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# Tuesday, 24 January 2017
A New U.S. Budget Blueprint May Affect Genealogists
Posted by Diane

This blog is written by guest blogger and Associate Editor of Family Tree Magazine, Madge Maril

The new administration’s federal budget blueprint—a sort of planning document in the budgeting process—would eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities. If this line item manages to make it through to the final budget for fiscal year 2018, its genealogical impact might surprise you.



The National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) was created in 1965 as an independent federal agency funding humanities programs in the United States. NEH grants help fund many genealogy staples, such as museums, archives and libraries as well as public television and universities.

The NEH’s grants also support historical records digitization and access projects including the free Chronicling America newspaper search website. Chronicling America was sparked by The United States Newspaper Project, which microfilmed and cataloged 63.3 million pages of American newspapers. Chronicling America lets you search and view digitized American newspaper pages from 1789 to 1924, as well as a directory of all U.S. Newspapers published from 1690 to present.

Genealogists use newspapers to find key details about their ancestors. Diane Haddad wrote this article about her experience finding a 1924 article about her grandfather. She also shares how Chronicling America helps genealogists find old newspapers.

It’s early in the budgeting process. The blueprint isn’t an official proposal, just a starting point. You can give your input about the preservation of NEH funding by following the instructions on the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) website.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 14:09:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 16:53:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Additional cuts also suggested include the elimination of the Institute for Museum and Library Services who provide block grants to states to digitize and preserve historic records collections. If this organization is defunded there would no longer be grants available to the states to support small libraries and museums in the preservation of their history. That means fewer and fewer collections accessible to genealogists and historians across the country. I'm not just talking about digital collections. Museums would close from lack of funding and materials.
Tina Beaird
Monday, 30 January 2017 13:40:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Diane, thank you so much for bring this to our attention. I hope other people spread the word and try to stop this from happening.
J. Paul Hawthorne
Comments are closed.