The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 10, Number 2
Apr 1986

Funding for NJ, NEH, LC, & NARA

Last August the governor of New Jersey signed into law Senate Bill 1020, which authorizes and funds an ongoing state aid program which includes preservation and climate control, starting in 1987. This is part of a state preservation plan, the outline for which was put together by Howard Lowell last year (AN Nov. 1985, p. 102).

The National Endowment for the Humanities has an Office of Preservation (described in the April 1985 issue of AN), which spent $1.8 million last year in its first year of operation, October 1984 to September 1985. This year, its first year as a line item in the NEH budget, it has been given $3.976 million. This may be reduced by 4.3% if the Gramn-Rudman bill is upheld in the courts. In addition to the budgeted amount, they will have access to a larger pool of funds for matching grants, which amounts to $12 million for the entire agency. Readers should be encouraged by this news to apply for conservation and preservation grants, especially since NEH stands a better chance of getting a larger appropriation next year if it can demonstrate a large demand for existing funds. The first step for inexperienced grant-getters is to call the Preservation Office at 202/786-0570.

The preservation budget of the Library of Congress has been cut by 16.4% because of a low 1986 appropriation, in addition to the Gramn-Rudman cuts. This affects bookbinding, motion picture preservation, microfilm preservation, and general paper conservation. $18 million has been taken out of the Library's budget as a whole, and as a result, evening and weekend hours have been eliminated, except for Wednesdays, and 300 employees are expected to lose their jobs in 1986. The Librarian of Congress spoke eloquently before the Appropriations Subcommittee on February 20 in favor of his request for $248.6 million for 1987, which is 4% higher than the Fiscal Year 1985 appropriation. (Unless the cuts are restored, LC will have to make do with $220.2 million this year.)

The National Archives, which was starving while it was under the General Services Administration, has not had a budget increase since it achieved independence last year. The National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History, one of two voluntary organizations that keep track of developments and lobby for the Archives, says that the proposed 1987 NARA budget includes no money for NHPRC grants or for storage space, and very little money for a much needed preservation program.

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