PAHR needs YOU!

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 ( 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

October 30th Action Alert: Virtual Advocacy Day, Preserving the American Historical Record

Please pass this message along to help raise awareness about this very important issue that affects archival repositories both in this state, and throughout the whole country.  See the Preserving the American Historical Record (PAHR) website for more info.  The letter below is from Kathleen Roe, Chair of the PAHR Task Force:

“As the budget axe falls for many of us, and as Archives Month reminds us of the need for support and awareness of archives, it’s time to make a big push for PAHR.

Here’s the situation: We have 42 sponsors in the House, but we need to have at least 50, better 60-70, for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to be willing to take it up on their agenda as a serious piece of legislation. Only four more sponsors came in after the SAA/CoSA annual meeting, although we plugged, pushed, and pleaded with many, many people.

So the PAHR Task Force has decided to hold a Virtual Advocacy Day on October 30th–see the attached materials describing what we are calling the “Fright Fest for PAHR”. Please work with your State Historical Records Advisory Board, your friends group, your researchers, or any other groups and individuals on whom you can call to help us with this effort. If we can’t get the additional sponsors we need by December, our ability to move this bill during this Congressional session will truly be in jeopardy.

Attached is an announcement you can circulate, as well as materials to make this easier for you/your constituents to do including a sample letter, talking points for calls/visits, and tips on making calls/visits. Adapt them as needed–If you need more or different, contact me.

If you can’t move letters, and particularly calls and visits on that day, please do so within one to two weeks. Members will be in the holiday season rush-to-get-done mode soon after–we have to do this now. Times really are getting frightening for all of us in state government archives–now, more than ever, we need to take action to change the status of our resources at the federal level.

What more can I say? Is there more we can do to help you or your constituents? Please contact me or any members of the PAHR Task Force if you have questions or need help.

Kathleen Roe, Chair, PAHR Task Force

PAHR Task Force members:
CoSA: Vicki Walch, David Carmicheal, Karl Niederer
NAGARA: Jelain Chubb, Tracey Berezansky
SAA: Steve Hensen, Sue Hodson, Ben Primer, Nancy Beaumont”