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ARCHIVES Home

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ARCHIVES  August 2006, Week 2

ARCHIVES August 2006, Week 2

Subject:

Forwarding NCH Washington Update, 10 August 2006

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Date:

Thu, 10 Aug 2006 10:42:07 -0400

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text/plain (202 lines)

**********************
NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE (Vol. 12, #31; 10 August 2006)
by Bruce Craig (editor)
NATIONAL COALITION FOR HISTORY (NCH)
Website at http://www.h-net.org/~nch/
***********************

Note to Readers:
This is the second of our annual summer break “periodic postings” of 
the NCH
WASHINGTON UPDATE.  Weekly transmissions will resume next week.

1.  BRUCE CRAIG TO DEPART NCH NEXT YEAR
2.  NARA HOLDS PUBLIC MEETING ON PROPOSED CUTBACKS
3.  BITS AND BYTES -- No Postings This Week
4.  ARTICLE OF THE WEEK -- No Posting This Week


1.  BRUCE CRAIG TO DEPART NCH NEXT YEAR
During the 1 August meeting of the National Coalition for History (NCH)
Policy Board, R. Bruce Craig, Executive Director of the NCH and the 
editor
of this newsletter for the last seven years, announced that effective 1
January 2007, he will be leaving the organization and relocating to 
Prince
Edward Island, Canada.

Craig and his wife have a summer home near East Point, PEI (actually,
Northlake Harbor -- "the tuna capitol of the world") where they operate 
a
seasonal bed and breakfast (www.harbourlightshouse.com ) and
artists/writer's retreat.  During the summer months for a couple of 
years,
Craig has also been teaching at the University of Prince Edward Island
(UPEI).  Beginning in January 2007 Craig will be teaching American 
history
and assisting the UPEI department of history establish a unique public
history program targeted to undergraduates. Craig also will be writing 
the
definitive biography of accused spy Alger Hiss -- a book project that 
he
feels has languished far too long.

After Craig made his announcement, Arnita Jones, President of the NCH
stated, “I know you will join me in thanking Bruce for his 
extraordinary
contributions to the NCH over these last years, and in wishing him and 
Pat
the very best in all their future activities in the Far North.”

The process of finding Craig’s replacement will begin shortly.  A 
vacancy
announcement has already been drafted and will be posted in its final 
form
in the near future – on this listserve and elsewhere.

2.  NARA HOLDS PUBLIC MEETING ON PROPOSED CUTBACKS
On 3 August the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
conducted a public meeting regarding the elimination of NARA's weekend 
and
evening hours.  This report has been compiled from information gleaned 
from
correspondents Brian Martin of History Associates and Robert Townsend 
of the
American Historical Association, both of whom were in attendance.

The meeting was crowded, with mostly professional independent 
researchers,
genealogists, representatives from several national history and 
archives
organizations, as well as a few private sector history research firms 
in
attendance.  It was moderated by Archivist of the United States Allen
Weinstein, who was assisted by Nancy Allard and Michael Kurtz who are
shepherding the proposed rule through the process.  During the meeting 
the
Archivist made it clear that this is just the first in a series of 
cutbacks
that NARA will have to initiate in order to adjust to its anticipated
reduced budget in FY 2007.

Weinstein emphasized that this rule was not put forward arbitrarily, 
but
rather was being advanced only after a great deal of consideration. He
announced that after the review of the comments gleaned from the 
meeting and
those received in writing, he would announce a final decision on the
reduction in research and museum hours by 29 September.  According to
Martin, “Weinstein and the other NARA staff expressed a genuine desire 
to
consider ideas for compromises on these hours issues.”

The meeting lasted for a full two hours with impassioned and diverse 
range
of views being represented.  Although several speakers strayed a bit 
from
the specific issues surrounding the changes in research and museum 
hours,
for the most part the meeting focused on those issues. The general 
consensus
was that NARA faces significant budget challenges and that NARA's staff 
have
many difficult choices ahead, but that eliminating all of the Saturday 
and
evening hours (roughly 33% of the currently available research hours) 
would
cut off access to NARA's holdings by a significant and diverse 
community of
users who are not generally able to access these holdings during the 
normal
business day. Suggestions for compromise were offered.

Participants also made several constructive suggestions relating to how 
NARA
might serve researchers more efficiently and effectively.  There was 
some
discussion of possible private sources of funding to make up for the 
budget
shortfall.

As the meeting came to a conclusion, Archivist Weinstein stated that he 
was
gratified to hear from so many passionate supporters of the Archives 
and its
mission.  He reiterated his desire to hear from archives users and 
urged
everyone to continue to provide their thoughtful suggestions on how 
NARA can
serve researchers and accomplish its mission more effectively.


*****************************************
Who We Are...
The National Coalition for History (NCH) is a nonprofit educational
organization that provides leadership in history related advocacy; it 
serves
as the profession's national voice in the promotion of history and 
archives,
and acts as a clearinghouse of news and information of interest to 
history
related professionals. Membership in the history coalition is open to
organizations that share our concern for history and archives. For
information on how your history/archive organization can become a 
member,
visit our website at http://www.h-net.org/~nch/ and click on the "Join 
the
Coalition" web link.

Contribute and Support this publication... Individuals are invited to 
help
support the NCH by sending a donation directly to the NCH at 400 A 
Street
S.E., Washington D.C. 20003, or, by making an online donation at
http://www.conservenow.org/detail.asp?ORGID=2032&memflag=true. All
contributions are tax deductible.

Subscribe Today!
We invite individual readers to subscribe to this FREE weekly 
newsletter!
You are also encouraged to redistribute the NCH Washington Updates to
colleagues, friends, teachers, students and others who are interested 
in
history and archives issues. Reports in this publications are 
copyrighted by
the National Coalition for History and may be reprinted by history 
coalition

member organizations with attribution. A complete backfile of these 
reports
is maintained by H-Net on the NCH web page at www.h-net.org/~nch/.

To subscribe to the "NCH Washington Update," send an e-mail message to
[log in to unmask] with the following text in the body of the message 
(and
only this text) SUBSCRIBE H-NCH firstname lastname, institution. To
unsubscribe, send an e-mail message to according to the following model
SIGNOFF H-NCH.

You can accomplish the same tasks by tapping into the web interface at
http:www.h-net.org/lists/subscribe.cgi and at the network" prompt, 
scroll
down and select H-NCH; enter your name and affiliation and "submit".

*************************************************************


________________________________________________________________________
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