FY 2001 appropriations in the face of requests before the Commission at this meeting, the Executive Committee recommends the following:
1. That no publications project is to be funded above the level received in FY 2000.
2. That records projects recommended by the staff for funding by the Commission receive the balance of funds available for this fiscal year. Further toward this end, the Commission consider the records projects based upon the list of staff priority recommendations, with those records projects on the staff priority list unfunded in this cycle considered for contingent funding in the event that additional funds become available this year.
3) That those records projects recommended by staff that are unfunded this year be endorsed by the Commission and their resubmission encouraged.
4) That the Commission direct the Commission staff, working with a committee of Commission members and others as appropriate, to develop a set of criteria to be used for the evaluation of the second-tier documentary editions for review and approval at the next meeting of the Commission.
Resolved, that the NHPRC encourages the staff to work with the leaders of The First Archivists Circle (i.e., a group of Native American archivists and record keepers which the NHPRC has worked to help establish) and other institutions in seeking additional funding sources in organizing a meeting in 2002 to assess the current status of Native American archives and recordkeeping, to help The First Archivists Circle to foster increased networking and training opportunities, and to explore collaborative work in preserving vital records; and considering the fact that such an organization would help to fill a vacuum previously encountered in NHPRC efforts to work to develop a national archival infrastructure, a proposal would be welcomed from, or on behalf of, The First Archivists Circle for consideration as part of the first tier project review at the November meeting.
Resolved, that, with reference to the Commission's action at its May 2000 meeting requiring actions to address the apparent conflict between publishing contract language for the Lincoln Legal Papers and NHPRC and OMB guidance, the Commission reasserts its position that NHPRC grants are governed by OMB regulations which reserve to the granting agency the "royalty free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish or otherwise use the work for Federal purposes and to authorize others to do so." The NHPRC welcomes the proposal of the Lincoln Legals project for consideration at this meeting.
Resolved, that the Commission recognizes the need to assess the current state of electronic records research and practice and encourages the preparation of a proposal for the June 1 deadline.
Be it resolved, that the Commission take this opportunity to give due recognition and appreciation to the NHPRC Staff and Executive Director for their extraordinary and highly professional efforts in outreach to constituent individuals and groups, for their quality products, and for their steadfast support. The substantial growth in both the quantity and quality of the proposals submitted to the NHPRC, coupled with the Commission's ability to meet the challenge of balancing increasing project demands against constrained resources, is testimony to their success.
NHPRC Chairman John W. Carlin welcomed to the Commission Barbara J. Fields, representing the Organization of American Historians, and Fynnette Eaton, representing the Society of American Archivists. Other Commission members present at the May meeting included: Representative Roy D. Blunt (R-MO), representing the U.S. House of Representatives; Nicholas C. Burckel, Presidential appointee; Charles T. Cullen, representing the Association for Documentary Editing; Mary Maples Dunn, representing the American Historical Association; Brent Glass, representing the American Association for State and Local History; Alfred Goldberg, representing the Department of Defense; Margaret P. Grafeld, representing the Department of State; Marvin F. "Bud" Moss, Presidential appointee; Justice David H. Souter, representing the United States Supreme Court; and Roy C. Turnbaugh, representing the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators. Absent was Winston Tabb, who represents the Librarian of Congress. The position of U.S. Senate representative on the Commission is currently vacant.
The NHPRC is the only funding agency whose only focus is the documentary heritage of the United States. Information on NHPRC objectives and activities is available on its Web site: www.archives.gov/nhprc_and_other_grants/
NHPRC staff provide assistance to all prospective applicants. Prospective applicants are urged to contact NHPRC staff early in project planning process. Application materials for all Commission grants, including fellowships, may be requested by telephone, fax, mail, or e-mail:
700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Room 111
Washington, DC 20408-0001
Telephone: (202) 501-5610
FAX: (202) 501-5601
Web site: www.archives.gov/nhprc_and_other_grants/
Funded Documentary Editing Projects
- Duke University, Durham, NC: A grant of up to $60,170 for The Jane Addams Papers.
- Howard University, Washington, DC: A grant of up to $61,255 for its project entitled African-American Historical Linkages with South Africa, ca. 1890-1965.
- University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC: A grant of up to $49,149 for The Papers of John C. Calhoun.
- The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA: A grant of $15,000 for The Papers of Charles Carroll of Carrollton.
- Richard and Shirley Flint, Villanueva, NM: A conditional grant of up to $22,974 for a dual-language edition of documents relating to the Coronado Expedition.
- William Marsh Rice University, Houston, TX: A grant of up to $80,405 for The Papers of Jefferson Davis.
- Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN: A grant of up to $18,141 for The Papers of Frederick Douglass.
- Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ: A grant of up to $51,490 for The Papers of Thomas Edison.
- The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD: A conditional grant of up to $12,557 for The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower.
- University of Maryland, College Park, MD: A grant of up to $94,917 for Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867.
- Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles, CA: A grant of up to $58,272 for The Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers.
- Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, CA: A grant of $100,000 for The Emma Goldman Papers.
- University of Maryland, College Park, MD: A grant of up to $80,000 for The Samuel Gompers Papers.
- Ulysses S. Grant Association, Carbondale, IL: A conditional grant of up to $77,432 for The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant.
- Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, RI: A grant of up to $84,190 for The Papers of General Nathanael Greene.
- University of Arizona, Arizona State Museum, Tucson, AZ: A grant of up to $50,383 for Documentary Relations of the Southwest.
- University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN: A grant of up to $75,605 for The Papers of Andrew Jackson.
- Stanford University, Stanford, CA: A grant of up to $64,146 for The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC: A grant of $84,511 for The Papers of Henry Laurens.
- Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Springfield, IL: A conditional grant of up to $72,719 for The Lincoln Legal Papers: A Documentary History of the Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln, 1836-1861.
- George C. Marshall Foundation, Lexington, VA: A grant of $57,000 for The Papers of George Catlett Marshall.
- Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, VA: A grant of up to $22,909 for The Papers of John Marshall.
- State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, Nassau, NY: A conditional grant of up to $55,000 for a documentary edition of the papers of Clarence Mitchell, Jr.
- The American University, Washington, DC: A grant of up to $45,819 for The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted.
- University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN: A grant of up to $47,834 for The Correspondence of James K. Polk.
- University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA: A grant of up to $100,000 for its Presidential Recordings Project.
- University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC: A grant of up to $25,464 for Race, Slavery and Free Blacks: Petitions to Southern Legislatures and County Courts, 1776-1867.
- The George Washington University, Washington, DC: A grant of up to $150,000 for its Eleanor Roosevelt and Human Rights project.
- New York University, New York, NY: A grant of up to $66,817 for The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger.
- Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ: A grant of $55,000 for The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
- Kent State University, Kent, OH: A grant of $21,993 for The Robert A. Taft Papers.
- Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA: A grant of up to $62,937 for The Howard Thurman Papers.
- East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, PA: A grant of $65,000 for The Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800.
Funded Documentary Editing Subventions
- Yale University Press, New Haven, CT: A subvention grant of $10,000 for The Frederick Douglass Papers: Autobiographical Writings Series, Vol. 2: My Bondage and My Freedom.
- University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC: A subvention grant of $10,000 for The Papers of General Nathanael Greene, Vol. 12 [October 1782 - May 1783].
- University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC: A subvention grant of $1,993 for The Papers of John Marshall, Vol. 8 [March 1814 - December 1819] (reprint).
- University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA: A subvention grant of $10,000 for The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, Vol. 12.
Endorsed Documentary Editions
- Brooklyn College, City University of New York, New York, NY: A comprehensive electronic edition and selective book edition of The Journal of Alexander Coventry, M.D.
- University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA: The Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison.
- John J. McDonough, Potomac, MD, and John A. Wolter, Tucson, AZ: The Journal of William Speiden, Jr., 1852-1855.
Funded Records Preservation and Access Projects
- Association of Moving Image Archivists, Beverly Hills, CA: A two-year grant of $139,775, with $66,500 available in the first year, for its Preserving Local Television Project to develop a new strategy for preserving and providing access to America's local television heritage.
- Bessemer Historical Society, Pueblo, CO: A one-year grant of $35,700 for its Colorado Fuel and Iron Archives Project, to copy 1,000 reels of 16mm microfilm of Colorado Fuel and Iron Company records onto archival-quality 35mm microfilm, contingent upon the availability of additional Fiscal Year 2001 funds.
- Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT: A conditional one-year grant of $68,197 for its Judicial Records Preservation and Access Project to process the records of four county courts and formulate a plan for preserving and providing access to all of the state's earl y county court records.
- Japanese American Service Committee, Chicago, IL: A one-year grant of $22,018 for its Legacy Center Project to develop an archives and records management program, inventory records, arrange and describe 60 cubic feet of institutional records and five manuscript collections, conduct archival research regionally and nationally to promote awareness and use of these resources, and identify new manuscript collections for acquisition.
- American Textile History Museum, Lowell, MA: A conditional 30-month grant of $92,025, with $43,576 available in the first year, for its Manuscript Collections Access Project to support the cataloging and electronic dissemination of information about the museum's 740 manuscript collections and the processing of 25 of these collections that remain unarranged and undescribed.
- Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA: A three-year grant of $142,239, with $55,000 available in the first year, for its Archival Research Fellowships Program, to be instituted on behalf of itself, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, and the WGBH Educational Foundation.
- Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, NE: A 16-month grant of $43,407 for its Collections Guide and Survey Project to conduct a survey of some 25 percent of the Society's manuscript and audiovisual collections and produce collection-level guides, contingent upon the availability of additional Fiscal Year 2001 funds.
- Trustees of Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH: A conditional 21-month grant of $117,573, with $66,000 available in the first year, for its New Hampshire Local Records Project to conduct training in preservation techniques, access issues, collection development, and community documentation for municipal clerks, public librarians, historical society members, and court clerks throughout the state.
- Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York, NY: An 18-month grant of $72,621, with $50,046 available in the first year, for Puerto Ricans in New York: A Records Processing Project, to arrange and describe 15 collections documenting the history and culture of Puerto Ricans in New York.
- New York University, New York, NY: A conditional one-year grant of $64,375 for Its Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives Labor Records Project (Phase III) to continue its efforts to document the history of labor in New York.
Congressionally Directed Grants
- The Center for Jewish History, New York, NY: Release of second-year funding of up to $1,097,550 for its Integrated Collection Management and Access System Project.
- Heritage Harbor Museum, Providence, RI: A one-year grant of $78,996 for its "Native Journies" Documentation Project to tell the story of Native Americans in southeastern New England.
Records Projects Endorsed, with Resubmission Encouraged
- San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA: Sam Kagel Collection Processing Project
- Louis Wolfson II Media History Center, Miami, FL: South Florida Television Preservation and Access Project
- New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA: Archival Development Project
- City of Lewiston, ME: Bates Manufacturing Company Records Processing Project
- National History Day, College Park, MD: Summer Teacher Institute
- Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO: Archives and Records Survey Project;
- The New-York Historical Society, New York, NY: Cass Gilbert Archival Project
- Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA: Photograph Processing Project;
- South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC: Photographs of the Palmetto State Project
- Diocese of Amarillo, Amarillo, TX: Diocese Records Preservation Project
- Virginia Museum of Transportation, Roanoke, VA: Historic Photograph Preservation and Access Project.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.