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S.3477 - Presidential Historical Records Preservation Act of 2008

A bill to amend title 44, United States Code, to authorize grants for Presidential Centers of Historical Excellence. view all titles (3)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: A bill to amend title 44, United States Code, to authorize grants for Presidential Centers of Historical Excellence. as introduced.
  • Short: Presidential Historical Records Preservation Act of 2008 as introduced.
  • Short: Presidential Historical Records Preservation Act of 2008 as enacted.

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Bill’s Views

  • Today: 11
  • Past Seven Days: 12
  • All-Time: 6,551
 
Introduced
 
Senate
Passed
 
House
Passed
 
President
Signed
 

 
09/11/08
 
09/26/08
 
09/27/08
 
10/13/08
 

Official Summary

Presidential Historical Records Preservation Act of 2008 - Authorizes the Archivist of the United States, with the recommendation of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, to make grants to eligible entities on a competitive basis to promote the historical preservation

Official Summary

Presidential Historical Records Preservation Act of 2008 - Authorizes the Archivist of the United States, with the recommendation of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, to make grants to eligible entities on a competitive basis to promote the historical preservation of, and public access to, historical records and documents relating to any President who does not have a presidential archival depository currently managed and maintained by the federal government pursuant to the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955. Defines \"eligible entities\" as specified tax-exempt organizations or state or local governments.Prohibits the use of grants for the maintenance, operating costs, or construction of any facility to house the historical records or documents.Prohibits the Commission from approving a grant application unless an entity establishes that it meets certain requirements, including that it:
(1) ensures the preservation of, and access to, such historical works and collections of historical sources at no charge to the public;
(2) has educational programs that make the use of such documents part of its mission; and
(3) has raised funds from nonfederal sources in support of its efforts to promote such preservation and access.

(Sec. 3)

Limits Commission members to two terms (four terms for a Representative appointed by the Speaker of the House). Requires members to recuse themselves from voting on any matter that poses, or could potentially pose, a conflict of interest.

(Sec. 4)

Authorizes the Archivist to enter into:
(1) a cooperative agreement to provide online access to the published volumes of the papers of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, James Madison, and other prominent historical figures; and
(2) cooperative agreements that involve the transfer of funds from the Commission to state, local, and tribal governments, other public entities, educational institutions, or private nonprofit organizations for the public purpose of carrying out provisions regarding online access to Founding Fathers documents. Requires the Archivist to report to specified congressional committees annually on the provisions, amount, and duration of each such agreement entered into each fiscal year.

(Sec. 5)

Authorizes the Archivist to establish an advisory committee to:
(1) review the progress of the Founding Fathers editorial projects funded by the Commission;
(2) develop appropriate completion goals for such projects;
(3) annually review such goals and report to the Archivist on the progress in meeting them; and
(4) recommend measures to aid or encourage the projects in meeting such goals. Requires each of the projects to provide a report to the advisory committee annually on progress toward accomplishing, and assistance needed to achieve, such goals, including information on:
(1) the proportion of total project funding for the year from federal, state, and local government sources, the host institution for the project, private or public foundations, and individuals;
(2) activities carried out using nongovernmental funding; and
(3) performance goals.

(Sec. 6)

Directs the Archivist to provide to the Senate and House appropriations committees a 10-year capital improvement plan for all presidential archival depositories, which shall include:
(1) a prioritization of all capital projects at such depositories that cost more than $1 million;
(2) the current estimate of the cost of each capital project; and
(3) the basis upon which each cost estimate was developed. Requires:
(1) the plan to be provided to the committees at the same time as the first annual federal budget is submitted to Congress; and
(2) the Archivist to provide to the Appropriations Committees annual updates to the plan and an explanation for any changes in cost estimates.Directs the Archivist to submit a report to the House and Senate homeland security committees that provides alternative models for presidential archival depositories that:
(1) reduce the financial burden on the federal government;
(2) improve the preservation of presidential records; and
(3) reduce the delay in public access to all presidential records.

(Sec. 7)

Authorizes the Archivist to preserve relevant records and establish, as part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), an electronically searchable national database consisting of historic records of servitude, emancipation, and post-Civil War reconstruction contained within federal agencies to assist African Americans and others in conducting genealogical and historical research. Requires any such database to be maintained by NARA or an entity within NARA designated by the Archivist.

(Sec. 8)

Authorizes the Executive Director of the Commission to make grants to states, colleges and universities, museums, libraries, and genealogical associations to preserve records and establish electronically searchable databases consisting of local records of servitude, emancipation, and post-Civil War reconstruction. Requires any database established using a grant under this section to be maintained by appropriate agencies or institutions designated by the Executive Director.

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