National Historical Publications & Records Commission

NHPRC Grants - June 2018


Archives Leadership Institute

First funded in 2008, the Archives Leadership Institute seeks to bring to tomorrow's leaders the insights and understanding necessary for increasing public use and appreciation of archives.

Purdue University
Purdue, IN
$250,000 to support three years of the Archives Leadership Institute to be held at Purdue University, focused around themes of leadership, archives advocacy, intercultural competence, and technology.


Access to Historical Records: Major Initiatives

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

University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, NC
$294,603 to support a project to digitize approximately 9,800 slave deeds and bills of sale held by 26 county registrars by collaborating with the North Carolina State Archives, the Afro-American Genealogical Society, and the counties registrars, create a database for the digitized records, and transcribe the full text of the deeds and bills of sale.


Access to Historical Records

For projects at archival repositories in preserving and processing primary source materials.

California Historical Society
San Francisco, CA 
$99,709 to support a project that will process three collections: the Peoples Temple Publication Departments Records, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, and the papers of San Francisco-area activist and grassroots community leader, Mike Miller. The project will make available 288 linear feet of material and make available online 5,000 images and 49 audio recordings from Jim Jones from the Peoples Temple records.

Willamette University
Salem, OR  
$99,563 to support a project that will process and describe 12 collections and four accretions (420 linear feet) in the Pacific Northwest Artists Archives and digitize 200 items from the collections. The PNAA currently holds 44 collections of papers by artists who lived and worked in Oregon and Washington.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, VA   
$68,722 to support a project to process 150 cubic feet of records from the Fries Textile Plant, dating from the company’s founding in 1903 through the 1980s, to produce and publish EAD Finding Aids, and digitize selected materials on Virginia Tech’s Special Collections website. The Fries Textile Plant records provide a complete history of a major textile plant that flourished in the 20th century, and promise to shed new light on the history of Appalachia, labor relations, the environment, textile manufacturing, company towns, community life, and deindustrialization.

California State University, Fresno
Fresno, CA    
$84,705 to support a project to process and digitize 19,645 maps, upload the digitized objects to the university’s Digitized Collections platform, perform geo-referencing of the maps and make them available through a Map and Aerial Locator Tool (MALT), and prepare for their transfer to the California State Archives. The historical map collection provide essential information on the changing geography and demographics of California from the late 19th century to the late 20th century.

Washington University
St. Louis, MO  
$27,228 to support a project to digitize and disseminate 32 filmed interviews, portions of which were used by William Miles for his Black Champions television documentary. Totaling 18 hours, the tapes feature such prominent sports figures as Curt Flood, Arthur Ashe, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilma Rudolph, and Floyd Patterson, providing insight into sports and civil rights from the early 1900s to the 1980s. The complete interviews and three-hour documentary will be disseminated online, along with 32 biographies.

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
New York, NY  
$99,241 to support a project that will create 24,000 digital files documenting student work from more than eight decades of design studies at Cooper Union. The records will be included in the launch of a digital access platform with approximately 30,000 digitized analog records and metadata available to researchers in the history of architecture, design, and related fields.

University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington, TX  
$99,200 to support a project to process the papers of Dallas industrialist, businessman, and civic leader John W. Carpenter (1881-1959). The collection, totaling 222 linear feet, documents Carpenter’s business interests in utilities, insurance, steel fabrication, and agriculture, as well as his civic role in economic development, city planning, navigation of the Trinity River, arts, and education.

Indiana State Library
Indianapolis, IN   
$74,880 to support the digitization for online access to 47 cubic feet of William H. Hays’s papers dating from 1914-1954. Hays served as Republican National Committee Chairman (1918-1921) and serving as campaign manager for President Warren Harding in 1920. Harding appointed Hays Postmaster General in 1921, and he would become President of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America from 1922-1945, where he established the “Hays Code” of acceptable content for motion pictures produced for a public audience.

Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, TX     
$50,000 to support the digitization of 34.5 linear feet of personal and business papers at TCU and 15,000 photographic negatives at the University of Texas at Arlington documenting the life and career of Texas businessman Amon G. Carter (1879-1955). Carter was a pioneer in print and broadcast media, played a dominant role in the airline industry, and hosted national and international dignitaries in his Texas homes. Online access to these collections will benefit researchers of the urban landscape, the development of the aeronautics and air travel industries, print and broadcast media, and the growing national influence of Texas.

Computer History Museum
Mountain View, CA   
$99,528 to support the processing of and the creation of finding aids for 12 collections, totaling 400 linear feet, related to software history. The collections contain organizational records and personal papers that document  the “Y2K” bug, early online search systems; the development of software to run the portable computer; the Radio Shack home computer; shareware; and the development of programs and strategies from Apple, Lotus, Electronic Arts, Novell, IBM, and other companies. These collections will serve as primary source materials in the study of technology and the computer industry.

Country Music Foundation, Inc.
Nashville, TN     
$96,521 to support a project at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to digitize and make available online 1,200 hours of rare, fragile, and historically-significant recordings by country music artists. Drawn from the Bob Pinson Recorded Sound Collection, these quarter-inch audio tapes contain the only-known surviving recordings of interviews and performances by artists such a Johnny Cash and James Brown and of historically significant broadcasts by the Grand Ole Opry and Nashville R&B station WLAC.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc.
Cleveland, OH    
$125,061 to support a project to process and create finding aids for 1,161 linear feet of materials consisting of 508 collections spanning eight decades of music history (including 420 feet of the institutional records). The collections include a variety of print, film and audio materials dating from the 1940s through the 2010s. Included are records of co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, music critic Greg Kot’s research materials, Magic Shop Recording Studio records on artists from the Ramones to David Bowie, and reissues of historical recordings by Jelly Roll Morton, the Rolling Stones, and Woody Guthrie.

Bethel Broadcasting, Inc.
Bethel, AK     
$100,000 to support a project to digitize and make available 1,000 video recordings drawn from Native-owned and operated station KYUK documenting the Yup’ik and Cup’ik people of western Alaska. Programs include dance performances, demonstrations of traditional crafts and technologies, interviews with Elders, who share traditional knowledge, values, and history in the Yup’ik language, local news footage, and documentaries in English and Yup’ik. These recordings will be selected from what is believed to be the largest collection in the world of Yup’ik Eskimo-related video content that captures traditions, language, and customs.


Publishing Historical Records

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

University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC        
$93,962 to support a project to publish the Pinckney Statesmen of South Carolina, a four-volume digital edition related to the brothers Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Thomas Pinckney, and their cousin, Charles Pinckney, for the period 1769-1828. The Pinckneys are one of the most prominent southern families of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. All three fought in the Revolutionary War and were active in the political, military, and economic affairs that shaped the revolutionary era and early republic. The grant will allow the project to complete Volume 2, advance work on documents for Volume 3, and begin editorial work on Volume 4.

Cumberland University
Lebanon, TN     
$143,657 to support a digital edition, building on the microfilm edition, of the Papers of Martin Van Buren, the eight President of the United States. Before becoming President, Van Buren served as New York governor, U.S. Senator, secretary of state, minister to Great Britain, and vice president. The grant will facilitate ongoing digitization work and publication of 900 transcriptions for Series 2 on the project’s “early access” digital edition, and transcription of Series 3 and 4 documents.

University of Mary Washington
Fredericksburg, VA     
$44,625 to support a project to edit and prepare for publication a 10-volume edition of the Papers of James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States. The grant will allow the project to complete the manuscript for Volume 7, documenting Monroe’s service as Secretary of State and Secretary of War during the Madison administration, and continue work on Volume 8, which focuses on Monroe’s first term as President.

University of Maryland
College Park, MD    
$173,425 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.

Indiana University-Purdue University
Indianapolis, IN      
$99,731 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 the Frederick Douglass Papers Digital Edition.

