Letter to West Virginia State Governor Joseph Manchin regarding the firing of Fred Armstrong, State Archivist and Historian

November 9, 2007

I am writing on behalf of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference... to express our disappointment with the handling of the firing of Fred Armstrong, State Archivist and Historian. Though Fred Armstrong was a will-and-pleasure employee, we believe the manner of his firing raises questions about West Virginia's commitment to a high quality public archives program. Fred Armstrong is well respected in the archival community. Under his leadership, the West Virginia State Archives established an excellent record of collecting and preserving West Virginia's historical record through a variety of statewide projects. Fred Armstrong's almost 30 years of service should be recognized as an exemplary contribution to the state of West Virginia...

Read the entire letter [document file]

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Statement of support for the Partnership for the American Historical Record

October 16, 2007

On behalf of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC), I would like to confirm our willingness to be a supporting member of the Partnership for the American Historical Record.

MARAC can ask its membership to write letters in support of the legislation at key stages in its progress. We look forward to receiving the action alerts. We will distribute them to our membership via the Caucus Representatives. MARAC's fall meeting is coming up in two weeks. Let me know if there is anything you would like us to share with MARAC members at that time. We appreciate the offer of providing sample letters on-line. This will facilitate our members' participation.

Susan McElrath

What is the Partnership for the American Historical Record?

The Partnership for the American Historical Record proposes to increase federal support for state and local archival records held by state and local government, historical societies, libraries, and related organizations. This initiative would preserve and provide access to historical records by supporting:

  • the creation of a wide variety of access tools, including archival finding aids, documentary editions, indexes, and images of key records online;

  • preservation actions to protect historical records from harm, prolong their life, and preserve them for public use, including digitization projects, electronic records initiatives, and disaster preparedness and recovery;

  • initiatives to use historical records in new and creative ways to convey the importance of state, territorial, and community history, including the development of teaching materials for K-12 and college students, active participation in National History Day, and support for life-long learning opportunities; and
  • programs to provide education and training to archivists and others who care for historical records, ensuring that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfill their important responsibilities.

We hope that you will support this effort. Please write, phone, or visit your members of Congress to express your support for increased funding to address the compelling needs of the American historical record. More information on how to do that is available on the Advocating on behalf of FY2008 funding for NHPRC wiki.

Additional Sources:
Advocacy for the PAHR on the Council of State Archives (CoSA) website