This following is a letter from Scott Cline (Seattle Municipal Archives) to the Northwest Archivists membership. You may have already seen it, but it is important enough to see again. Contact your Senators and Representatives!
I am writing in my capacity as a member of the Society of American Archivists Council. As you know, proposed legislation known as Preserving the American Historical Record (PAHR) has been introduced in Congress. The bill would provide federal formula grants to every state for projects that preserve historical records and make them more accessible.
PAHR has enthusiastic support from the archives, library, history, and museum communities. What it doesn’t have, yet, is enough sponsorship from with Congress. There are currently 45 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives; none of these representatives are from NWA states. In the Senate, only Orrin Hatch has agreed to sponsor the legislation.
NWA has officially given PAHR its support and is so noted on the PAHR website. But what we really need is support and sponsorship from our Senators and Representatives. I encourage NWA to ask its members to contact their Senators and Representatives and request sponsorship of the PAHR legislation. This is particularly important in the Senate. If any NWA members have personal relationships with their Senators or their staffs, we request that they make contact on behalf of PAHR.
The PAHR website (http://www.archivists.org/pahr/index.asp) includes information about contacting Congress, talking points, tips for effective contact, and draft letters. PAHR Task Force chair, Kathleen Roe has indicated that this is a particularly critical time, especially regarding attaining Senate support.
Please consider sending a call-to-arms email to the NWA membership on behalf of PAHR and the future of the American record.
Scott Cline, C.A.
Seattle Municipal Archives