Bipartisan Group Introduces Legislation to Reauthorize NHPRC

Four members of Congress are co-sponsoring legislation that would reauthorize the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the grant-making arm of the National Archives and Records Administration, at $15 million annually from fiscal years 2020 to 2025.  Authorization for the agency expired in 2009, but it has continued to receive funding at a much lower level (e.g., $6 million last year). Read the text of the legislation, introduced on May 24, here.

The original co-sponsors are Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Government Operations Subcommittee; Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform; Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC), Ranking Member of the House Government Operations Committee (and former U.S. House Representative on the Commission); and Congressman David Price (D-NC), Co-Chair of the Congressional Humanities Caucus. 

“Universities, museums, state and local governments, and non-profit[s] institutions are doing important work to preserve and tell America’s story for future generations. As we prepare to celebrate the U.S. Semiquincentennial, this legislation will provide the resources necessary to continue making these historically significant records accessible to the public,” said Congressman Connolly.

“I am proud to support this bill so the Commission can carry out its mission to preserve our national history by helping states, local governments, and researchers document events and modernize aging archives,” said Congressman Cummings. 

“I want to thank my colleagues for their work on this bill. This is a critical action that will provide needed resources to preserve records for future generations to learn from and enjoy. America’s history is one we have a responsibility to pass down,” said Congressman Meadows.  Meadows had served as the House representative on the Commission.

“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Humanities Caucus and as a lifelong educator, I’m pleased to join my colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the National Historical Publications and Records Commission,” said Congressman Price. “This commission serves as a vital education and preservation resource by improving the accessibility of historical records and papers that illuminate our country’s rich and diverse history. This legislation will authorize additional resources for the commission and expand nationally-significant projects for the curious minds of today and tomorrow."

NHPRC supports innovative programs and projects through state and local governments and academic and non-profit institutions, and typically requires 50 percent cost sharing. SAA is a long-standing member of the Commission; the legislation adds the Council of State Archivists as an NHPRC member.

Take Action NOW!

Here’s what you can do to help get NHPRC reauthorized:

  • Send an email message to your congressperson’s Washington office, asking that they sign on to the bill as a co-sponsor.  To contact your Member of Congress, use this handy site.

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