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ASHRAB Frequently Asked Questions

What is ASHRAB?

The Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board (ASHRAB) is a state board that reviews and recommends grant proposals from Alaska to the National Archives, and encourages and promotes historical record preservation throughout Alaska.

When and how did ASHRAB come to be?

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) established historical records advisory boards in each state and two territories in 1977. ASHRAB's job is to become familiar with Alaska's archives needs and recommend action to the commission.

How is ASHRAB related to the Alaska State Archives and Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives & Museums?

The State Archives, a program of the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, supplies the board's administrative staff.

  • Karen Gray, Alaska State Archivist, Board Coordinator
  • Debbie McBride, Administrative Officer for Division

How does the Board govern itself?

The Board governs itself through bylaws and a priorities statement, as directed by Federal law and regulations, specifically 44 USC 25 and 36 CFR 1210. The bylaws are the board's constitution, while the priorities statement describes the kinds of projects the Board feels are most important to Alaska. Committees do much of the Board's work by reviewing and recommending policies, procedures, and resolutions. Final decisions are made by Board vote.

What about Proposals?

Grant proposals funded by NHPRC Grants must organize and manage manuscripts and or archives. Successful applicants may identify and acquire new manuscript material or organize, arrange and describe collections. They may promote collection conservation and preservation, publicize an institution's holdings, or make archival resources available to users.

How are NHPRC grant proposals considered?

Individual board members review and rate each proposal. After initial review, the board convenes and votes to recommend full or partial funding, revision and resubmission, or denial of funding.

Where does ASHRAB fit among Alaska's historical organizations?

The Board's primary task is to preserve Alaska's documentary heritage. To this end, the Board encourages Alaskans and Alaskan organizations to take interest in and preserve basic documents that tell their story, and to identify and care for their archives and manuscripts.

Is ASHRAB the leading cultural preservation agency in Alaska?

No, ASHRAB is one of many organizations that work together to preserve Alaska's documentary heritage. Most cultural organizations operate with small staffs and budgets. There are only four large archives in Alaska, and many archival collections are located in museums, historical societies, libraries and Native corporations.

The following organizations provide leadership within their areas of expertise: Museums Alaska, Alaska State Museum, Alaska Library Association, Alaska State Library Historical Collections, Alaska Historical Society, Alaska Historical Commission, Alaska Anthropology Association, Alaska Native cultural heritage foundations, Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association, and Alaska State Archives.

How does ASHRAB support Alaska's cultural heritage?

ASHRAB cooperates with major archival institutions and affinity organizations, and helps and encourages community organizations to care for their collections. It serves as a forum to discuss archival content. ASHRAB will work with anyone who is trying to improve access to historical records in Alaska.

How is ASHRAB funded?

ASHRAB's funding is limited and depends on state funding and NHPRC administrative needs grants. ASHRAB may apply for additional NHPRC funding, and to other federal and nonfederal funding organizations.

How is ASHRAB doing its job?

The Board is proactive in advocating Alaska conditions and needs to NHPRC. ASHRAB offers advice to individuals and assistance to organizations committed to preserving Alaska's documentary heritage. ASHRAB welcomes grant proposals from organizations, and counsels anyone considering a grant proposal or trying to identify Alaskan records that need to be preserved.

What should ASHRAB be trying to do?

We have identified areas of need in our five-year plan.

What would members like to see the Board do?

Board staff has suggested administrative and structural changes, revision of the bylaws and priorities statement, and the development of a speaker's series.

Do you have suggestions for us? If so, contact Karen Gray, State Archivist.

Page last updated 02/06/2018