National Archives Awards $2.6 Million for Historical Records Projects
Press Release · Monday, December 2, 2019

Washington, DC

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero will award 29 grants totaling $2,585,796 to projects in 22 states and the District of Columbia, pending appropriations of a final budget for FY 2020. The National Archives grants program is carried out with the advice and recommendations of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at its November meeting. A complete list of grants is at

Through its Major Initiatives program to assist archives and historical records repositories to collaborate and take on large-scale challenges, three projects will be awarded:


  • Unified Court Systems of New York State to support digitizing and making available freely online over 400,000 naturalization records (1794-1952) from the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx. The project will work with the New York City Public Library’s Queens and Bronx branches and with history students recruited by St. John’s University to transcribe additional metadata. 


  • Mississippi State University to support the Lantern Project, a collaborative effort which focuses on the records that illuminate the experience of persons sold “down river” as part of the slave trade conducted on the Mississippi River. The project which will identify, digitize, transcribe and index legal records of enslaved persons held by Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi, Delta State University, Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, the Natchez Historical Foundation, and the Montgomery County (AL) Archives. 


  • Library of Virginia to support a project to enhance the website Virginia Untold: the African-American Narrative by adding digitized Registers of Free Blacks (1793-1865) from 19 localities in the Commonwealth, along with five additional Registers held by Arlington County. In addition, the project will arrange, describe, and digitize records relating to free blacks from the City of Richmond. 


Publishing grants will go to nine publishing projects: the papers of John Adams and the Adams Family, James Madison, Eleanor Roosevelt, Presidential Recordings, Clarence Mitchell, Jr., Civil War Governors of Kentucky, the John Dickinson Writing Project, and the Documentary History of the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution and Adoption of the Bill of Rights. A new project to publish the Correspondence of Presidents Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore was also funded. A previously deferred grant in the Access to Historical Records program was also recommended for funding. Fifteen grants went to state historical records advisory boards to carry out their mission to strengthen the nation’s archival network. 

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 December 3, 2019.
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