This is a disturbing week in the archives and museum world. Messages are out on the listservs asking for people to contact representatives and legislators on the state and federal levels due to two funding cuts threatening agencies which support our work providing history to the public. I am writing today to ask the help of those who care. Most urgent, because it has to be done by Wednesday March 19, is to contact your Federal Representative to stop the budget cut which will eliminate the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. This is the fourth year President Bush has tried to eliminate the NHPRC which provides grant and other support to those making our historic public records available and to preserve them. I will copy in a letter at the end of the blog for people to send via FAX or email. The other budget cut which will directly and immediately affect the Park Forest Historical Society’s work, and the work of all other museums and societies in Illinois, is our Governor’s effort to cut funding to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. We were earlier asked to write and request that three positions be restored to the budget. One of those is held by Anthony Rubano, a Park Forest advocate who has spoken to the society twice on the history of Mid-Century Architecture. He also brings tours from the School of the Art Institute to teach the importance of Park Forest in planning and design. Now we learn that he is also trying to cut $300,000 to fund the Illinois Association of Museums, headed by one employee. The association is a lifeline to small societies and museums, and even to libraries throughout the state. They offer small grants, a lending library, professional advice and referrals, affordable workshops, and an annual conference within the state. IAM’s workshops and conference are highly educational and affordable, and give the smaller institutions a chance to network. Elimination of the Illinois Association of Museums would make Illinois the only state not to have a museum association. I will also try to add a sample letter for saving IAM’s funding. Please take the time to send these letters. The Illinois Association of Museums has been an invaluable support to me while I established the archive and the museum, and more importantly, they must be there for us as we try to establish a permanent home for the archval collection. PFHS relies on them for information and services not available to us from other state agencies. The face o f museums across the state will change without IAM’s support!
NHPRC Send by March 19.
March 13, 2008
Save the National Historical Publications and Records Commission
We are writing to ask you to join us in sending the attached letter to
Chairman Joe Serrano and Ranking Member Ralph Regula of the Financial
Services Appropriations Subcommittee to request that the Committee restore
funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission
Though it is a lesser-known program of the National Archives and Records
Administration, this program has played an essential role in preserving and
publishing important historical records that document American history. The
NHPRC has an outstanding success record of using a small amount of federal
funds to leverage other contributions.
Unfortunately, for the fourth year in a row, the Administration’s proposal
would eliminate the NHPRC. We are asking the Committee to provide $10
million in grants plus $2 million in administrative support for the NHPRC,
for a total of $12 million in FY 2009.
For more information or to sign onto the letter, please contact Kate Roetzer
with Rep. David Price at 5-1784 or Peter Sperry with Rep. Phil English at
5-5406. The deadline to sign the letter is Monday, March 17.
Dear Chairman Serrano and Ranking Member Regula:
We are writing to urge the Subcommittee to maintain funding for the National
Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) in fiscal year (FY)
Although it is a lesser known program of the National Archives and Records
Administration, the NHPRC is the only grant-making organization – public or
private – whose exclusive mission is to provide national leadership in
promoting the preservation and use of the materials of our documentary
heritage. We believe these efforts are essential to understanding American
democracy, history, and culture.
The NHPRC has funded hundreds of projects designed to preserve historical
Congressional Humanities Caucus
Congressional Humanities Caucus
To save the Illinois Association of Museums and Illinois Historic Preservation Agency funding, act now!