Advocate for NARA Funding

We have the opportunity to advocate for increased funding for the National Archives and Records Administration and (NARA) and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

These entities provide access to invaluable historical records and information. Genealogy researchers rely on NARA to preserve the stories of our ancestors while making it possible for us to discover who they were. We invite you to read the following from Lee White of the National Coalition for History:

“The National Coalition for History (NCH) has worked with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) to seek support for additional funding in the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). 

They have circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to their fellow senators urging them to show their support. The letter will be sent to the chair and ranking member of the Senate Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee which has jurisdiction over NARA and the NHPRC’s budgets. Please click on this link to see the letter which has already been sent to all senators.

NCH is requesting the Senate Appropriations Committee to provide at least $433 million for NARA’s operating expenses in FY22 and at least $13 million for the NHPRC. NARA’s operating expenses budget in constant dollars has remained stagnant for over a decade, even as its responsibilities have increased.

We need you to contact your two US senators and ask them to sign on to the letter in support of additional funding for NARA and the NHPRC. We have prepared a one-page briefing paper that summarizes the funding challenges facing these two agencies that are so vital to historians, archivists, and other stakeholders. Click here to access an online version.

The simple truth is senators are unlikely to sign on to the NARA “Dear Colleague” letter unless they are asked to do so by their constituents! Please help us in this effort by reaching out to your senators and asking them to sign on.

How to Contact Your Senator

To contact your US senators, you can use one of these two options. No matter which means of communication you choose, please personalize your message as to your background or interest in history or archives. If you are employed in the field, mention the institution where you work in your State. You can also use the Dear Colleague letter as talking points.

1. Send a pre-written message directly to your two US Senators. Our colleagues at the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) have created a concise letter that goes directly to both your senators. You can add additional language if you want, however, we have made it as easy as possible for you to have an impact. Click here to go to the NHA website, fill in basic contact information, hit send and your message is on its way. When you enter your zip code the system directs your letter to the senators from your state automatically.

2. Make a phone call. All US senators can be reached through the US Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121. If you feel comfortable doing so, make a phone call. If you speak to a staff member, be sure to get their name and email address so you can forward them a copy of the National Archives/NHPRC Dear Colleague letter.  If you get voicemail leave a message and ask them to support the Warren/Sullivan letter and increased funding for NARA and the NHPRC.

3. To sign on or for more information, tell the senator’s staff person to contact Ms. Jessica Wong  Jessica_Wong@warren.senate.gov in Senator Warren’s office. PLEASE WRITE OR CALL YOUR SENATORS DIRECTLY AND ASK THEIR STAFF PERSON TO CONTACT MS. WONG. DO NOT SEND YOUR OWN CORRESPONDENCE TO HER