Preserving the American Historical Record


In the Senate: S. 3227, "A bill to authorize the Archivist of the United States to make grants to States for the preservation and dissemination of historical records," was introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch and Carl Levin (with five original co-sponsors) on April 19 and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Tell your senators now why PAHR is important to you! See below for all the tools and information you need to craft your message.

In the House of Representatives: Maurice Hinchey (D-NY-22) and John McHugh (R-NY-23) reintroduced the PAHR bill (HR 2256) on May 5, 2009. More than 50 Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors – but more are needed.


If authorized, the PAHR Act would create a formula-based competitive grant program that would fund archives programs in every state and at every level.

In the Senate:  Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Carl Levin (D-MI) introduced S.3227 in the Senate on April 19. It is essential that your Senators know that this bill is of concern to you and your organization as their constituents.  Please do the following as soon as you can:

  • Contact your Senators and tell them how important this bill is to your state and your institution. Ask them to sign on as co-sponsors (see co-sponsor list below). If you can mobilize your organization’s members, some of your researchers, or other supporters to make contact as well, please do so.
  • Ask your Senators to contact the following people to sign on:

If you have letters that you used in contacting members of the House of Representatives – recycle them!  Or you’ll find below a draft letter that you can fax or email.  We also suggest that you include the PAHR brochure as well as the fact sheet about the potential for PAHR to stimulate job growth.

And one more thing:  It would be extremely helpful if you could call your Senators’ Washington offices.  Ask for the Legislative Director and make your case.  If you can’t do that, please call or visit with the staff in the regional office.  The regional office director can take the call and will be able to move your request forward.

If we can move PAHR well in the Senate during the next month or two, the chances are VERY REAL that we could get this bill voted on in both houses of Congress this year!  Please take a few minutes this week to make a call, schedule a visit, or send a fax/email to your Senators.  It’s time to tell Congress that what archivists do matters to this country!  We need and deserve the resources to ensure access to our heritage.  We can do this – with your help!

In the House of Representatives: We need as many co-sponsors of HR 2256 as we can get, but the most important group is those Representatives who serve on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. If you live or work in the district of one of the following Members of Congress, please contact him/her NOW to make a case for PAHR. Use the “Background Information” provided below – including “How Much to Each State,” and be sure to add your own story as a constituent.

Judy Chu (CA)
Diane Watson (CA)
Christopher Murphy (CT)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
Mike Quigley (IL)
Stephen Lynch (MA)
John Tierney (MA)
Elijah Cummings (MD)
Chris Van Hollen (MD)
William Lacy Clay (MO)
Paul Hodes (NH)
Steve Dreihaus (OH)
Marcy Kaptur (OH)
Paul Kanjorski (PA)
Patrick Kennedy (RI)
Jim Cooper (TN)
Henry Cuellar (TX)
Gerald Connolly (VA)
Peter Welch (VT)

Jeff Flake (AZ)
Darrell Issa (CA)
Brian Bilbray (CA)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA)
Dan Burton (IN)
Mark Souder (IN)
Jim Jordan (OH)
Patrick McHenry (NC)
Jeff Fortenberry (NE)
John J. Duncan, Jr. (TN)
Jason Chaffetz (UT)

Do you know a prominent, “celebrity” researcher or user of archives who might be willing to write a letter of support for the PAHR legislation? Please ask him or her to do so, and provide the tips in “Background Information” below.  For more guidance, contact PAHR Task Force Chair Kathleen Roe (at 518-473-4254 or kroe [@] or SAA Executive Director Nancy Beaumont (at 312-606-0722 or nbeaumont [@]


  • PAHR: S3227 - A copy of the Senate bill (to come).
  • PAHR: HR2256 - A copy of the House bill.


  • Fact Sheet – A 1-page document that makes the case for supporting the legislation.
  • How Much to Each State? – A PDF document that details the specific amount of funding to your state if the bill is authorized and appropriated at the proposed level of $50 million.
  • Brochure – Use some or all of the ideas presented here when advocating for co-sponsorship or passage of the proposed legislation.


  • Draft Letter – Take the opportunity to ask your Senator to support the Senate companion bill to HR 2256.
  • Draft Resolution - Language your organization can use and adapt to endorse PAHR.
  • Sponsors –A list of Members of the House who have agreed to lead and co-sponsor the PAHR bill. 
  • Key Members – A list of Members of the Senate and House who serve on the committees and subcommittees that will be taking up the legislation.
  • Your Members of Congress – Follow the easy steps below to find your U.S. Senator or Representative, then send a message today! Be sure to include the following in your appeal:

    • Ask him/her to support the Preserving the American Historical Record bill
    • Tell your Senator or Representative how you will benefit from better preservation of and access to historical records at the community, state, and national levels.

