Grant program approved to preserve presidential documents

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Tuesday approved legislation that would establish a competitive grant program to help in the preservation of historical documents from past presidents.

The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., and cleared on a voice vote in a committee meeting off the Senate floor, would establish a competitive grant program for organizations to help promote historical preservation and access to historical records and documents from past presidents who do not have a library that is maintained by the federal government.

The committee started work on the bill during a markup meeting last week but could not complete deliberations due to a lack of a quorum.

During the initial markup meeting, Warner said there were no federally supported libraries for presidents prior to Herbert Hoover. "The documents and records of these presidents are scattered throughout America," Warner said. "In our view, the federal government should be taking an active role in encouraging the preservation of these documents."

Before the committee adjourned, it approved a substitute amendment to the bill that would allow the National Archives to publish the founding fathers' documents and other important historical documents online in an effort to provide those who do not live near major libraries access to such documents.

In addition, the substitute, which was offered by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Warner, would require the Archives to develop a plan that prioritizes capital improvements at federally maintained libraries, which would provide Congress with information on which libraries are most in need of repairs.

The amendment also calls on the agency to develop a plan for future presidential libraries that will reduce the costs to the federal government, improve public access and provide better access to historical documents.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.