National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Publishing Historical Records

The Commission supports collaborative projects that publish digital editions of historical records. Commission-sponsored documentary edition projects make important primary source materials from all periods of American history more accessible and understandable.

The Commission especially welcomes collaborative digital edition projects that center the voices of African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and other historically marginalized peoples, and that focus on broad historical movements in U.S. history, such as law (including the social and cultural history of the law), politics, public policy, social reform, business, military, the arts, and other aspects of the national experience.

Since 1964, the Commission has funded or endorsed more than 300 edition projects published on microfilm, in print, and online. As major research collections, editions provide broad public access to otherwise inaccessible, overlooked, and (often) geographically dispersed historical records, and intellectual access via expert transcription, annotation, and other contextualization. These NHPRC-supported editions have advanced scholarship and learning in fundamental ways, enabling the creation of thousands of works in history, the humanities, and the arts. NHPRC-supported edition projects are increasingly serving the pedagogical needs of students and teachers in classrooms across the nation.


Organizations may apply through the Publishing Historical Records category, which currently has two annual deadlines. Grants are awarded for collecting, describing, preserving, compiling, transcribing, annotating, editing, encoding, and publishing documentary source materials online and in print.  

All new projects must publish a digital edition which provides online access to a searchable collection of all documents. The NHPRC encourages projects to provide free access to online editions.

See a list of all Publishing Historical Records projects funded in the past two years.


Leadership Initiative

In anticipation of its new Strategic Plan, NHPRC sought funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch its new NHPRC-Mellon Start-Up Grants for Collaborative Digital Editions in African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and Native American History program, with the aim of expanding cultural diversity in American history. For details on how to apply, visit the current grant announcement here.