    Contact Your Senator
    Go to Click on "Find Your Senators" box in the upper right corner and select your state. The results will provide the names of your senators with a clickable link to their email.

    Contact Your Representative
    Go to Under "To contact your Representative," select your state and enter your zip code in the boxes provided, then click the "Contact My Representative" button. Follow the instructions on your Representative’s personal page about how to send an email or fax.


Kathleen Roe, Chair
Joint Task Force on PAHR
Phone: 518-473-4254
Email: kroe [@]


Lead Senate Sponsors
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  • Carl Levin (D-MI)

Lead House Sponsors
  • Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
  • John McHugh (R-NY)

U.S. Senate Co-sponsors U.S. House of Representatives Co-sponsors
  • Robert F. Bennett (R-UT)
  • Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
  • Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • John F. Kerry (D-MA)
  • Jeff A. Merkley (D-OR)
  • Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
  • Michael Arcuri (D-NY)
  • Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
  • John Barrow (D-GA)
  • Shelley Berkley (D-NV)
  • Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
  • Timothy Bishop (D-NY)
  • John Boccieri (D-OH)
  • Michael Capuano (D-MA)
  • Ben Chandler (D-KY)
  • William Lacy Clay (D-MO)
  • Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA)
  • Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
  • John Abney Culberson (D-TX)
  • Danny Davis (D-IL)
  • Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
  • Eliot Engel (D-NY)
  • Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
  • Bill Foster (D-IL)
  • Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
  • Charles Gonzalez (D-TX)
  • Bart Gordon (D-TN)
  • Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
  • John J. Hall (D-NY)
  • Baron Hill (D-IN)
  • Steve Israel (D-NY)
  • Hank Johnson (D-GA)
  • Timothy V. Johnson (R-IL)
  • Ron Kind (D-WI)
  • Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
  • Barbara Lee (D-CA)
  • David Loebsack (D-IA)
  • Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
  • Nita Lowey (D-NY)
  • Daniel B. Maffei (D-NY)
  • Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
  • Jim Marshall (D-GA)
  • Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)
  • James McGovern (D-MA)
  • Gregory Meeks (D-NY)
  • John Mica (R-FL)
  • Walter Minnick (D-ID)
  • Harry Mitchell (D-AZ)
  • Dennis Moore (D-KS)
  • Gwen Moore (D-WI)
  • Jim Moran (D-VA)
  • Scott Murphy (D-NY)
  • Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
  • Todd Platts (R-PA)
  • Ted Poe (R-TX)
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
  • Steven Rothman (D-NJ)
  • Tim Ryan (D-OH)
  • Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
  • Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
  • Jackie Speier (D-CA)
  • Harry Teague (D-NM)
  • Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
  • Dina Titus (D-NV)
  • Paul Tonko (D-NY)
  • Michael Turner (R-OH)
  • Charlie Wilson (D-OH)


  • American Association for State and Local History
  • American Association of Law Librarians
  • American Library Association
  • Archivists of Central Texas
  • Archivists of Religious Institutions
  • Association of Centers for the Study of Congress
  • Association of Public Historians of New York State
  • Capital Area Archivists (NY)
  • Charleston Archives, Libraries and Museums Council (CALM)
  • Chief Officers of State Library Agencies
  • Consortium of Iowa Archivists
  • Delaware Valley Archives Group
  • Heritage Preservation
  • History Associates
  • Hollinger/Metal Edge Inc.
  • International Institute of Municipal Clerks
  • Kentucky Council of Archives
  • Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association
  • Louisiana Library Association
  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference
  • Midwest Archives Conference
  • National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS)
  • National Coalition for History
  • National Genealogical Society
  • New England Archivists
  • Northwest Archivists
  • Palmetto Archives, Libraries and Museums Council on Preservation (PALMCOP)
  • Society of California Archivists
  • Society of Florida Archivists
  • Society of Georgia Archivists
  • Society of Indiana Archivists
  • Society of Mississippi Archivists
  • Society of Ohio Archivists
  • Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists
  • Society of Southwest Archivists
  • South Carolina Archival Association
  • Southeastern Archives and Records Conference
  • Talas