National Endowment for the Humanities: Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions
Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. These may include special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine art objects, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, historical objects, and digital materials.
Applicants must draw on the knowledge of consultants whose preservation skills and experience are related to the types of collections and the nature of the activities on which their projects focus. Within the conservation field, for example, conservators usually specialize in the care of specific types of collections, such as objects, paper, or paintings. Applicants should therefore choose a conservator whose specialty is appropriate for the nature of their collections. Similarly, when assessing the preservation needs of library, museum, or archival holdings, applicants should seek a consultant specifically knowledgeable about the preservation of collections in these types of institutions.
The program encourages applications from small and mid-sized institutions that have never received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant; community colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities; and Native American tribes and Native Alaskan and Native Hawaiian organizations with significant humanities collections. An institution that has received a Preservation Assistance Grant may apply for another grant to support the next phase of its preservation efforts. For example, after completing a preservation assessment, an institution might apply to purchase storage supplies and cabinets to rehouse a collection identified as a high priority for improved storage.
Amount: Approximately $400,000 is available to make up to 42 awards ranging up to $10,000. Applicants whose proposals respond to “A More Perfect Union” may request up to $15,000. The period of performance is up to 18 months.
Eligibility: U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, accredited public and 501(c)(3) institutions of higher education, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.
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