Utah’s favorite fiscal conservative, Congressman Jason Chaffetz, introduced a new bill today to prohibit the National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) from funding non-federal projects.
The federal government annually spends roughly $850 million on three different archive programs. One authorized program within NHPRC currently spends $10 million per year on grants for state and local governments, universities, and other institutions to preserve and publish non-federal records. Chaffetz’ bill, HR 5865, would refocus NHPRC on its original mission of preserving federal records.
“I concur with White House budget director Peter Orszag when he said that federal agencies need to come up with more ambitious proposals to cut government spending,” said Chaffetz. “Federal dollars should be used for federal projects, yet the Democrats have introduced a bill to double the Archives grant program to $20 million per year for 5 years. Now is not the time for an expanded $100 million Archive grant program. We can’t afford it.”
Congressman Chaffetz continued, “In this time of massive debt, most Americans would be shocked to see where their money is being spent.”
Some examples of non-federal NHPRC funding:
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
$122,848 for ACLU Records Processing, 1960 – 1990
International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, Newport, RI
$400,000 “invested” (Funding for this project came from NHPRC as well as other various federal entities)
ONE Archives, Los Angeles, CA
$194,860 to arrange, describe, preserve, and make public some 767 linear feet of materials constituting 99 archival or manuscript collections relating to efforts to obtain recognition and subsequently to establish rights for gay and lesbian Americans in the 20th century.
Stanford University, Stanford, CA
$93,393 to support the Archive of Recorded Sound effort to preserve in digital format 654 audio recordings of the Monterey Jazz Festival (1970-2001), create metadata to better describe and administer the recordings, and provide access copies on CDs and in MP3 formats.
Yale University, New Haven, CT
$38,021 to survey and accession university records and to develop a university-wide records program.
University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
$27,874 to support a 16-month project to arrange, describe, and make available 700 linear feet of records from the university’s Chancellor’s Office dating from 1936 to 1995.
Fund for Innovative TV, Chicago, IL
$65,900 to support the digitization of 361 videotapes that document life in Chicago during the past 35 years.
Goodwill Industries of Central Texas, Austin, TX
$50,940 to establish a Library and Archives at the Goodwill Computer Museum
Paul Taylor Dance Foundation, New York, NY
$66,127 to process and create online finding aids for the backlog of records
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ
$73,556 for a project to arrange and describe the records of Frances R. Grant and Robert Alexander
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, OR
$139,435 to modernize its Archives and make archival resources available online
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society, San Francisco, CA
$131,868 to preserve and make accessible 550 linear feet of GLBT records
$5.6 million to the University of Maryland to fund projects like the J. Franklin Jameson and the Development of Humanistic Scholarship in America, Papers of Carlos Montezuma, Carrollton Family Papers, and several others
$518,604 to the University of Pennsylvania to fund projects like producing a manual for anthropologists and archaeologists, history of nursing in the Middle Atlantic regions, arranging and publicizing the records of the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and several others.
$263,611 to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to fund projects like the Papers of Henry Bouquet, training in archival techniques for local historical societies, microfilming county and municipal government records, and several others.
$116,993 to New York University for the Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger.
Congressman Chaffetz continues to lead the way in reining in government spending. (But let’s be honest – his bill won’t pass. Darn. Maybe next January, after the House flips.)