National Historical Publications & Records Commission

NHPRC Grants - May 2017


Access to Historical Records

For projects that promote the preservation and use of historical records collections to broaden understanding of our democracy, history, and culture.


Georgia State University

Atlanta, GA                                                                                                         $51,605

To support digitization of 244,000 items and 280 hours of oral history audio from the papers of southern union organizer and activist Myron Howard “Mike” Ross in the Southern Labor Archives.


University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC                                                                                                      $17,658

To support processing and digitization activities for the papers of William D. Workman, Jr., a prominent mid-20th century journalist, editor, and photographer.                                                  


Litchfield Historical Society

Litchfield, CT                                                                                                      $42,380

To support a detailed finding aid and digitize approximately 43,750 items from the papers of Elijah Boardman, Revolutionary War veteran, prominent merchant, land investor, and politician in Connecticut.


Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities

Boston, MA                                                                                                        $64,415

To support digitization and online access to the papers of the military engineer Brigadier General Thomas Lincoln Casey (1831-1896) and his son, architect Edward Pearce Casey (1864-1940), a total of 35.36 linear feet, and a crowdsourcing program to engage the public in transcription of handwritten documents.


La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club

New York, NY                                                                                                   $100,000

To support the digitization of 250 hours of videotape documenting 170 performances staged between 1972-1980 at the New York theater known for experimentation and focus on artists’ responses to pressing social, cultural, and aesthetic issues.


Storefront for Art and Architecture

New York, NY                                                                                                 $99,994

To support a project to describe and digitize 47 cubic feet of program files and digitize 621 pieces of at-risk audiovisual materials from this center for innovation in architecture, art, and design.



New York, NY                                                                                                 $87,375

To support the creation of the American Masters Digital Archives with 40 full-length documentaries, transcriptions, and 1,500 hours of full interviews from those biographical programs of America’s writers, musicians, visual and performing artists, filmmakers and other artists.


Providence Public Library

Providence, RI                                                                                                   $63,660

To support archival processing of the records of AS220, an arts organization which provides galleries, studios, and performance spaces for artists, and which has served as a model for urban community development across the U.S. Spanning 30 years, AS220 records document postwar social and cultural history through the voices of numerous under-represented groups.  .


Hagley Library and Museum

Wilmington, DE                                                                                                $95,020

To support a project to arrange the papers of designers Ken White, who specialized in retail bookstore and convenience stores, and Marshall B. Johnson, who designed electrical kitchen appliances, product graphics, and cutlery. Approximately 550 linear feet will be processed, educational lesson plans developed, and a select number of pages digitized and published online.


California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA                                                                                                     $96,328

To support the creation or enhancement of online descriptions for 53 collections, comprising 600 linear feet from their backlog, including portions from the university archives, the records of architect John T. Lyle, and records from the local winemaking industry, Arabian horse ranching, and the Pomona Valley Historical Collection.


University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA                                                                                                     $82,160

To support a virtual online collection drawn from physical collections at Berkeley’s Environmental Design Archives and the University of Pennsylvania’s Architectural Archives that demonstrate the design and evolution of The Sea Ranch from the late 1950s until 1973. The Sea Ranch is a housing development on the northern California coastline, designed to harmonize with the local environment. The project will design a website to host the virtual collection drawn from approximately 500 items from the collection.


University of the Pacific

Stockton, CA                                                                                                    $47,232

To support a project to process the George Moscone Papers and digitize 250 items from the collection. Moscone (1929-1978) was an activist and legislator, who served as Mayor of San Francisco for two years. In 1978, he and San Francisco Board supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated.


Genealogical Society of New Jersey

Ewing, NJ                                                                                                                     $95,993

To support a project to provide access to Early Land Records, including abstracts of approximately 60,000 colonial and property land instruments valuable for genealogical and local history research.


Publishing Historical Records

For projects that document major historical figures, and important eras and social movements in the history of the nation.


