Onderstaand persbericht kreeg ik zojuist van het Amerikaans Nationaal Archief (NARA):
Washington, DC…The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will receive $411.1 million in funding for the current fiscal year under the omnibus appropriations bill signed by President George W. Bush on December 26.
The funding level represents an increase of 20.5 percent over the Fiscal Year 2007 level of $341.1 million, which was a continuation of the FY 2006 funding because of the absence of a regular appropriation for NARA. The FY 2007 funding level also did not include any monies for the larger construction projects for the Presidential libraries.
NARA’s funding is part of the $555 billion Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2007, which funds the parts of the U.S. government that have not received regular appropriations.
The legislation provides $2.1 million to restore important customer services: $1.3 million to return to the public research hours that were reduced in October 2006 and $800,000 to hire more staff archivists to replace those who have left the agency in the past few years. The agency has 30 days to report to Congress on its progress in these two areas.
“I am very pleased that the Congress and the President have recognized the importance of the work of the National Archives and the urgency of our needs for increased staffing and greater public access,” said Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States. “We will restore our regular research hours and bring on more trained archivists as soon as possible.”
Professor Weinstein added, “The resources being provided to us reflect a recognition of the dedicated and professional work of Archives’ staff during this period of fiscal austerity. They not only have worked to maintain access to records of our democracy, but they also have expanded that access.”
The new budget provides $315 million in operating expenses for the National Archives, up from last year’s operating expense level of $279.3 million. Operating expenses include energy, security, and staff costs for operating Archives’ facilities around the country.
For continued work on the Electronic Records Archives (ERA), the legislation also provides full funding of $58 million, compared to last year’s funding level of $45.2 million. However, the spending measure requires the agency to submit to Congress a spending plan before any multi-year funds are obligated.
The ERA is being built by the Archives to preserve and make accessible all the electronic records being produced by the Federal government now and in the future. It is to allow access to these records to anyone, anywhere at any time.
The legislation also provides $28.6 million for repairs and restorations at NARA facilities, including $8.6 million for general repairs at NARA facilities. This also includes $7.4 million for construction of an archival addition to the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, CA. The Nixon facility was turned over to the National Archives in July by the private foundation that had operated it since 1990.
Also included is $3.7 million to complete the repairs and restoration of the plaza at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, TX; $8 million for the first steps of acquiring land for and building a new addition to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston; and $750,000 for design work on renovations at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, NY.
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission, which makes grants to non-Federal entities to preserve and provide access to important and significant non-Federal historical records, will receive $7.5 million for grants under the spending bill.
Also, the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation will receive, in the Department of Education budget, a $718,000 grant for the Presidential Timeline, an interactive Internet feature that allows visitors to explore each of the modern Presidents’ lives and administrations. This foundation provides support for the Johnson Library.
The National Archives and Records Administration is the record keeper for the Federal government and operates not only major facilities in downtown Washington,DC, and College Park, MD, but also at locations in 17 states and an additional facility in the District of Columbia. It also publishes the Federal Register and other official government publications and has on permanent display the nation’s founding documents and many other records of importance to the history of the nation.