National Archives Awards $2.9 Million for Historical Records Projects
Press Release · Monday, May 11, 2020

Washington, DC

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero will award 27 grants totaling $2,877,730 to projects in 17 states. The National Archives grants program is carried out with the advice and recommendations of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). A complete list of grants from its May meeting is online.

Nine grants for Archival Projects were awarded, including records of the long-time state photographer of Illinois, employee publications from the Lukens Steel Company in Pennsylvania, LGTBQ+ Music and Theater Collections, a half-million pages of radio scripts from Lowell Thomas, the Rupert Cutler environmental collection at Virginia Tech, archives of the American Jewish Congress, and community archives at the Southeast Asian Digital Archives. Two projects will preserve America’s early legal records: New York’s colonial and early statehood records, and the early legal records of the New Haven (CT) County Court and Superior Court.  

Two projects will receive Public Engagement grants: Columbia University’s Teachers College will work with partners to use historical documents to create a New York City Civil Rights Curriculum, and faculty at Wayne State University and archivists at the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, will team up with Detroit-area teachers. Two archives collaboratives will target small and under-served archives in a partnership to serve Wisconsin and at a virtual team of four institutions designed to serve a Community Archives Collaborative.

Publishing grants will go to 14 projects, including grants for Documentary editions of the papers of five U.S. presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, van Buren, and Lincoln. Other projects will publish editions of South Carolina’s Pinckney family important in the early days of the country, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, social reformer Jane Addams, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., poet Walt Whitman, inventor Thomas Edison, and the history of Emancipation. Two projects were funded for the first time: the papers of the Civil War and Reconstruction Governors of Mississippi and “Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery,” which is collecting post-Civil War “Information Wanted” ads from ex-slaves searching for lost family members.

The 15-member Commission includes representatives from all three branches of the Federal government as well as the leading archival and historical professional associations. The Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero is its Chairman, and Christopher Eck is the Executive Director. Since it was established in 1934 with the National Archives, the NHPRC has recommended 5,000 grants for preserving, publishing, and providing access to the nation’s historical documents.  


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This page was last reviewed on May 11, 2020.
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