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National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Program Description
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), commonly referred to as the ‘grant-making’ arm of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), was established by Congress in 1934, along with NARA, to promote the preservation and use of the American documentary record.  NHPRC grants support a wide range of activities to preserve and increase access to historical records and to publish, in print and/or electronically, the papers of significant figures and themes relating to the history of the United States.  [URL:]

Action Needed
For FY 2015, we urge Congress to provide at least $5 million for the NHPRC grants program. NHPRC funding has been cut substantially in recent years, from $13 million in FY 2010 to $4.5 million in FY 2014.     

Current Funding Status: 
The FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill provided $4.5 million in funding for the NHPRC. This is $250,000 less than the FY 2013 post-sequestration level of $4.75 million and $500,000 less than the FY 2012 level of $5 million. For FY 2015, President Obama requested $5 million for the NHPRC. 

The NHPRC grants program is funded under the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill. 

NHPRC Annual Appropriations, FY 2010 to Present (in millions of dollars)

Fiscal Year  2010  2011  2012 2013 2014
Budget Request  10.0 (1)  7.0  5.0 3.0 3.0
Appropriation  13.0 (2)  10.0  5.0 4.75 4.5
    (1) The Administration’s FY 2010 Budget recommended $10.0 overall funding for NHRPC, including $4.5 million for a one-time set-aside for digitization of the Founding Fathers Papers (no-year funds), and $5.5 million for regular grants.
    (2) For the final FY 2010 (enacted) appropriation, Congress approved a higher, overall level of $13.0 for NHPRC, which included $4.5 million for the Administration’s set-aside, and $8.5 million for regular grants.

Committee Jurisdiction


Talking points

  • This small grants program within the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) enables NARA to provide-
    • National leadership through grants that support exploration of major archival issues, such as electronic records, coordination and communication among state archivists nationwide, and
    • Grants to documentary editions (book and electronic) of the papers of individuals and institutions that have been identified as nationally significant. 
  • NHPRC supports publications projects of national significance, such as the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution project, the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, and the Papers of George Washington and is committed to promoting increased public access to these publications through digitization.
  • NHPRC grants provide the Archivist of the United States with his primary tool for providing national leadership and promoting national and regional cooperation among the state archivists to address common issues such as electronic records.
  • NHPRC grants leverage state, local, institutional, foundation, and other private funding by requiring 50% cost sharing—i.e. for every federal dollar invested, another dollar is spent. NHPRC funding is the linchpin of most projects’ funding structures.

Additional Resources