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Friday, July 24, 2015

Why should eliminating the NHPRC concern us

Last week a draft bill was sent to the US House of Representatives which included a provision to National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).  Why am I talking about this?  Well, it will affect every single genealogist out there researching in US records.
eliminate the

The NHPRC was founded in 1934 and has several goals.  Mainly they promote the preservation of American documents important to our heritage.  Especially documents that relate to democracy, history and culture.  They give grants to many different organizations who fall within the auspices of their mission as well projects that document democracy.  The NHPRC also publishes many books and pamphlets about these documents and aide in the historical research of our country.  Check out this guide to what they do for more information.

Those grants have furthered our ability to have access to documents that may have otherwise never seen the light of day.  It has preserved literally thousands of collections through digitization and proper training for archivists on care and storage.  That has in turn allowed researchers and the public access to these records and smaller archives that would have otherwise never happened. 

So why was a provision put in this bill to end funding?  To help pay for the cleanup costs that will be incurred by the federal government due to the OPM security breach.  Now, before you go off on how that is a very important thing.  Trust me, I get that.  It affected my whole family too.  But, I feel strongly that cutting ALL funding to an organization that is dedicated to preserving our documentary heritage is wrong.  WRONG! 

Yes, I am impassioned.  Yes, I think you should be too. 

As of this morning, it was reported by the National Coalition for History (NHC) that the draft bill, sponsored by Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee, was pulled.  However, the committee will resume after Labor Day and it is likely that they may take another look at this bill again at that time.  This issue may still resurface.  You can keep up to date on the developing details through the NCH website.

I hope you see how anyone interested in continuing to preserve American historical documents should pay close attention to this ongoing story.

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