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you know in America how fast it is when you are talking to someone who could be in Mississippi, or California, or New York, and you don't care. As long as they have the ability to computer interface, they can give you the information you seek. I appreciate you working on that.

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You have asked for a doubling of the budget for the American Folklife Center, which is where we placed the new Veterans Oral History Project. Can you discuss briefly the Folklife Center's need and your plan?

Dr. BILLINGTON. Well, the Folklife Center is of course the premiere collection of American folklife. It has been much enriched by the Local Legacies Project of the Congress, 1,300 projects that more than 400 Members of Congress added in their districts. It has been further challenged by the unanimously passed legislation to try to collect oral histories from war veterans. That is a huge, gigantic project, and we have a modest request for some initial funding for it. 1,500 veterans die every day, so we cannot wait to move ahead

More generally, the Folklife Center has very dynamic new leadership. We have asked for five new archival positions that we need to process approximately 80,000 items that come in every year. We have a very substantial arrearage there. We will not eliminate the backlog, but we will reduce and manage the arrearage, keeping it constant as new collections arrive. There really hasn't been any additional staffing to deal with it. It is the largest archive of American folklife in existence, dating way back to 1928 with the creation of the folk archive, and then of course with the 1976 legislation. The whole idea was that the Bicentennial would be celebrated by gathering in the local creative heritage of America from everywhere, and we just haven't had any additional staffing. We now have many new Board of Trustees members for the Center that are very dynamic. People like Mickey Hart have been very active in helping us acquire new material. We have a very large collection of folklife material, now we need the five new archival positions to get on top of the immense amount of work that they have.

They have a backlog of about 700,000 unprocessed items, including thousands of items documenting the community cultures that were gathered in during the Bicentennial by the Local Legacies Project.

I think this is like the Law Library. This is something that is long overdue, and we would like to especially stress how important it is, I think, for the country as a whole.

Mr. HOYER. Thank you, Doctor. If I might, Mr. Chairman, I have two brief questions. I have taken a lot of time. I appreciate the gentleman from California timing me.

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HISTORY OF THE HOUSE PROJECT

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What is the status of the History of the House Project? Mr. Lewis wanted the answer to that question, which is why I ask it.

Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes, sir. Well, we had a convening meeting of the advisory board in January. We had an excellent meeting with

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There was general agreement that we wanted to, if possible, recruit David McCullough for this. We had a 3-month series of discussions with him, and he finally decided that he couldn't give the full commitment of time. We are now in the advanced stages of negotiations with another leading historian, and we hope we will be able to conclude an agreement with him.

In the course of our discussions, there was a realization that this was a very substantial undertaking, but it was agreed that it should be a popular history-something that would be widely accessible and interesting to a broad audience. In order to have it also be fairly comprehensive, there is going to have to be a fair amount of support.

Ralph Eubanks, the head of our publishing office, is in the advanced stage of negotiation with the historian. You might say that David McCullough was the first choice, and this outstanding historian is a second choice who will be able to devote the time needed to complete the project. If we cannot close with him, we will probably reconvene the advisory committee and try to determine what the next step would be, but we are moving ahead as rapidly as we can, and I hope we will be able to have an author engaged soon.

There is the problem of raising funds for this project determining what kind of research support will be and so forth, but we are working on all of it and we hope to have a resolution fairly soon.

Mr. HOYER. We are all interested in that and look forward to your success, and appreciate that you are going to make it a popular document, readable by the general public. I think it will be a great benefit to them.

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CONGRESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS

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Lastly, we recently authorized new editions of Black Americans in Congress and Women in Congress, to bring those up to date. Can you tell me the status of those two publications? When do you expect to get those out?

Dr. BILLINGTON. We are planning this publication. We have had preliminary discussions with the House Office of Legislative Resources about assistance that they might provide, and we expect to have a plan developed for discussion with appropriate committees of the House and Senate within the next few weeks. We are moving ahead on these and we should be able to get that done fairly rapidly.

Mr. HOYER. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Lewis.

Mr. LEWIS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Moran, it may come as some surprise to you, but in ancient history I had the privilege of serving for some years as the ranking member of this committee, and we were involved in a number of worthwhile projects around here, like the rebuilding of the West Front of the Capitol, the marvelous work that was done at the Jefferson Building, and we built the extension of the Library across the street during those years. Our building programs sometimes are tedious and do take some time. I am reminded that we also had the concept of refurbishing, remodeling and redoing the Botanical Gardens, and I think that may be completed some time after I finish my next ambassadorship, but in the meantime

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you know in America how fast it is when you are talking to someone who could be in Mississippi, or California, or New York, and you don't care. As long as they have the ability to computer interface, they can give you the information you seek. I appreciate you working on that.

AMERICAN FOLKLIFE CENTER

You have asked for a doubling of the budget for the American Folklife Center, which is where we placed the new Veterans Oral History Project. Can you discuss briefly the Folklife Center's need and your plan?

Dr. BILLINGTON. Well, the Folklife Center is of course the premiere collection of American folklife. It has been much enriched by the Local Legacies Project of the Congress, 1,300 projects that more than 400 Members of Congress added in their districts. It has been further challenged by the unanimously passed legislation to try to collect oral histories from war veterans. That is a huge, gigantic project, and we have a modest request for some initial funding for it. 1,500 veterans die every day, so we cannot wait to move ahead

on this.

