Since 1982, the National Coalition for History (formerly the National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History) has served as a national advocacy office for historical and archival professions. A consortium of over 60 organizations, the NCH represents historical and archival professions on issues involving federal funding and policy issues that have an impact on historical research and teaching, access to government information, employment of historians, public policy issues relating to history, historic preservation, and the dissemination of historical information. The NCH operates from an office in the American Historical Association headquarters building on Capitol Hill in Washington.
The NCH works on a wide range of federal issues such as providing testimony at Congressional hearings, presenting briefings to NCH member organizations, participating in advocacy strategy sessions, maintaining a growing and dynamic history advocacy network, and keeping the historical and archival professions informed about issues of concern. Of primary concern to the coalition is seeking to provide adequate funding levels for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), National Archives (especially funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Library of Congress, the Historic Preservation Fund administered by the National Park Service, and other special history and archives related programs housed in the departments of Interior, Treasury, and Labor, Health and Education. The NCH is particularly interested in maintaining special funding for the Department of Education "Teaching American History" grants initiative.
The NCH also monitors copyright, historic preservation, freedom of information, government secrecy, and archival access issues and provides information to the news media on these issues. Among the issues the NCH will be following this year include: the Presidential Records Act amendments and Executive Order 13223, revision of the Clinton era declassification Executive Order 12958, seeing to it that the Florida ballots of the 2000 presidential election are preserved for historical analysis, revision of the History classification standards issued by the Office of Personnel Management, and establishing a history office in the new Department of Homeland Defense. (For a list of this years priorities and issues of concern, tap into FY 2005 WORK PLAN)
In January, 1995, the history coalition began publishing the NCH Washington Update, an Internet publication with the assistance of H-Net. These reports provide current information on legislation, hearings, markups, and federal policy issues of concern to historians and archivists. Each week the Update also brings readers accurate and timely news and information as well as authoritative analysis and insights on non-legislative policy issues of concern to the historical and archival professions. A newsletter subscription is free and provided as a public service.
If you have background information, suggestions, or possess information regarding a pending issue of concern to the historical and archival professions, please contact:
Dr. Bruce Craig