Message to the Congress Transmitting the Report of the National Endowment for the Humanities
To the Congress of the United States:
I am pleased to transmit the 1998 annual report of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Federal agency charged with advancing knowledge and public education in the humanities. Throughout 1998, the agency provided crucial support to hundreds of research and educational projects throughout the United States and its territories. The Endowment also provided grants to innovative educational projects employing the latest computer technologies, as well as to efforts to preserve library and archival resources and make such resources available to schools, scholars, and citizens.
In 1998, the NEH continued to exercise leadership in applying technology to the humanities. The Endowment launched Schools for a New Millennium, a program that provides funding to schools to further humanities education through the creative use of new technologies. In Lawrence, Kansas, one Schools for a New Millennium project is digitizing photographs and historical documents for use in junior high classrooms. The Endowment also extended its Internet strategy by expanding its EDSITEment project in partnership with the Council of Great City Schools and MCI WorldCom, more than doubling the number of high quality humanities sites available to students and teachers.
I am especially pleased by another of the agency's partnerships employing both the Internet and traditional broadcasting. The Endowment is partnering with the White House Millennium Council on the presentation of "Millennium Evenings at the White House," a series of showcase events that explore the ideas and creativity of the American people on the eve of a new millennium. These programs feature prominent scholars and creative thinkers and are accessible to the public by satellite and cable broadcasts, and many State humanities councils are coordinating local downlink sites. With support from SUN Microsystems, these lectures and discussions are cybercast live from the East Room in the White House. Viewers can submit questions via the Internet to the guest speaker or to the First Lady and me.
The NEH is well-known for its support of documentary films based on a collaboration between filmmakers and humanities scholars. In 1998, the Endowment maintained this tradition of excellence with its support of Eleanor Roosevelt, which drew upon outstanding new historical scholarship, archival films, photographs, and first-hand testimonies to paint a vivid portrait of one of America's most outstanding women.
The Endowment's grants also addressed the long-term needs of the Nation's cultural and academic institutions. In 1998, the NEH created a special program designed to aid the Nation's public libraries in serving the public with humanities programming. Among the institutions aided in 1998 by Challenge Grants was the African American Research Library and Cultural Center, a new facility created by the Broward County Public Library to serve Broward County's growing and diverse population.
Through its Preservation Programs, the NEH is preserving the content of hundreds of thousands of brittle books, periodicals, and American newspapers—priceless sources for present and future historians and scholars. The Endowment's initiative to save much materials is now entering its 10th year, and will preserve nearly a million books and periodicals by the time it is completed. The U.S. Newspaper Project, an equally important effort to microfilm historic newspapers, is creating a comprehensive national database for scholars, students, and citizens who wish to research their community's history.
In November 1998, the First lady and I joined the Endowment in honoring at the White House nine distinguished Americans with the National Medal of the Humanities. Through these awards and its grants programs, the National Endowment for the Humanities recognizes and promotes outstanding efforts to deepen public awareness and understanding of the humanities.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
The White House,
March 22, 2000.
William J. Clinton, Message to the Congress Transmitting the Report of the National Endowment for the Humanities Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/227723