Action needed for the Preserving the American Historical Record Act

Congressmen Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Chris Cannon (R-UT) have issued a “dear colleagues” letter to the members of the House of Representatives, inviting them to sign on as original sponsors to the “Preserving the American Historical Record” (PAHR) bill.

PAHR proposed to increase federal support for state and local archival records held by government agencies, historical societies, libraries, and related organizations. This initiative would establish a program of formula-based grants to states for re-grants and statewide services to support preservations and use of historical records. The program, to be administered by the National Archives, will provide a total of $50 million per year nationwide. Each state would receive a portion of these funds for redistribution to organizations within its borders. This program would be in addition to the existing national grants program within the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

How can you help?

Contact your Representative in Congress and urge them to sign on as an original sponsor of PAHR. Write a few sentences telling him or her how PAHR would help his or her constituents — you! (Tell them how vital it is to have records preserved and available to the public.) Also, spread the word about this action alert!

Time is critical. Deadline for action is Saturday, May 10.

Faxing your Representative is the preferred method of communication. The Humanities Advocacy Network maintains a website with all of the contact information for legislators:

Further information about PAHR, including the bill, background information, and the amount of funding for each state can be found at:

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27 thoughts on “Action needed for the Preserving the American Historical Record Act

  1. As Director of Operations of the FLGenWeb Project, Inc.and manager of our Digital Library and Archives, an active genealogist and historian; I must say this is one of the better ideas I have seen to come out of Washington DC in recent years. For those who say history the past and not relevent, so what of it, I say we are a sum of our history and if it is not preserved for the future, then future generations will be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past as they have no history to learn from.

    Laverne Tornow
    Brooksville, FL

  2. I totally support this effort. Vigo County Indiana has the most complete set of records in the state (because of no courthouse fires) but they are in dire need of preservation. The Wabash Valley Genealogy Society ( is in full support.

    Tom Isbell
    7825 Dumont Rd
    Terre Haute, IN 47802
    812 894-2404

  3. I am support of making available funds for the Preservation of American’s Historical Records for future generation.

  4. I am in support of making available funds for the Preservation of American’s Historical Records for future generations.

  5. I am in total support of making funds available for the Preservation of American’s Historical Records. Having carried my son as well as several nieces to state repositories to look up there family history was an awesome experience for them as well as myself. I think it is important for our historical records to be available for future generations, when those records are gone…they are gone forever. After seeing the fascination on the faces of young people being able to view actually historic records that involve their own family and creating the real interest in history itself, I feel it is very important to preserve and make more records available.

  6. To the Records Preservation Committee,

    Please continue to financially support the preservation of American historical records, documents, books etc. There is nothing more discouraging than to find primary state and county documents in trash bins, at garage sales or or on E-bay.

    Save our history for future generations.

    Laura Mills
    Davis, CA

  7. I am in favor of this bill. Due to the precarious nature of our current world, we would be wise to keep our history from being destroyed forever. Please pass the bill to preserve it.

  8. Please support the funding of Preservation of America’s Historical Records. I am a genealogist and believe that future generations will want as many historical records preserved as possible for research and posterity.

  9. I support the effort for the Preservation of America’s Historical Records. So much information has been lost but much can still be saved if we act now.

  10. I have been doing My Families for quite a few years, we need to have this bill passed to help others along the way to their families. Please enact this as a Law and continue to preserve records. I for one have put 15 years as a Volunteer at the Archives helping families to find their Ancestors.
    Thank You.
    Glenrose Englerth

  11. I, too, am from Vigo County, Indiana and support the PAHR
    bill. We have lots of old records that need preserving.
    This is vital for all genealogists and our research of the past.

  12. I support the PAHR bill for historical records. These records are needed to preserve information for future generations as well as those who are presently doing research.

  13. I support the bill perserving the reoords of our forefathers. How can some of learn about our forefathers if we can not look up records? This part of our history. What about future generations that want to learn about their family? PERSERVE THESE RECORDS PLEASE Support this bill please.

  14. I supoort the bill. I am a searching family records for
    to learn of early family members. Please preserve the records.

  15. I am a WVGS (Wabash Valley Genealogy), and we research daily for records of our ancestors to complete our family history. I would like to see that the PAR bill is passed so that others may use them in the future also. So please help us to preserve these records.

  16. Please preserve the historical records and future records as they are needed badly. There are really a large group of people who are researching their families. My family are all wanting to know what I have found. We have a great Genealogy society which covers seven counties in Indiana and three counties in Illinois. So please vote to preserve our history. It is really a great feeling when you find something about your ancestors and find out where they came from and why they came to America. Please vote yes.

  17. It is very important to have these historical records preserved. Especially for a researcher like myself who have just started to research their family history. Please provide a yes vote.

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