NHPRC and Next-Generation Historical Documentary Editions (1 of 4)


[Music] Archivist David Ferriero>>Through our National
Historical Publications and Records Commission, the National Archives and Records Administration
supports the preservation, discovery, and use of America’s historical records. Since 1964, the Commission has funded ambitious
works of scholarship, including numerous Founding Fathers projects, now freely available through
Founders Online, and the papers of key figures like Frederick Douglass, Jane Addams, and
Martin Luther King Jr. Such projects provide access to, and editorial
context for, the historical documents that tell the American story and encourage understanding
of our democracy, history, and culture. As chair of the Commission, I’m proud of
the work we have supported over the years, and energized by the enthusiasm, creativity,
and exemplary work of the historians and editors you are about to meet. Darrell Meadows>>I’m Darrell Meadows,
program officer for the Publishing Historical Records in Documentary Editions program, one
of several major grants programs offered by the National Archives through the NHPRC. Over the past five decades, NHPRC’s Publishing
Historical Records program has supported the development and publication of nearly 300
documentary editions, and since 1972, has funded professional development opportunities
in the field of documentary editing. This work, coupled with hundreds of grants
to archives across the U.S., has had a profound, positive impact on the development of our
nation’s historical research infrastructure, and the ability of researchers to discover,
access, and use historical records essential to the study of U.S. history and culture. As a growing number of longstanding projects
funded through the Publishing Historical Records program reach completion, the Commission is
looking to support the next generation of historical documentary editions. Through this brief video series, you’ll
glimpse a few of the many benefits of developing well-conceived historical editions. Increasingly, such editions are taking full
advantage of emerging digital technologies and web-based publication methods to make
primary source materials easier to find, understand, and use. This series showcases the work of historians
and editors selected from a variety of ongoing historical edition projects—most of them
funded by our grants—all of them doing outstanding work that we can all learn from. As these testimonials suggest, historical
editions are themselves significant works of scholarship—interventions that raise
new historical questions and advance historical research and teaching. We’ll hear from project leaders and students
alike, who highlight what can be achieved when such projects are integrated into a department’s
curriculum and programs. In a variety of ways, these projects are enhancing
undergraduate and graduate education and training in history and the humanities. Finally, these testimonials also suggest that
historical editions and related digital collections projects create real opportunities for productive
collaboration and meaningful public engagement. Increasingly, we are seeing projects in which
collaboration and public engagement are built right into the work flow, with mutual benefits
accruing throughout the life of a project. To learn more about the projects featured
in this series, as well as grant opportunities available through the NHPRC, simply follow
the links provided in text below each video. [Music]

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