On May 23, the White House formally submitted to Congress its budget for next fiscal year, which proposes to eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the National Historical Preservation and Records Commission, arguing that support for libraries, archives, and museums should come from private sources and from local and state funding. Regarding the NEH and NEA, the justification for elimination reads: “the Administration does not consider the activities within this agency to be core Federal responsibilities.”
These agencies exist for the national public good. They have decades of experience and success in funding preservation and access projects that would not have been possible with private or local funding alone, and which promote broad understanding of history and cultural heritage. Widespread historical literacy and perspective is in the national public interest.
It’s time to speak up! Federal support for this work is necessary and right: archives are an essential element of an enduring democracy.
Here’s what you can do:
Call or write to your representatives in Congress!
Share your Federal Funding Impact Story
Reference NEA’s statement on the earlier budget draft
NEA is committed to stewardship of history and the historical record. These granting agencies—NEH, NEA, IMLS, and NHPRC—contribute substantially to stewardship of archives and records in repositories throughout New England. We urge not only our members but all those who use and value library, archival, and museum collections to advocate for their continuance.
New England Archivists Executive Board
May 26, 2017
The federal budget proposal itself (see pages 96, 99, and 100)
The NARA budget(defunding NHPRC)
NEH statement on budget proposal
IMLS statement on budget proposal
National Humanities Alliance: Take Action