Action Alert: Urge Congress to Support NHPRC Funding (By May 15, 2015)!

Action Needed: Urge the members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government to provide $10 million in funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission for federal FY 2016.

The Issue: The President’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016 recommends funding of only $5 million for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This is a 35% reduction in NHPRC’s budget in just the past five years. With Congress’s current interest in defunding programs entirely, it is imperative that NHPRC be funded at $10 million to ensure a program that can effectively serve the needs of historical records programs in all states.  

What You Can Do:

If your Congressperson is a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee (see list below): Contact him/her – via email, phone, or fax – to explain why NHPRC is so important to you and urge him/her to support funding of $10 million in FY 2016.  If possible, follow up with a phone call.

If your Congressperson is not a member of the Subcommittee: Contact him/her – via email, phone, or fax – to explain why NHPRC is so important to you and ask him/her to contact the Subcommittee Chair and Ranking Member to show support for a $10 million appropriation. If possible, follow up with a phone call. 

When you have made contact, please let us know so that we can track the volume of concern expressed by the SAA community.  Email us at:  

Make your request direct and clear. Urge your Congressperson to ask the Subcommittee to fund NHPRC, a grant program of the National Archives and Records Administration, at $10 million for FY 2016. Whether calling, faxing, or emailing, provide a few short sentences, including a specific example of how NHPRC’s programs have benefited your organization and constituents or other organizations in your state.  (For a list of NHPRC grants by state, click here.)

Be sure to send your letter via fax or email, as postal mail does not reach Congressional offices in a timely manner. Even better, make a phone call – or follow up your email/fax with a call. Each contact will make a difference! Our members of Congress were elected to represent us, and they expect and want to hear from their constituents.  So please speak up!

Contact Information:

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government:

Chair:  Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)

Ranking Member:  José Serrano (D-NY)


Mark Amodei (R-NV)

Jaime Herrera-Beutler (R-WA)

Tom Graves (R-GA)

Scott Rigell (R-VA)

Steve Womack (R-AR)

Kevin Yoder (R-KS)

Mike Quigley (D-IL)

Chaka Fattah (D-PA)

Sanford Bishop (D-GA)

Find the contact information for your Congressperson at

Information/Talking Points About NHPRC:

This small grants program within the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) enables federal support for ensuring access to essential evidence of our nation’s history that is held in states and communities. In addition:

  • NHPRC supports publications projects of national significance, such as the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution project, the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, and the Papers of George Washington, and it is committed to promoting increased public access to these publications through digitization. A perfect example is the Founders OnLine project, which provides free public access to the papers of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and other Founders.
  • The agency provides grants to documentary editions (book and electronic) of the papers of individuals and institutions that have been identified as nationally significant.
  • Since 1965, NHPRC has awarded more than $200 million in competitive grants to more than 45,000 historical and genealogical societies, colleges and universities, state and local government archives, and other institutions and non-profit groups in all states and territories.
  • Funds have been used to preserve historical records in all formats, initiate electronic records programs, create cost-effective models that are shared among archives, prepare and implement disaster plans, and support training and education of the “citizen archivists” and paraprofessionals who assist in caring for our nation’s archives. These grants make accessible records and documentary editions for use by classroom teachers, students, scholars, public officials, lawyers, local historians, genealogists, journalists, and many others.
  • NHPRC grants leverage state, local, institutional, foundation, and other private funding by requiring 50% cost sharing—i.e., for every federal dollar invested, another dollar is spent. NHPRC funding is the linchpin of most projects’ funding structures.

Please make your contacts by May 15, 2015.

Thank you for your efforts to support NHPRC!