Wednesday, June 18, 2008

NARA: Emergency Grant to Indiana

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the National Archives. Please address all comments to Public.Affairs@nara.gov .

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2008

SENATOR RICHARD LUGAR AND THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES ANNOUNCE GRANT TO INDIANA Grant to assist with records severely damaged by recent flooding


Washington, D.C*. Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar today announced the award of a $10,000 emergency grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to the Indiana Commission on Public Records for its Flood Disaster Assessment and Response Project in the aftermath of severe flooding from storms that struck Indiana in late May and early June of this year.

Preliminary assessments include water damage to county court records, county tax records, children's protective services records, prosecutors' records including capital murder trials, health records, and veterans' records. Many of these damaged county records predate the Civil War and go through the present. The emergency NHPRC funds will be used to help provide necessary supplies, services, personnel, and travel to carry out assessment work.

"The preservation of public documents is important for the historical record of our communities. This emergency grant comes as Hoosiers continue to assess the damage from the recent storms and begin recovery efforts. I thank the National Archives and my friend Allen Weinstein for recognizing the importance of these records to Indiana and assisting in their recovery," said Senator Lugar.

"The National Archives has a professional responsibility to ensure the preservation of nonfederal historical records that tell the story of America," said Professor Weinstein. "In the aftermath of this flooding, we have learned once again the vital importance of access to records, not only to governments and institutions, but also to individuals and families. The National Archives will continue working diligently to fulfill its mission to provide expertise in the areas of records management, disaster response, and preservation."

Background
As "first preserver" of such documents at the national level, the National Archives helps to assess, recover, and preserve irreplaceable nonfederal historical records. The National Archives assisted with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, helping federal agencies and partners in state and local government to begin to identify and recover records. Such storms devastated the lives of millions of Americans who lost loved ones, homes, and jobs. But also at risk in such disasters are records that document the individual and collective memories of this region*"identity loss." Imperiled records such as property deeds, birth certificates, and personal papers, as well as records documenting rights and entitlements, such as Social Security and veterans' benefits*are all crucial in the recovery and rebuilding processes.

About the NHPRC
Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein is the Chairman. The NHPRC is the grantmaking arm of the National Archives. The NHPRC is the sole Federal funding agency whose only focus is the documentary heritage of the United States. Established in 1934, it has awarded grants for preserving, publishing, and providing access to vital historical documents. Twice each year, in May and November, the Commission recommends grants to the Chairman.

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