NHPRC Talking Points
Why Is the National Historical Publications and Records Commission
So Important for Archives—and for America?
As you discuss the importance of NHPRC with your congressional representatives
and others, use the following to inform and educate your listener.
duplicates other programs, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities.”
is the only federal program that concentrates on records programs
and projects. It is the only federal program that links federal archives with
held by states, counties, municipalities, universities, and nongovernmental
organizations. It is the only federal program designed specifically with archives
NHPRC-funded re-grant programs reach small grassroots organizations—all-volunteer
local historical societies, churches, local public libraries, ethnic groups
and local governments—that no other federal funding program reaches.
These organizations are key to preserving the diversity of the record that
makes up the American experience. Most of the institutions that receive NHPRC
money through state archives re-grants are not eligible for NEH money. Eliminating
NHPRC will hurt the small institutions in your congressional district.
chart demonstrates that there are significant archival programs supported by
NHPRC alone and very few areas of overlap with other federal programs.
are tough and we all need to tighten our belts.”
The need for NHPRC is
growing, not declining. NHPRC emphasizes collaborative projects and state/local
matching funds that are extremely cost-effective.
Grants made by NHPRC get a very good bang for the buck.
NHPRC puts money back
into the local areas where the taxpayers live. Unlike larger programs that
may fund one well-known institution for millions of dollars,
NHPRC’s funds get down to the grassroots level, where even small amounts
of money make a big difference.
NHPRC grants address problems—such as
electronic records—that affect
the nation, every state and territory, and every community. Then they develop
scalable solutions that can be applied in towns, counties, and states across
the nation. Without NHPRC, every community would be tackling these problems
The federal government spends hundreds of millions of dollars to
support history programs in general, but only $3-10 million to support historical
Eliminating NHPRC will eliminate even that small amount.
don’t see NHPRC having a big impact in my community.”
many behind-the-scenes management, preservation, and access projects. When
Ken Burns produced the Civil War video series, he used photographs and
letters preserved with NHPRC money. The popular book by Joseph Ellis, His
Excellency: George Washington, could not have been written without the documentary edition
of George Washington’s papers—funded by NHPRC.
Your local historical
society may have received a re-grant of NHPRC funds to care for a photograph
collection or a treasured diary. Children in your schools
are probably learning history through historical documents, and NHPRC-funded
Teachers’ Guides help that happen.
If your community is home to a major
research institution, you’ve probably
seen the impact of millions of federal dollars, but nearly every community
in America has seen the impact of a small grant from NHPRC.
See chart: Comparison of Archival
and Records Management Functions Funded by Federal Granting Agencies (PDF)