Indiana University-Purdue University

Indianapolis, IN                                                                                                $75,930

To support a project to edit the Frederick Douglass Papers, a documentary edition of the historical records of this 19th-century African American social reformer, orator, and statesman, with work on the Correspondence Series; the Journalism and Other Writings Series; and work on the public-access Frederick Douglass Digital Edition.


University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN                                                                                                   $115,500

To support a project to edit the Papers of Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, with completion of Volume 11, documenting the year 1833, and beginning work on Volume 12 (1834).


University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN                                                                                                   $18,065

To support a project to complete editorial work on the 14-volume Correspondence of James K. Polk, the 11th President of the United States, and to advance work on the Digital Edition. The correspondence to be published document the period April 1848--June 1849, and illuminate the Polk administration’s response to the conclusion of the Mexican-American War.


Stanford University

Stanford, CA                                                                                                     $130,000

To support a project to edit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers, a documentary edition of historical records of this 20th-century Civil Rights leader, with work on Volumes 8-9, covering the period of September 1962 through 1964, and the Digital Edition. Documents to be edited illuminate King’s planning and leadership of the watershed campaign to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama, and the seminal March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.


Cumberland University

Lebanon, TN                                                                                                    $60,752

To support a digital edition, building on the microfilm edition, of the Papers of Martin Van Buren, the eight President of the United States. The project plans on creating a selective, single-volume letterpress edition as well as a definitive collection of his papers, to be published online.


Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA                                                                                                      $51,850

To support a project to edit the Robert Treat Paine Papers, which documents the life, political activities, and legal practice of this Massachusetts lawyer, jurist, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Spanning the years 1746-1814, the edition provides rich documentary evidence for the study of subjects as varied as the development of antislavery thought in the pre-revolutionary period, the Boston Massacre trials, debates in the First Continental Congress, the disposition of Loyalist property, and Shay’s Rebellion.


Trustees of Columbia University
New York, NY                                                                                                 $120,490
To support a project to edit The Selected Papers of John Jay, the statesman, diplomat, signer of the Treaty of Paris, and first Chief Justice of the United States, with work on Volumes 5-7 (1789-1829). During the period covered in these volumes, Jay served as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court where he helped establish the role of the judicial branch in the new government. Then he was recalled to the world of diplomacy and negotiated the controversial treaty with Britain that came to bear his name. He subsequently was elected to serve as Governor of New York for six years.


University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA                                                                                                     $63,877

To support a project to advance work on Fame and Infamy: Walt Whitman’s Old Age Correspondence, which aims to collect, edit, and publish the 19th century American poet’s correspondence from 1888 to 1892, the final four years of his life. The correspondence reveals his continuing interest in events that were shaping the nation and the emergence of a significant national and international body of Whitman admirers and readers. The correspondence will be added to the online Walt Whitman Archive, a joint project with the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.


Kentucky Historical Society Foundation
Frankfort, KY                                                                                                   $63,440
To support a one-year grant to the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition project, an annotated, searchable, and freely accessible online edition of documents associated with the three Union and two Confederate governors of the commonwealth for the period 1860-1865. These documents reveal the diverse and largely unknown lives of thousands of Kentuckians who interacted with the office of the governor during the Civil War. During the grant period, the project staff will develop a web interface called Annotation Beta and populate it with 1,000 fully annotated and edited documents.   


University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC                                                                                                    $90,110

To support its project to edit the Pinckney Statesmen of South Carolina digital edition, documenting the lives and careers of the brothers Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Thomas Pinckney, and their cousin, Charles Pinckney. Materials to be edited span the period 1792-1815 and document networks of correspondence with European diplomats that provide a nuanced view of U.S. diplomatic relations in the early republic. During the grant period, staff will complete work on Volume 2 and begin work on Volume 3.


Ramapo College of New Jersey

Mahwah, NJ                                                                                                     $114,637

To support the Jane Addams Papers Project to digitize, transcribe and publish online Jane Addams’ correspondence and writings (articles, diaries, speeches) from the period 1909-1913. Documents to be edited showcase Addams’ involvement in national reform work, joining the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Charities and Correction Conference, and heading the National Council on Social Work. During the grant period, the project will work on the digital edition and Volume 4 of the print edition.


Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Brunswick, NJ                                                                                                   $151,743

To support a project to edit the Papers of Thomas A. Edison, a documentary edition of the historical records of the late 19th/early 20th century American inventor and entrepreneur.  The project will continue its work on the online image edition, including a new database and web interface, and advance editorial work of Volumes 9 and 10 of the print edition.


University of Kentucky Research Foundation

Lexington, KY                                                                                                  $74,601

To support an estimated 8-volume edition of the Complete Writings and Selected Correspondence of John Dickinson, to be published in both print and digital forms. Dickinson (1732-1808) became known as the “Penman of the Revolution,” because he authored so many of the nation’s founding documents. He served as a member of the First Continental Congress and was President of the 1786 Annapolis Convention. During the grant period, the project will complete all editorial work on the initial volume.


University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA                                                                                             $115,000

To support a project to edit and publish a comprehensive edition of The Papers of James Madison, the fourth President of the United States and “Father of the Constitution.” During the grant period, the project will publish Volume 9 and work on the final two volumes of the Presidential Series (1809-1817); complete Volume 4 and begin Volume 5 of the Retirement Series (1817-1836); and begin work on Volume 12 of the Secretary of State Series (1801-1809).


University of Maryland

College Park, MD                                                                                              $130,570

To support the Freedmen and Southern Society Project, documenting the history of emancipation in the United States, with editorial work on Volume 7 (Law and Justice), illuminating and documenting the deployment of law, judicial institutions, and extralegal violence to limit ex-slaves' freedom, and Volume 8 (Family and Kinship), documenting the efforts of ex-slaves to locate and reunite with kin from whom they had been forcibly separated, and the logistical and emotional challenges of reconstituting fragmented families.


University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA                                                                                             $146,192

To support a project to edit The Papers of George Washington, with work on four volumes of the Revolutionary War Series, two volumes of the Presidential Series, documenting the period April 1796 to March 1797, and digital conversion work to add three volumes to the Digital Edition.


University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA                                                                                             $45,183

To support a project to publish the Dolley Madison Digital Edition. During the grant period, the project will complete and publish Volume 11 and commence work on Volume 12. These volumes document the former First Lady’s struggle to manage her limited financial means and burdens of debt during her long widowhood.


Public Engagement with Historical Records

For projects that encourage citizen engagement with historical records, especially those available online.


Dickinson College

Carlisle, PA                                                                                                       $76,249

To support a project to enhance public engagement, discovery, and gather contributions to the Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center. Dickinson College has digitized more than 225,000 pages of records from the Carlisle Indian School (1879-1918), which was designed to assimilate Native children into mainstream Euro-American society. The project will offer a curriculum development workshop for 12 high school teachers to develop lesson plans using the Center’s materials; and workshops in five native communities to share curricular materials, solicit evaluation of the Center, and encourage community members to contribute materials to the Center.


University of North Carolina

Chapel Hill, NC                                                                                                 $75,457

To support a project to create a Digital Rocky Mount Mills, a curated digital collection of records documenting the history of the cotton mills and their place in the region. The project will collaborate with community partners to develop an archival toolkit, a pilot program to create instructional materials for K-12 teachers and a teacher workshop, and to design a workflow for genealogists of African American descent to use the historical resources of one of the largest mill communities in North Carolina, which shaped the southeastern Piedmont for more than a century.


Alabama Bicentennial Commission Foundation

Montgomery, AL                                                                                              $148,950

To support a project to use historical records as part of the three-year commemoration of the bicentennial of the state of Alabama. The project will offer professional development training for third-to-fifth grade teachers on using existing digital collections at the state archives to create lesson plans and to engage students through historical records to develop higher-order thinking skills, digital literacy skills, understanding of history, and the habits and skills of citizen historians. The Bicentennial Commission will collaborate with the Alabama Department of Archives & History, the Alabama Department of Education, and the Alabama Learning Exchange to include all 138 school districts and numerous historical and cultural sites throughout the state.