National Historical Publications & Records Commission

National Archives Grants - May 2020

The following grants were approved by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at its May 2020 meeting.


Publishing Historical Records

For projects to publish documentary editions of historical records.


Cumberland University
Lebanon, TN
$145,000 to edit the Papers of Martin Van Buren, eighth president of the United States. Project staff will complete initial transcription for an additional 1,000 documents, and perform first-pass transcription and metadata verification on 750 documents for publication on the project website. (PE-103000-20)

University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN
$160,000 to edit the Papers of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. Project staff will publish Volume 11 (1833) to its Rotunda edition and to the University of Tennessee’s Newfound Press website; complete all editorial work and submit the manuscript for Volume 12 (1834) to UT Press for typesetting; and advance editorial work on Volume 13 (1835). (PE-103001-20)

University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC
$110,000 to edit and publish the Pinckney Statesmen of South Carolina digital edition. The completed four-volume “born-digital” edition will include an estimated 3,000 fully transcribed and annotated documents (selected from a universe of 10,000 documents) related to the brothers Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Thomas Pinckney, and their cousin, Charles Pinckney, for the period 1769-1828. (PE-103003-20)

Indiana University
Indianapolis, IN
$120,000 to edit the Frederick Douglass Papers, a national leader of the abolitionist movement. Project staff will complete the Journalism and Other Writings series, Volume 1, and continue annotation work for Volume 2 of that series. In the Correspondence series, the project will publish Volume 3, complete the manuscript for Volume 4, and continue editorial work on Volume 5. Working with its partners, the project is also expected to complete Phase Two of its three-phase implementation plan to migrate its digital edition to a new technical platform. (PE-103005-20)

University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
$160,000 to edit the Papers of George Washington, first president of the United States. Project staff will publish Volume 28 of the Revolutionary War Series; advance editorial work on an additional six print volumes (29-34) of that series; and add to its University of Virginia Press / Rotunda Imprint digital edition Volume 27 of the Revolutionary War Series, Volumes 20 and 21 of the Presidential Series, and 40 newly-found documents. (PE-103010-20)

Ramapo College of New Jersey
Mahwah, NJ
$125,000 to edit and publish the Jane Addams Papers, American settlement activist, reformer, social worker, sociologist, public administrator and author. Project staff will advance work on the digital edition, digitizing, transcribing and proofreading documents for the years 1923-1926. Project staff will also complete all remaining annotation work for Volume 4 (1901-1913) of the print edition. (PE-103015-20)

University of Maryland
College Park, MD
$160,000 to support the Freedmen and Southern Society Project on the history of emancipation. Project staff will advance final pre-publication work for Volume 7 (Law and Justice), complete editorial work for four additional chapters of Volume 8 (Family and Kinship), and add a selection of annotated documents to its website. (PE-103018-20)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ
$160,000 to support the Thomas A. Edison Papers, noted American inventor and entrepreneur. Project staff will add 50% of 119,000 document images scanned from Parts 4-5 of the microfilm edition covering the years 1899-1919 to its Image Edition, and advance editorial work on Volume 10 (Jan. 1890 – Jun. 1892) and Volume 11 (Jul. 1892 – Dec. 1898) of the book edition. Project staff will continue to work on the selective online Image Edition. (PE-103019-20)

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
$126,545 to support the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States. Project staff will add volume 44 to the Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition and to Founders Online, publish volume 45, complete and submit the manuscript for volume 46, and advance editorial work on three additional volumes (47-49), add additional materials to its freely-accessible online edition of Jefferson’s Meteorological Records, and begin drafting guidelines for a federated Early American Weather Records resource. (PE-103021-20)

University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
$110,000 to support “Fame and Infamy: Walt Whitman’s Correspondence, 1888-1892,” bringing together for the first time all incoming and outgoing correspondence from the poet’s final years. Editors will revise and maintain the complete catalog of Whitman’s correspondence, and transcribe, annotate, and publish an additional 450 letters from this period to the Walt Whitman Archive. (PE-103024-20)

Villanova University
Villanova, PA
$100,000 to support Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery, a collection of “Information Wanted” advertisements taken out by former slaves in African American newspapers from the early years after emancipation in 1865 through the early 20th century to assist with their ongoing search for lost family members. Project staff will identify, image, transcribe, and publish an additional 1,600 advertisements to a freely accessible website. (PE-103032-20)

Stanford University
Stanford, CA
$160,000 to support the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers, a national leader in civil rights. Project staff will advance editorial work on Volume 8 (Sept. 1962 – Dec. 1963), bringing all annotation work to near completion, and continue research in the digital collections of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library for Volume 9 (1964). (PE-103044-20)

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation
Springfield, IL
$90, 625 to support the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States. Project staff will continue to image and catalog newly identified documents as they become available; complete editorial work for and publish all remaining documents to the Congressional Digital Edition/Archive, and complete all editorial work for and publish 292 documents to the Campaign Digital Edition. (PE-103047-20)

University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS
$100,000 to support the Civil War & Reconstruction Governors of Mississippi Digital Documentary Edition project. This new edition project will ultimately contain nearly 20,000 documents sent and received by the Mississippi governors from late 1859 to early 1882. The edition documents the lives of men, women, and children, free and enslaved from the eve of secession, through the years of Civil War and Reconstruction, to the early years of Jim Crow segregation. Project staff will create and verify metadata for 3,280 documents and produce verified transcriptions for 2,460 of these same documents. (PE-103050-20)


Access to Historical Records: Archival Projects

For projects that ensure online public discovery and use of historical records collections.


