National Historical Publications & Records Commission

NHPRC Strategic Plan

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) is the grantmaking affiliate of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). NARA protects Federal records of historical value. The NHPRC was created along with the National Archives in 1934, and has had grantmaking authorization since 1964.

  • The NHPRC helps non-Federal institutions preserve and make broadly accessible other records of historical value through grants to archival institutions, manuscript repositories, and publications in multiple formats.

  • NHPRC grants help locate, preserve, and provide public access to documents, photographs, maps, and other historical materials.

  • Our grants go to state and local archives, colleges and universities, libraries and historical societies, and other non-profit organizations.

The Archivist of the United States chairs the Commission and makes grants on its recommendation. The other fourteen members of the Commission represent the President (two appointees), the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Federal judiciary, the Departments of State and Defense, the Librarian of Congress, and six national, professional associations of archivists and historians.


The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) promotes the preservation and use of America's documentary heritage essential to understanding our democracy, history, and culture.


America's documentary heritage preserves the rights of American citizens; checks the actions of government officials; and chronicles the national experience. Democracy demands an informed and engaged citizenry.

By preserving our documentary heritage and promoting its distribution and use, the people seek to guarantee the protection of the rights of all, hold accountable government and other public institutions, and increase understanding of our history and culture for generations to come.

The NHPRC is a public trust for documenting democracy.


The National Historical Publications and Records Commission adopted the following goals and objectives. Goals are long-term and designed to guide the organization's strategic directions, and objectives are tied to annual budget cycles.

Goal 1:   
Exercise leadership for public policy in the preservation of and access to America's documentary heritage

  • Objective 1.1:   
    Make a national documentary heritage plan to submit biennially to the President and Congress

  • Objective 1.2:   
    Support the work of Federal and non-profit grantmaking agencies, advisory bodies, and professional associations by endorsing their plans and providing advice upon request

  • Objective 1.3:   
    Review, comment on, and endorse as appropriate, standards upon request of professional associations, other bodies, or upon its own initiative

  • Objective 1.4:   
    Review, consider, and comment as appropriate, on policy issues, legislation, or pending actions that may affect the preservation and use of our documentary heritage, when raised by professional associations, other bodies, or upon its own initiative

  • Objective 1.5:   
    Serve as a bridge between the archival and professional communities we serve and the National Archives by sponsoring symposia, a clearinghouse, and in other ways creating opportunities for professionals

Goal 2:   
Expand the distribution of the most important traditional documents in American history

  • Objective 2.1:   
    Accelerate the pace of publication of documentary edition volumes

  • Objective 2.2:   
    Promote the electronic publication of all new publication volumes; and encourage projects to retrospectively convert completed volumes to electronic form

  • Objective 2.3:   
    Encourage archival institutions to develop methods and processes for cost-effectively publishing archival collections as digital images of originals

Goal 3:   
Promote a national network for state and local documentary preservation and utilization efforts

  • Objective 3.1:   
    Support state historical records advisory boards

  • Objective 3.2:   
    Continue to support state regrant programs

  • Objective 3.3:   
    Invigorate and extend a fully developed partnership among the states and NHPRC to fund the development of the national archival system.

Goal 4:   
Support institutions that promote preservation, dissemination, and use of historical records

  • Objective 4.1:   
    Support records acquisition, preservation, access, and utilization projects, including projects that help bring documents into the classroom

Goal 5:   
Support institutions in meeting the challenges of preserving and managing electronic documentation

  • Objective 5.1:   
    Help institutions establish processes for assuring that electronic editions are easily accessible and maintained persistently and reliably

  • Objective 5.2:   
    Support institutions that acquire, preserve, and promote ready use of electronic records, especially those that promise to be sustainable and that are built upon collaboration and open systems and support research projects in electronic records

Goal 6:   
Support education and training of professionals engaged in preservation and dissemination

  • Objective 6.1:   
    Support the annual editing institute and editing fellowships

  • Objective 6.2:   
    Support an archival institute

To make comments or to request additional information, please contact

National Historical Publications & Records Commission >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272