Action Alert: Stop the Impending Fiscal Disaster for Historical Records in the United States! Tell the House Appropriations Subcommittee to Fund NHPRC at $5 Million

In a year in which natural disasters have rocked many parts of the United States, a fiscal disaster is brewing in Washington, D.C., for archives, manuscripts, and records organizations nationwide.  The President’s FY13 appropriations budget proposes just $3 million in funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission grants program – a $2 million (40%) reduction from the current $5 million appropriation. This is the third year of substantial reductions for this important program.

While most other federal agencies have been weathering hits of around 9% annually, NHPRC’s cuts have been much heftier.  The result is a severe crippling of NHPRC’s ability to carry out its legal mandate – which in turn seriously impedes the capacity of repositories nationwide to care for our nation’s heritage and make it available for use by our citizens.

What can you do to help avert this crisis?

Submit testimony in support of restoring NHPRC funding to $ 5million.  The House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee (of the House Appropriations Committee) will hold a hearing on the NARA budget on March 20, 2012.   The Subcommittee will accept testimony submitted for the record, but it must be submitted by COB on Monday, March 19, 2012, to go into the record prior to the hearing.  

We encourage archives, libraries, and other historical organizations to submit testimony on behalf of their organizations and users.  Send testimony that speaks directly to the positive benefits of NHPRC funding for your state or organization.  See below for specific instructions on submitting testimony.

Email your written testimony to:

Fax or email the chair of the Subcommittee to express your support for restoration of NHPRC funding (at $5 million) as part of the National Archives budget.  If your Member of Congress is a member of the Subcommittee, fax, email, or call him/her and ask for support for restoration of NHPRC funding.  In your letter or call, speak to the specific benefits of NHPRC for your organization/state/users.  The more your Congressperson understands that his/her constituents are affected directly, the more convincing your message will be.  (For more on the Subcommittee, see

Subcommittee Members:

JoAnn Emerson (Chair, MO)             
Rodney Alexander (LA)        
Jo Bonner (AL)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL)                      
Tom Graves (GA)                  
Kevin Yoder (KS)
Steve Womak (AR) 

Jose Serrano (NY, Ranking Minority)                       
Barbara Lee (CA)
Peter Visclosky (IN)                                      
Ed Pastor (AZ)


Guidelines for Preparing and Submitting Written Testimony:

  • Do not exceed 5 pages, double-spaced, single-sided, 12-point font, margins of at least one inch.
  • State in the first paragraph the agency, program, and amount of money involved in the request (i.e. National Archives, National Historical Publications and Records Commission, $5 million).
  • Include your name title, and institutional affiliation at the top of the page.
  • Submit as a single PDF document.
  • Email to:

Read SAA's written testimony here.

Read testimony of the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, here.