Important Update from NY State Archives on DHP Services

Recently, the New York State Archives released a statement (below) about a major change in the Documentary Heritage Program. A number of recently launched (and very popular) activities at METRO supporting collecting institutions were supported by the New York State Archives and the Documentary Heritage Program. They will be on hold until further notice. These include episodes of More Podcast, Less Process, on-site consultations with collecting cultural heritage organizations, "tools" workshops to help archivists use free and open sources technology tools, and generally all activities documented under the Keeping Collections umbrella.  
 
The NY 3Rs Association, Inc., of which METRO is a member, will very likely submit a proposal to provide services under the "one contract" request for proposal that will be sent out by the State Archives. We will be sure to keep our community informed as this process plays out. 

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Dear regional archivists and service provider directors,

We are writing to let you know of changes that are planned for the regional services portion of the New York State Archives Documentary Heritage Program (DHP). Our aim is to move the DHP in a direction that will bring the best quality and most comprehensive services to New York's historical records community with the resources available to us.

DHP Regional Services
For over 25 years the DHP regional services have provided technical assistance and training through contracts between the New York State Education Department (SED) and nine regional providers, which have included seven 3Rs library councils, the Museum Association of New York, and the Greater Hudson Heritage Network. We thank the organizations that have contributed to the success of this program and advancements in preservation and access for New York's heritage.

When the contracts between the SED and these agencies expire on June 30, 2014, there will be changes to the contractual process for operating this part of the program. The DHP competitive grants program will not change and will continue to be operated from the New York State Archives' central offices.

Service Delivery Changes
Instead of nine separate DHP contracts, the SED will seek a single, statewide five-year contract to deliver a set of supports and educational services for eligible archives, libraries, historical societies, museums, and other institutions that hold historical records and/or library research materials and operate programs to preserve them and make them accessible. The contract will cover DHP services and also incorporate elements of the New York State Library's Conservation/Preservation Program.

Interim Assistance
Until the new statewide contract is in place, the State Archives will provide basic support to the historical records community through email and phone communications and delivery of on-line resources. Repositories in need of archival assistance may contact Pamela Cooley at the New York State Archives (pcooley@mail.nysed.gov or (518) 474-5393) starting July 1 and until further notice. For preservation-related assistance, organizations may continue to contact Barbara Lilley at the New York State Library (blilley@mail.nysed.gov or (518) 486-4864).

Christine W. Ward
New York State Archivist and
Chief Executive Officer of the Archives Partnership Trust