AOTUS: Collector in Chief

Thomas Jefferson Prize for Founders Online

Written on: April 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

On Saturday, wearing my Chair of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission hat, I accepted the Thomas Jefferson Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government for the NHPRC in creating Founders Online. This is a particularly meaningful award because of the caliber of the professional community represented among the Society. There was great joy in “my house” when we received the good news!

In accepting the award on behalf of NHPRC, I said:

As the steward of Federal Government records, the National Archives has provided leadership in the archives and records management field for over 75 years. As far back as 1939, the American Archivist summed up the central challenge: “Just as librarians promote the use of books, and as teachers defend before the public the value of education, so archivists have as part of their duty to give stimulus and guidance to the use of archives, and to their use not by the few but by the many.”

I take that as our biggest challenge and opportunity. How do we ensure that as many people as possible can find and use the historical records held not only by the National Archives but by the nation’s archives?

One way is to continue opening our doors to the public. Every day I am lucky to witness the crowds of people … [ Read all ]