More generally, the Folklife Center has very dynamic new leadership. We have asked for five new archival positions that we need to process approximately 80,000 items that come in every year. We have a very substantial arrearage there. We will not eliminate the backlog, but we will reduce and manage the arrearage, keeping it constant as new collections arrive. There really hasn't been any additional staffing to deal with it. It is the largest archive of American folklife in existence, dating way back to 1928 with the creation of the folk archive, and then of course with the 1976 legislation. The whole idea was that the Bicentennial would be celebrated by gathering in the local creative heritage of America from everywhere, and we just haven't had any additional staffing. We now have many new Board of Trustees members for the Center that are very dynamic. People like Mickey Hart have been very active in helping us acquire new material. We have a very large collection of folklife material, now we need the five new archival positions to get on top of the immense amount of work that they have.

They have a backlog of about 700,000 unprocessed items, including thousands of items documenting the community cultures that were gathered in during the Bicentennial by the Local Legacies Project.

I think this is like the Law Library. This is something that is long overdue, and we would like to especially stress how important it is, I think, for the country as a whole.

Mr. HOYER. Thank you, Doctor. If I might, Mr. Chairman, I have two brief questions. I have taken a lot of time. I appreciate the gentleman from California timing me.

HISTORY OF THE HOUSE PROJECT

What is the status of the History of the House Project? Mr. Lewis wanted the answer to that question, which is why I ask it.

Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes, sir. Well, we had a convening meeting of the advisory board in January. We had an excellent meeting with

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There was general agreement that we wanted to, if possible, recruit David McCullough for this. We had a 3-month series of discussions with him, and he finally decided that he couldn't give the full commitment of time. We are now in the advanced stages of negotiations with another leading historian, and we hope we will be able to conclude an agreement with him.

In the course of our discussions, there was a realization that this was a very substantial undertaking, but it was agreed that it should be a popular history-something that would be widely accessible and interesting to a broad audience. In order to have it also be fairly comprehensive, there is going to have to be a fair amount of support.

Ralph Eubanks, the head of our publishing office, is in the advanced stage of negotiation with the historian. You might say that David McCullough was the first choice, and this outstanding historian is a second choice who will be able to devote the time needed to complete the project. If we cannot close with him, we will probably reconvene the advisory committee and try to determine what the next step would be, but we are moving ahead as rapidly as we can, and I hope we will be able to have an author engaged soon.

There is the problem of raising funds for this project determining what kind of research support will be and so forth, but we are working on all of it and we hope to have a resolution fairly soon.

Mr. HOYER. We are all interested in that and look forward to your success, and appreciate that you are going to make it a popular document, readable by the general public. I think it will be a great benefit to them.

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CONGRESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS

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Lastly, we recently authorized new editions of Black Americans in Congress and Women in Congress, to bring those up to date. Can you tell me the status of those two publications? When do you expect to get those out?

Dr. BILLINGTON. We are planning this publication. We have had preliminary discussions with the House Office of Legislative Resources about assistance that they might provide, and we expect to have a plan developed for discussion with appropriate committees of the House and Senate within the next few weeks. We are moving ahead on these and we should be able to get that done fairly rapidly.

Mr. HOYER. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Lewis.

Mr. LEWIS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Moran, it may come as some surprise to you, but in ancient history I had the privilege of serving for some years as the ranking member of this committee, and we were involved in a number of worthwhile projects around here, like the rebuilding of the West Front of the Capitol, the marvelous work that was done at the Jefferson Building, and we built the extension of the Library across the street during those years. Our building programs sometimes are tedious and do take some time. I am reminded that we also had the concept of refurbishing, remodeling and redoing the Botanical Gardens, and I think that may be completed some time after I finish my next am

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Mr. HOYER. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. LEWIS. You talked an awful lot.

Mr. HOYER. Just for a second. The gentleman will like what I have to say. I said it before, but Mr. Lewis and Mr. Fazio, during their tenure as essentially cochairs of this subcommittee-one was a ranking member and one was a chairman-worked together as an extraordinary team and made a contribution to Capitol Hill and its organizational structure which will last for centuries and they should both be thanked by the American people. I mean that sincerely.

OFF-SITE STORAGE

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Mr. LEWIS. That was leading to a question about the Remote Storage Facility. Can you tell me how that project is going along and why it seems to be following the pattern of the Botanic Garden?

Dr. BILLINGTON. I am sorry?

Mr. LEWIS. Following the pattern of the Botanic Garden. In other words, it has taken a long time. Where is that facility? What is the story with it?

Dr. BILLINGTON. Are you-
Mr. LEWIS. Fort Meade.

Dr. BILLINGTON. Fort Meade. Well, we hope that the first module will be ready by August and that we would start occupancy in October, but that is not at all certain. We are not sure about that.

Mr. LEWIS. We were going to get into the Botanical Gardens 2 years ago and so I am wondering about this. That is why I asked the question.

What is the problem at Fort Meade?
Dr. BILLINGTON. The problem at Fort Meade?

General SCOTT. I am not sure that I could give you all of the series of changes that have come about.

Mr. LEWIS. We tend to blame the Architect every time we have a problem. I just wonder if you have some idea of what is going on at Fort Meade, and I don't want you to respond for the record for this one, because it is pretty clear we have got a project there that is stumbling along.

General SCOTT. Yes, sir. In my recollection, we have had at least three changes as to when the completion date was going to be. I can't go into any more specifics as to why those delays occurred, other than the plans didn't meet certain specifications.

The current promised occupancy date is August, but we don't have any guarantees that it is going to happen in August. We have plans to occupy the building and items that we are ready to move out there; they are just on hold until we know whether the facility is going to be available or not.

Mr. LEWIS. From time to time, Mr. Chairman, we consider having building programs be contracted out to see if they might move along more swiftly than when carried forward by the Architect. I am reminded of the fact that some years ago we built an extension on the Cannon Building that was a temporary little building off the Cannon Building, and it was designed to kind of look like it so it wouldn't be too disruptive to that magnificent structure. That was

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