National Archives Awards $4.8 Million in Grants for Historical Records Projects
Press Release · Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Washington, DC

Acting Archivist of the United States Debra Steidel Wall has awarded 37 grants totaling $4,805,764 for projects in 19 states and Puerto Rico to improve public access to historical records. The National Archives grants program is carried out through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). A complete list of new grants is available online.

Grants went to 17 documentary editing projects to publish the papers of key American figures and movements, including Jane Addams, George Washington, Walt Whitman, and Frederick  Douglass. Three new projects were funded by the NHPRC for the first time: 

  • Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, scientist and humanitarian
  • Papers of William Short (1759-1849) diplomat, financier, and philanthropist
  • Chinese American WWII Veterans Online Resource, drawn from the records of 22,000 Chinese and Chinese Americans who served in the United States military.

Five grants went to projects to increase public engagement with historical records:

  • Curriculum development for the Last Seen: Finding Family after Slavery project that aims to publish historical ads placed in newspapers across the United States by formerly enslaved people searching for family members and loved ones after emancipation.
  • Alaska’s See Stories for teacher training in using archival materials that documents the history of enslavement of the Indigenous People of Alaska.
  • Hunter College’s Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassadors, a free self-paced, multimedia online course on Puerto Rican history and culture based on archival holdings.
  • A collaborative project for the public television series The Future of America’s Past, focused on engaging grade 6-12 teachers and their students in exploring American history and geography through digital humanities projects. 
  • A series of augmented reality walking tours centered around the history and archives of Chinese American heritage in San Francisco and Northern California. 

Public access to historical records is the focus of 15 projects:

  • The papers of archaeologist Edgar Hewett at the Museum of New Mexico 
  • Columbia University Documenting COVID-19 online repository
  • Virginia Tech’s Archives of American Aerospace Exploration
  • Southern Mississippi University collections related to children’s literature, women and people of color, and politics
  • Illinois Supreme Court case files from 1818 to 1865 
  • The papers of archaeologist Joe Ben Wheat at the University of Colorado
  • Collections at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America
  • Records of Alternate ROOTS, a regional arts service organization, from 1975 to 2017
  • Records of the Los Angeles Free Press, a leading underground newspaper of the 1960s
  • Papers of Puerto Rico Governor Sila M. Calderon (2001-2005)
  • Records documenting Soviet Jewry at the American Jewish Historical Society
  • Robert Martin and Associates Collection (1920-2013) from one of the county’s longest-serving civil engineering firms 
  • Arizona business filings for the period 1912-1980
  • New York City’s Regional Plan Association records from the 1960s to1980s
  • Case files from the records of the B&O Railroad Relief Department.

NHPRC Executive Director Christopher Eck presented the grant applications and policy issues to the full Commission. Acting Archivist of the United States Debra Steidel Wall is the Chairman of the Commission. Established in 1934, the NHPRC awards grants for preserving, publishing, and providing access to historical documents.  


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This page was last reviewed on May 17, 2022.
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