Ramapo College of New Jersey
Mahwah, NJ
$120,429 to support the Jane Addams Papers Project to digitize, transcribe and publish online Jane Addams’s correspondence and writings (articles, diaries, speeches) from the period 1918-1921. Documents to be edited showcase Addams growing national influence as a social reformer and activist focused on child labor and child protective services, the industrial and educational environments for the working class, and woman suffrage. During the grant period, the project will work on the digital edition and Volume 4 of the print edition.

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, contributor to the Federalist Papers, and first Chief Justice of the United States, with work on Volumes 5-7 (1789-1829). During the period, the project will publish digital edition Volume 5 and print edition Volume 6; and bring the final print volume 7 to near completion.

University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN     
$176,388 to support a project to edit the Papers of Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States. During the grant period, the project will publish Volume 11 (1833) and beginning work on Volume 12 (1834) of a projected 17-volumed print edition. Documents selected for these 1833-34 volumes illuminate Jackson’s decision to continue the Bank War, his efforts to force the Cherokees into signing a removal treaty, and ongoing tensions with France.

Stanford University
Stanford, CA      
$200,000 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. The project will also perform digital conversion of the remaining 65 documents from Volume 7 for publication on their website.

University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 
$105,002 to support a project to advance work on Fame and Infamy: Walt Whitman’s Correspondence, 1888-1892, which aims to collect, edit, and publish the 19th century American poet’s correspondence from 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.

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ     
$151,140 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, complete Volume 9, and advance editorial work on Volume 10 of the print edition. Editorial work for this grant period covers the years 1888-1892, when the scale of his laboratory facilities and staff enabled him to engage in a broad array of inventive projects, including development of new technology-based entertainment industries centered on sound recordings and motion pictures.

University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA     
$182,737 to support a project to edit the Papers of George Washington, including publishing Volume 26 of the Revolutionary War series and work on four subsequent volumes (spanning the period May 1780 – February 1781), publishing Volume 20 of the Presidential series with work on Volume 21 (covering April 1796 – March 1797), and digital conversion work to add new materials to the Digital Edition.

University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA       
$128,086 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 complete work on Volume 10 and submit the final volume of the Presidential series to press; continue work on Volume 12 of the Secretary of State series; and complete Volume 4 and complete editorial work on Volume 5 of the Retirement series.

University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA    
$320,000 to support a two-year project to publish the Dolley Madison Digital Edition. During the grant period, the project will complete and publish the final two volumes of the Digital Edition. Volume 12 documents the former First Lady’s struggle to manage her limited financial means and burdens of debt during her long widowhood, while Volume 13 (consisting of several hundred undated documents) documents topics ranging from Madison’s Quaker upbringing and her involvement with the institution of slavery and plantation management, to her views of and interactions with people of color and Native Americans.


Public Engagement with Historical Records

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

St. Lawrence University
Canton, NY       
$101,000 to support “North Country at Work,” a project to document the traditions and history of labor and industry in the Adirondack North Country. In collaboration with North Country Public Radio, the university’s Library’s Special Collections and Vance University Archives will hold a series of community events in six communities, as well as six locations within the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne, working with libraries, museums, and historical societies to scan historical photographs and collect digital images. In each local community, the partners will curate, print, and mount a collection of 10-30 images and stories that illustrate the community’s work history and traditions. The public events will provide content for a digital archive, for broadcast, for social media, and podcasts.

Museum of Chinese in America
New York, NY           
$50,000 to support “Our Family Treasures,” a project to develop and implement programs and education workshops aimed at preserving, digitizing, and showcasing family and community history and culture. The Museum will offer five Preserving Heritage Materials Workshops to teach participants how to conserve/preserve documents and artifacts as well as 12 Digitization and Consultation sessions. The project will conclude with a day-long event that brings together community partners, scholars, preservationists, museum professionals, and participants to discuss and reflect upon the year’s activities.