NCH on the Presidential Records Act

Link to the video appearance:

I've just been confirmed as a guest on C-SPAN's Washington Journal program this Sunday, February 13 from 8:30 to 9:00 am (EDT). I will be discussing the Presidential Records Act and the recent developments concerning former-President Trump's mishandling of records from his administration.

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[CFP] TISS New Faces conference

New Faces is an annual conference, geared toward the professional development and networking of early career scholars in security studies. Started in 2000, New Faces is one of TISS’ signature programs with a vast network of former participants.

TISS New Faces Conference

New Faces is designed to offer advanced PhD candidates and newly-minted PhDs a chance to present their research and receive feedback in a format akin to an academic job talk.

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[Job] Air Command and Staff College Professor of National Security Studies

Professor of National Security Studies


Air Education and Training Command

Air University's Air Command and Staff College invites applications from qualified individuals for the position of Professor of National Security Studies, eSchool of Graduate Professional Military Education. This position prepares officers of all services and mid­ career Civil Service employees to assume positions of higher responsibility within the military and other government arenas.

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CREW-DOJ must investigate Donald Trump for destroying official records


February 8, 2022
CONTACT: Jenna Grande | [email protected]

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Postdoctoral Fellowship in Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto
The Department of History at the University of Toronto and the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History invite applications from junior scholars in Contemporary International History, broadly defined, for a one-year postdoctoral fellowship. This fellowship will begin on July 1, 2022 and is renewable for one additional year. Applications are due March 21, 2022 and should be sent to: [email protected]. For more information on the position, please click here.

[NCH] Washington Post‘He never stopped ripping things up’: Inside Trump’s relentless document destruction habits

For those who missed the Washington Post expose on former-President Trump's habit of ripping up presidential records, here is the link. It is chilling reading.

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2/21- "America and the World: The State of the Field" (SHAFR-AHA session)

We’ve just heard from the AHA that our jointly sponsored session with SHAFR, America and the World: The State of the Field, has been scheduled for Monday, February 21 from 5-6:30 pm EST as part of the AHA22 Online conference.

This will be a roundtable session and we hope we can be interactive with the audience, though I suppose that will depend some on the platform AHA uses.  At any rate conversation and interaction rather than stand and deliver is our aim.

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Global Research Institute (GRI) at William & Mary Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Security and Foreign Policy

The Global Research Institute (GRI) at William & Mary invites applications for a two-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Security and Foreign Policy, with the possibility for renewal beyond that point if external funding is identified. The fellow will support GRI’s Security and Foreign Policy Initiative, which includes annual convenings on topics related to the fellow’s area of expertise. We welcome applications from scholars whose research examines international security and/or foreign policy issues broadly defined, including, but not limited to, trade, foreign aid, and human rights. This fellowship is designed to broaden the theoretical diversity of perspectives here at GRI. Review of applications will begin on 2/10 and continue until the position is filled. For further information on requirements for the position and how to apply, please click here. 

[WHS] Klaus Larres on Uncertain Allies: Nixon, Kissinger, and the Threat of a United Europe

Please join us for a Washington History Seminar Panel with Klaus Larres on Uncertain Allies: Nixon, Kissinger, and the Threat of a United Europe.

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[WHS] Ada Ferrer on Cuba: An American History

Please join us for a Washington History Seminar Panel with Ada Ferrer on Cuba: An American History.

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NARA Reparative Description and Digitization Working Group (RDDWG)

In July 2021, the National Archives announced the establishment of NARA’s Reparative Description and Digitization Working Group (RDDWG), implementing a key recommendation of the Archival Description Subgroup within the Archivist’s Task Force on Racism (NARA Notice 2021-184). Since then, the RDDWG has been meeting regularly and work has begun under NARA’s framework for implementing Executive Order (E.O.) 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, as described in NARA Notice 2021-162.

Reparative archival description aims to remediate or contextualize potentially outdated or harmful language used in archival description and to create archival description that is accurate, inclusive, and community-centered.

The RDDWG has been reviewing guidance, standards, and processes relating to reparative archival description as well as benchmarking the work of peer institutions. Recently, the RDDWG developed Guiding Principles for Reparative Description at NARA. There are six guiding principles, dealing with:

  1. Transparency
  2. Language
  3. Institutional change
  4. Collaboration
  5. Iterative/reflective process
  6. Leadership

The attached document describes each principle in detail.

The RDDWG will use these principles to ensure that decisions around standards and processes are in alignment with the NARA’s vision for reparative description and equity.

These principles will guide the efforts of the Working Group as they begin to draft agency guidance for identifying and updating harmful language in current Catalog descriptions and authority records, and for agency-wide reparative descriptive practices going forward.

NARA’s reparative description efforts are in keeping with the efforts of numerous other institutions in the archival community. Library and Archives Canada addresses reparative description in action item 17 of their Indigenous Heritage Action Plan. Reparative description is discussed throughout the Society of American Archivists archival description blog: Descriptive Notes. The University Archives and Special Collections in the Healy Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston posted a statement on reparative description. The Princeton University Library hosts a description working group to describe collections respectfully. Tufts University provides a listing of additional reading on this issue. The Cataloging Lab provides a long list of statements on bias in library and archives description.

These are just a few examples of the many archives that are focusing on reparative description. I am proud that NARA is one among them.

Archivist of the United States

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Washington History Seminar Spring 2022 Lineup

Spring 2022 Lineup Announcement


The National History Center of the American Historical Association and the History & Public Policy Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars are pleased to announce the Spring season of the Washington History Seminar, which will take place online in a webinar format. All webinars will be recorded and posted to our YouTube channel.

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Archivist of the United States David Ferriero has announced his retirement effective mid-April 2022.

