Providing Public Testimony on NHPRC

The House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Treasury, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary and District of Columbia (T-THUD) will be accepting written public testimony on the National Archives and Records Administration, National Historical Publications and Records Commission until April 26, 2005.

Who should submit testimony?

Testimony should be submitted on behalf of an organization. It is important that the testimony is submitted by the most senior member of the organization. For example, for a university archives, it is best to have the archives director—or ideally the university president or dean to whom the archives reports—submit the testimony. For state archives, consider submission by the state archivist or the head of a larger department to which the archives reports. Although letters from individuals (ie, not on behalf of an organization) are valuable, these should be directed to the individual members of the subcommittee rather than submitted as public testimony.

How to submit testimony:

Written testimony should be concise and focused on the issue. It should not exceed the equivalent of 4 single-spaced, typed pages (2 pages would be ideal), and should be in 12-point type. Testimony can be submitted in writing via email to:

What to include in your testimony:

At the top of the page indicate: name, title, and institutional affiliation.

In the first paragraph, refer to the agency, program, and amount of money involved in the request [National Archives, National Historical Publications and Records Commission, $8 million in competitive grants, $2 million for program administration].

In the remainder of your message, be sure to include the following:

  • Explain the mission/purpose of your organization, its geographical coverage (if relevant), and its membership or service numbers.
  • Explain why NHPRC is of value to your organization and your constituents. Stress positive benefits to users, society, government, democracy. Note what will be lost if NHPRC is not funded.
  • Provide arguments about why NHPRC provides unique services and benefits that no other agency offers. (See sample arguments below, as well as fact sheets available on this Web site.)
  • Thank the Subcommittee members for their attention to this issue.

Some points to make in your testimony:

NHPRC has an outstanding record of success in providing grants each year to institutions across the country to preserve historical records, publish historical papers, and make historical materials more accessible. Its grants help state and local organizations

  • Edit and publish historical documents
  • Develop archival programs
  • Promote the preservation and use of historical records
  • Promote regional and national coordination in addressing major archival issues

NHPRC leads the nation in supporting research and implementing scalable solutions to the challenges of electronic records. This work ensures that records created today will be usable with tomorrow's technology.

Although the National Archives concentrates on federal records, the NHPRC helps archivists, documentary editors, and historians by making available non-federal records that are also essential to our national story and to the daily functioning of our democracy and our economy (for example, records of corporate organizations and real estate transactions).

NHPRC reaches a wide audience. Grants preserve and make accessible records and documentary editions that sustain the work of biographers, classroom teachers, documentary filmmakers, journalists, lawyers, land surveyors, historians, genealogists, community historians, museum exhibit designers, and many others.

NHPRC grants are a good investment. The average non-federal contribution is almost 50%. Federal funds ensure potential backers that the projects are of genuine significance and have capable staffing.

Loss of NHPRC funds to projects will have a domino effect, causing funding from other sources to be withdrawn or reduced.


See also:
Update on Efforts to Save NHPRC Funding for FY06 (April 2005)
NHPRC Budget Zeroed Out for FY2006! (February 22, 2005)

NARA Press Release (February 7, 2005)