Illinois Secretary of State - Illinois State Archives
Springfield, IL
$60,178 to support a project to preserve, digitize, and provide online access via the Illinois Digital Archives to 21,000 photographs from the Doc Helm Collection. Between 1943 and 1992, Eddie Winfred “Doc” Helm served as the official State of Illinois photographer, and the collection provides a one-of-a-kind visual historical record of politics, government, entertainment and society in a Midwestern state capital during the mid-20th century. (RH-103006-20)

The Graystone Society, Inc
Coatesville, PA
$15,514 to support a project to digitize the Lukens Steel Company employee publications, 1934-1995, and make them available through the Society's National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum, which focuses on broadening the understanding of the iron and steel history. (RH-103012-20)

GLBT Historical Society
San Francisco, CA
]$75,000 to support Sing Out: Processing and Digitizing LGBTQ+ Music and Theater Collections, a project to process 10 archival collections, totaling 124.25 linear feet, which include correspondence, ephemera, costumes, audiovisual material, and photographs, spanning over 70 years documenting the contributions of LGBTQ+ people to history, art, and culture. (RH-103013-20)

New York City Department of Records and Information Services
New York, NY
$89,240 to support a project to digitize New York colonial and early statehood administrative and legal records dating from 1645 through the first decades of the 1800s. The records pertain to Dutch and English colonial settlements in New York City, western Long Island, and the lower Hudson Valley. They comprise 189 ledgers and total approximately 72 cubic feet. Approximately 50,000 digital images will be created. (RH-103037-20)

Connecticut State Library
Hartford, CT
$100,000 to support a project to arrange and describe the early legal records of the New Haven County County Court, 1700-1855, and the New Haven County Superior Court, 1711-1855, totaling 222 cubic feet. Project staff will digitize the records of an estimated 500 cases, or about 3,000 images, and ingest them into the Connecticut Digital Archive. A database containing information about lawsuits pertaining to African American and Native American individuals will be created and made available online. (RH-103040-20)

Marist College
Poughkeepsie, NY
$91,363 to digitize half a million pages of radio news show scripts from the Lowell Thomas Papers and make the digital images and associated metadata available online via the collection’s finding aid. Thomas (1892-1981) was a pioneering journalist who became one of the foremost radio broadcasters during the golden age of radio. In 1976 Thomas retired from his radio news program, which had been on the air for 46 continuous years. (RH-103041-20)

The American Jewish Historical Society
New York, NY
$89,295 to process an accretion of 100 linear feet from the American Jewish Congress. In addition, it will digitize 750 photographs and 200 hours of audio-visual materials and revise and improve the existing finding aid. These materials document meetings, conferences and other events such as 1933 mass rallies protesting Nazi persecution of German Jews and the 1963 March on Washington, as well as speeches by Daniel Moynihan and Bella Abzug among others. (RH-103046-20)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, VA
$74,538 to process the M. Rupert Cutler Papers at Virginia Tech, a total 172 cubic feet, that document  Cutler’s environmental, political, and business activities prior to and following his service in the Carter Administration as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Conservation, Research, and Education. The collection also documents Cutler’s personal experiences, service on the Roanoke City Council, and contributions to environmental organizations nationally and in Virginia. (RH-103048-20)

University of Massachusetts Lowell
Lowell, MA
$67,032 to support a project to process and digitize nine archival collections from five Southeast Asian-serving community organizations. The collections total approximately 53 linear feet and 496 audiovisual recordings and will be added to the Southeast Asian Digital Archive. (RH-103055-20)


Public Engagement

For projects that encourage public engagement with historical records.


Teachers College, Columbia University
New York, NY
$135,040 to support a collaborative  drawing together resources from Columbia’s Center on History and Education, the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Brooklyn College, and the New York Municipal Archives to create the New York Civil Rights Curriculum, a digital teaching resource that includes digital surrogates of primary sources, teaching ideas, a chronology of key events, and videos which focuses on the history of racial segregation and desegregation and on the struggle for disability rights in New York City. (DP-103014-20)

Wayne State University
Detroit, MI
$83,100 to support a collaborative among professors in Wayne State’s College of Education, archivists at the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, and Detroit-area teachers to create a platform for archives-based curriculum units and lesson plans for K-12 classrooms and  learning community groups of teachers and teaching students using the platform. (DP-103023-20)


Archives Collaboratives

For projects to develop a working collaborative designed to enhance the capacity of small and diverse organizations with historical records collections.


Wisconsin Library Services
Madison, WI
$80,300 to support a partnership among the Wisconsin Library Services, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and Recollection Wisconsin to support digital readiness in small and under-resourced local historical societies and historic preservation organizations across the state of Wisconsin. Through workshops, demonstrations at the statewide Digital History Fair, consultations, and other resources, the collaborative plans to create a Digital Readiness Community of Practice that provides the knowledge, tools, resources, and infrastructure to digitize, manage, and provide online public access to archives and historical records. (RJ-103067-20)

Seattle, WA
$90,000 to support the Community Archives Collaborative, a partnership among four community-based archives: Densho, which seeks to preserve and share history of the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans to promote equity and justice today; the South Asian American Digital Archive; Interference Archive, which explores the relationship between cultural production and social movements; and the The Texas After Violence Project, which preserves the voices, experiences, and perspectives of people directly impacted by violence in Texas. The Community Archives Collaborative, develop resources and educational tools, and host a convening for a newly established network of community-based archives to share skills, trainings, and best practices; leverage pooled resources; and provide peer-to-peer mentoring in order to support long-term sustainability and growth. (RJ-103091-20)