Archivist of the United States David Ferriero has announced his retirement effective mid-April 2022.

After 12 years as the 10th Archivist of the United States, I have decided to retire, effective mid-April 2022.

As I wrote to President Biden, it has been the honor of a lifetime to serve my country once more, this time to lead the Executive Branch agency charged with ensuring that the American people can hold their government accountable and learn from the past by accessing the records of our country. My time here has been filled with opportunities, challenges, and awesome responsibilities. Over the past several months, as I contemplated retirement and reflected on my time with you, I am humbled and awestruck and so deeply grateful—grateful to all of you.

I’m extraordinarily proud of what we have accomplished together during my tenure and hope that you too take pride in our efforts and results.

We have become a leader in the government’s transition to a digital future, electronic records management, and the principles of Open Government. We’ve served our customers in new and innovative ways, including increasing public access and engagement through the online catalog and social media; streamlining how we serve veterans; expanding access to museums, exhibits, and public programs in person and virtually; and establishing civic literacy initiatives. We’ve fostered strong relationships with partner organizations, and increased outreach to traditional and new stakeholders. Throughout, we’ve put the customer at the center of all that we do.

I’ve said many times that our employees are the real treasures of the National Archives.

I’ve tried to serve you well by fostering a collaborative approach to leadership and engaging you in sustained efforts to build a positive workplace culture that values creativity, civility, openness, diversity, and inclusion.

As Archivist, I’ve had the pleasure and honor to work with a team of highly talented and committed leaders at all levels of this agency in delivering transformational initiatives, improving our organizational effectiveness, and, most importantly, keeping you safe during this pandemic while still carrying out our responsibilities. I am confident that they will continue to work together and with the next Archivist to support you and the work of the agency.

It is not easy to leave you with our important work continuing, especially initiatives to foster equity and enhance the employee and customer experiences. However, our profession is one of stewardship, where despite our enduring responsibilities, we are here for what amounts to a brief period of time. We have come a long way since 1934, and we have made great strides in the last 12 years, but the need for thoughtful and deliberate progress and transformation remains. As the Archivist of the United States, I know that you will build on our work together in ways I cannot imagine. As a citizen and veteran, I am thankful that you will continue the noble work of the National Archives and Records Administration with skill, passion, and resiliency.

Deputy Archivist Debra Steidel Wall will serve as Acting Archivist until the President nominates and the Senate confirms my successor.

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January 2022 SHAFR Grants, Fellowships, and Prizes Announcements

On January 8, 2022, SHAFR announced a number of awards at its luncheon at the American Historical Association conference in New Orleans.  These awards recognize some of the best emerging scholars in our field.  We are now happy to share those announcements with the rest of our community.

The Graduate Student Grants & Fellowships Committee–Sam Lebovic (chair), Kate Burlingham, and Hiroshi Kitamura–made the following awards to more than a dozen graduate students:

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CFP- ASANOR Conference 2022

Appalling Ocean, Verdant Land: America and the Sea
ASANOR Conference 2022
American Studies Association of Norway
29 September – 1 October
Bodø, Norway

The 2022 ASANOR conference will be held at Nord University from September 29 to October 1 We welcome papers from a wide range of fields, including literature, history, political science, linguistics, and cultural studies, that explore the role of the sea in the American experience

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[CREW] NARA must take action to retrieve Peter Navarro’s White House records


December 17, 2021
CONTACT: Jenna Grande | [email protected]

NARA must take action to retrieve Peter Navarro’s White House records

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NARA update: enhancement to Federal Register notices of proposed records schedules


Those of you who monitor proposed records schedules in the Federal Register may be interested in a change NARA is piloting in response to a request from schedule commenters. We made this change in the hope of making it easier to see which schedules are included in a Federal Register notice.

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SHAFR Conference Coordinator search



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Conference and Call for papers: Making and Breaking Global Order in the Twentieth Century

Making and Breaking Global Order in the Twentieth Century (14 – 15 October 2022)

Across the twentieth century, ideas about the global order have sparked a furious debate amongst scholars seeking to understand its power dynamics, structures, institutions, organisation and systems. The majority of the discussion has been centred around the role of states as critical to shaping the workings of the system of international relations and the horizon of peace and security. There has however been an inherent tendency to uphold conventional turning points such as the two World Wars, the Cold War and the North-South divide. We aim to go beyond these traditional understandings and rather focus on the institutions, nations, and often forgotten actors who were full participants alongside Great Powers in shaping the norms, systems and practices that make up global order. At the centre of our enquiry are the role of traditionally disenfranchised or marginalised actors of the Global South, including states, nations, transnational groups, regional organisations, trade union representatives, transnational corporations, activists, agitators and a host of other non-state actors. We also seek to probe the ways in which the different levels of global order interacted in organisations, especially the League of Nations and the United Nations and their associated agencies and systems. There has been a surge of recent scholarship dealing with the legacies and functions of these institutions of international order, and we wish to expand the actors, events, and narratives that play featured roles in the history of 20th century international institutional and organisational transformation.

Virginia Tech- The Julian Chin Ph.D. Fellowship in Cybersecurity

The Julian Chin Ph.D. Fellowship in Cybersecurity will enable students to follow in the footsteps of Mr. Chin, renowned for solving the most challenging technical problems facing the national security community.  He was called upon over his career to unravel the most difficult problems and vexing issues for the intelligence community, technical collection systems developed and guided by his expertise and troubleshooting skills decades ago are still making a difference today for our nation.  Fellows earning this opportunity will be expected to exhibit traits that Mr. Chin embodied, which was high technical competence, motivation, efficiency, and thoroughness, and above all else strong collaboration and teambuilding skills.


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