The Arkansas History Commission has been awarded a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), Dr. Wendy Richter, director of the History Commission, announced today. The NHPRC is the federal granting agency affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration that encourages efforts by government and private organizations to preserve and make available records that further and understanding and appreciation of American history. Since 1975, the NHPRC has awarded more than $70 million in grant funds in support of archival and records projects, but Arkansas institutions and governmental entities have received only $130,914 of those funds. In part, this is due to the lack of an active State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB), which serves as the central advisory board for historical records planning and for NHPRC-funded projects in that state. These boards also perform a valuable grant review function for records grants submitted to the NHPRC, reflecting state needs and priorities.
With this grant, the State Archives will reactivate the Arkansas SHRAB, which will assist public and private non-profit organizations throughout the state in the acquisition, preservation, and use of records with enduring value, and to foster cooperation in carrying out these activities. The seven-member Arkansas History Commission will serve as the SHRAB. Governor Mike Huckabee appointed Dr. Richter as the State Coordinator. As part of the project, the archives staff will design and conduct a historical records needs assessment questionnaire, which will be sent to archives, libraries, museums, and historical societies in Arkansas.
Re-activation of the Arkansas History Commission as our state’s SHRAB establishes the foundation for a more active and beneficial partnership with the NHPRC as well as other state archival programs.