From the News column in the December 2002 Perspectives

National Coalition for History to Be Launched in January 2003

Bruce Craig, December 2002

For more than 25 years, the National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History (NCC) has served as a voice on Capitol Hill for the historical and archival professions. On January 1, 2003, the NCC will formally cease to exist and a successor advocacy organization—the National Coalition for History—will take its place.

The decision to disband the NCC and reorganize it under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code was unanimously adopted by the NCC Policy Board in January 2002. At that time, the policy board approved an ambitious three-year strategic plan that seeks to better position the history and archival community's coalition to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The new Articles of Incorporation provide that the "National Coalition for History" (NCH) is to serve as "a central educational/advocacy outreach office for history and archives. The NCH seeks to encourage study and appreciation of history and archives by serving as a clearinghouse of information to, and encouraging cooperation between, the historical and archival professions and their partners. The National Coalition for History promotes the interests of history and archives on the state and federal levels, with special attention given to the funding and welfare of public agencies with history or archival programs and policies, regulations, agency directives, and programs that affect historical and archival interests."

To this end, the new history coalition will continue the NCC's long-time commitment to history advocacy. Through the weekly electronic posting of the NCH Washington Update the organization will continue to serve as a clearinghouse for news of interest to the professional communities the NCH serves. In addition, NCH Action Alerts will periodically be issued when circumstances warrant prompt action by the Update's readers.

In the coming months, the NCH will also implement other aspects of the strategic plan. The organization will expand its outreach and education program by targeting the news media and professional staff on Capitol Hill. Among other anticipated actions, the organization's web page will be revamped and updated regularly and thereby serve as a centralized location for up-to-date information on issues of concern to historians and archivists. New coalition members will be recruited, and because of the new tax status of the NCH, the financial condition of the organization will be improved. (For the NCH Strategic Plan, tap into the NCH web pages at: http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~nch.)

The National Coalition for History will be composed of more than 60 history and archives organizations. The NCH, like the NCC before it, will not have individual members but tax-deductible contributions from individuals wishing to support the NCH can be accepted and are indeed welcome. The fiscal backbone of the National History Coalition is the annual contributions by Institutional Supporters—organizations that are committed to the history coalition's mission and activities, and financially support its programs though an annual contribution.

If you belong to a history or archives organization that is not currently an Institutional Supporter of the NCH, request additional information from Bruce Craig, director of the NCH at rbcraig@historycoalition.org or call 202-544-2422, ext. 116.

—Bruce Craig