Commission Recommends $2.15 Million in Grants
Press Release · Thursday, November 20, 2008

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Washington, DC…At its November meeting, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) recommended $2.15 million for 23 projects in 13 states and the District of Columbia for preserving and publishing historical records.

Grant recommendations include $1.266 million to the projects annotating and publishing the papers of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and documentary histories of the First Federal Congress and the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution.  Five subventions were awarded to university presses to defray the cost of publishing new volumes of the papers of Washington, Madison, John Jay, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.  The University of Wisconsin will receive funding to continue its work at the Institute for Editing Historical Documents, and the Papers of Andrew Jackson project at the University of Tennessee will be able to hire a new Editing Fellow.

A new pilot project to transcribe unpublished papers from the Founding Era of the nation was awarded to the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities on behalf of Documents Compass.  This new effort will prepare verified and XML-encoded versions of unpublished documents and develop a workflow that can help the Founders editorial projects in their publishing process.  The pilot project is the result of the Report to Congress by the Archivist of the United States on how to provide online access to the papers of the Founding Era.

Strategies and Tools grants went to the Massachusetts Historical Society to enable the Adams papers project to digitize its paper-based control files and to the University of Michigan to develop standardized survey tools for government archives in collaboration with the University of North Carolina and the University of Toronto.

Six projects were recommended for Digitization grants. The University of Florida will digitize material from six collections relating to the exploration, development and conservation of the Everglades from 1878-1929.  The Railroad Commission of Texas is digitizing about 120,000 pages, including oversized maps and plans, of documents dealing with the Texas Oil Boom of the 1930s.  A microfilm collection of the papers of Henry A. Wallace, FDR’s vice president and the Progressive Party candidate for President in 1948, will be digitized at the University of Iowa.  A digital collection of the records of the American Social Health Association, held by the University of Minnesota, will give researchers access to documents from World I and World War II when the Association was active in advising and treating military personnel on health issues.  The American Institute of Physics will digitize the papers of Samuel A. Goudsmit (1921-1979), the renowned physicist who headed the team investigating Germany’s progress in developing the atomic bomb during World War II. Duke University is digitizing 24,000 photographs and slides that portray outdoor advertising and linking these images to an existing online database.

The Commission also approved grant announcements for new projects, and it welcomed Dr. Lucy Barber as the new Deputy Executive Director.  Dr. Barber was formerly the Director of Technology Initiatives at the NHPRC.  After receiving a Ph.D. in History from Brown University, Dr. Barber was an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis, and later an archivist with the California State Archives.  She is the author of Marching on Washington: The Creation of a National Political Tradition.

The Archivist of the United States, Allen Weinstein, is the chairman of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and Kathleen Williams is its Executive Director.  Members of the Commission include two Presidential appointees and representatives from the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Library of Congress, and from the following professional associations: the Association for Documentary Editing, the American Association for State and Local History, the American Historical Association, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, the Organization of American Historians, and the Society of American Archivists.

The next meeting at which the Commission will consider grant applications is scheduled for May, 2009.

A complete list of all grants is below.

Grants—November 2008

Pilot Project-Founding Era

Virginia Foundation for
  the Humanities                                                $250,000
Charlottesville, VA
This pilot project will transcribe and encode for online and print publication documents on behalf of documentary editing projects from the Founding Era of the nation.

Publishing Historical Records (Founding Era)
These long-term projects document major historical figures or groups from the Founding Era of the nation.

The Documentary History of                          $210,508
 the First Federal Congress                                                   
George Washington University

The Adams Papers                                          $162,550
Massachusetts Historical Society

The Papers of James Madison                       $146,154
University of Virginia

The Papers of Thomas Jefferson                    $166,987
Princeton University

The Papers of Benjamin Franklin                  $198,900
Yale University

The Documentary History of                          $208,000
  the Ratification of the Constitution                
University of Wisconsin

The Papers of George Washington                 $173,090
University of Virginia

Publication Subventions
Grants to publishers to help defray the printing costs of individual volumes of documentary editions.

University of Virginia Press                               $10,000
Charlottesville, VA
The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, Vol. 19

University of Virginia Press                               $10,000
Charlottesville, VA
The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series, Vol. 15

University of Virginia Press                               $10,000
Charlottesville, VA      
The Papers of James Madison, Retirement Series, Vol. 1

University of Virginia Press                               $10,000
Charlottesville, VA
Selected Papers of John Jay, Vol. 1

Rutgers, State University of
   New Jersey                                                   $10,000
Rutgers, NJ
The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  and Susan B. Anthony, Vol. 5

Editing Fellowships
Grants to support a fellowship at a historical documentary editing project.

Papers of Andrew Jackson                             $55,000                                             
University of Tennessee

Professional Development
Grants to support projects for the professional development of archivists and/or documentary editors.

Institute for the Editing of                                  $41,791
Historical Documents                             
University of Wisconsin                                    
Madison, WI

Strategies and Tools
Grants to for new strategies or tools for archives and historical publishing.

Massachusetts Historical Society           $150,000
Boston, MA
The Adams Papers Control File Digitization Project

Regents of the University
  of Michigan                                                    $149,969
Ann Arbor, MI
Archival Metrics and User Evaluation for Government Archives.

Digitizing Historical Records
Grants to organizations digitizing entire collections of historical importance.

Duke University                                                $60,000
Durham, NC
ROAD 2.0: Digitizing Outdoor Advertising

University of Florida                                         $72,650
Gainesville, FL
America’s Swamp: The Historical Everglades Project

Railroad Commission of Texas              $146,861
Austin, TX
Digitizing Historical Oil & Gas Hearing Files

University of Iowa                                            $32,700
Iowa City, IA  
Henry A. Wallace Digital Collection Project

University of Minnesota                                    $66,605
Minneapolis, MN
Digitizing the Historical Records of the American Social Health Association

American Institute of Physics                             $39,063
College Park, MD
Digitizing the Samuel A. Goudsmit Papers

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For more information please visit the Commission’s web site (


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