Advocacy with the National Coalition for History

The National Coalition for History (NCH) is a consortium of over 55 organizations that advocates on federal, state, and local legislative and regulatory issues. The coalition is made up of a number of diverse groups representing historians, archivists, researchers, teachers, students, documentary editors, preservationists, genealogists, political scientists, museum professionals, and other stakeholders.

Since 1982, the NCH (formerly the National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History) has served as the voice for the historical community in Washington, DC. The NCH seeks to encourage the study and appreciation of history by serving as a clearinghouse of information about the profession and as a facilitator on behalf of the interests of our diverse constituency.

The NCH is a non-profit organization organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. NCH is solely supported by contributions from its member organizations. AHA is the largest single contributor to NCH, and the coalition is located in its headquarters building.

Policy Priorities

In 2016, NCH’s priority issues include:

  • Securing federal funding for the National Archives and Records Administration, including the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC); the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH); historical and preservation programs at the National Park Service; international education programs at the Department of Education; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; and the Library of Congress.
  • Advocating for the fully authorized funding level for the new K-12 history/civics education grant programs at the US Department of Education created under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Pressing for the expedited declassification of federal records and maximizing access for historians and researchers to our nation's documentary history.
  • Increasing membership in the Congressional History Caucus. In 2014, NCH collaborated with key members of the House of Representatives in the creation of the caucus with the goal of promoting history on Capitol Hill.

For information on the NCH’s many accomplishments in recent years, see the infographic on the NCH website.

Policy Resources

NCH has the ability to mobilize our organizational members to advocate on issues affecting historians and our other diverse constituencies. While federal history-related programs are an ongoing focus, over the past several years, NCH’s lobbying efforts have branched out to include advocacy on issues of national, state, and local concern to the historical community. NCH often partners with other advocacy organizations, such as the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), in issuing action alerts urging historians to contact their senators and representatives when urgent legislative issues arise before Congress. The coalition also participates in NHA’s annual Humanities Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.

Beyond advocacy, NCH serves a vital educational role in keeping our members abreast of issues affecting historians. NCH provides a monthly column in AHA’s newsmagazine, Perspectives on History, and uses a monthly newsletter and social media to provide timely information about what is occurring in Washington, DC, and on policy issues around the country.

For more information visit NCH’s website at You can keep up with the coalition's activities by signing up for the NCH Washington Update, or by following us on Twitter at @HistCoalition and on Facebook at National Coalition for History.