Promotion of the Humanities_Division of Preservation and Access

To fund projects that will promote preserving, creating, and providing intellectual access to resources held in libraries, museums, archives, historical organizations, and other collections that are important for research, education, and public programming in the humanities.

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Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

(1) an award to a university to digitize 100,000 pages of historic state newspapers; (2) an award to a historic house museum to install climate control and fire suppression systems to preserve material culture, library and archival collections; (3) an award to a university to train hundreds of humanities scholars and graduate students in digital text coding; (4) an award to a state university to develop and test best practices for preserving analog sound recordings by converting them into digital form; (5) an award to a historical society to hire a consultant to conduct a preservation assessment and develop a long-range preservation plan for the society's library, archival, and material culture collections; (6) an award to a university to compile a digital reference work on the changes in the boundaries, names, and organization of every U.S.

county from 1619 to 2000; (7) an award to a university and public library to explore best practices for monitoring and evaluating environmental storage conditions in cultural repositories.

Agency - National Endowment For The Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities.

Website Address

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

In FY 07, 417 applications were received and 183 awards were made.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grants support: the digitization, arrangement, description, and preservation of archival collections, still and moving images, and recorded sound collections; the documentation of collections of art and material culture; projects to produce research tools and reference works such as databases and electronic archives, bibliographies, dictionaries, and encyclopedias; professional training in preservation administration and in the care of collections; the stabilization of humanities collections; the work of regional preservation services; general preservation assessments and special consultations for smaller cultural institutions; research and development projects to develop technical standards, best practices, and tools for preserving and creating access to humanities collections; projects to document endangered languages; and a national program for the digitization of historic U. S. newspapers.

Expenses may include salaries and wages, consultant and other contract services, supplies and limited equipment purchases, travel, and per diem.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State and local governments; sponsored organizations; public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations; other public institutions/organizations; Federally recognized Indian tribal governments; Native American organizations; U.S.

Territories; non-government-general; minority organizations; and other specialized groups; quasi-public nonprofit institutions.

Beneficiary Eligibility

State and local governments; sponsored organizations; public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations; other public institutions/organizations; Federally recognized Indian tribal governments; Native American organizations; U.S. Territories; non-government-general; minority organizations; and other specialized groups; quasi-public nonprofit institutions.


Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational institutions and OMB Circular No. A-122 for commercial and nonprofit organizations.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Before submitting a proposal, applicants are encouraged to contact program officers who can offer advice about preparing the proposal and, in some programs, read draft applications.

The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No.

A-102 must be used for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Applications to NEH must be submitted via Guidelines and application instructions are available online at This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

Applications are evaluated by scholars in the humanities, museum curators, professionals with expert knowledge of preservation and access methodologies and administrators of libraries, archives, and museums. Awards are made by the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities after recommendation by the National Council on the Humanities.


March 18 for Advancing Knowledge applications; May 14 for Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions applications; July 1 for Education and Training applications and for Research and Development applications; July 15 for Humanities Collections and Resources applications; September 15 for Documenting Endangered Language applications; October 1 for Stabilizing Humanities Collections applications; and November 4, for National Digital Newspaper Program applications. Write to the Division of Preservation and Access for specific information.


National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, as amended, Public Law 89-209, 20 U.S.C. 951 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 7 months.


None, but applicant may reapply with a revised proposal.


Renewal grants are processed and awarded in competition with and in the same manner as new applications.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Cost sharing consists of the cash contributions made to the project by the applicant, third parties and other federal agencies, as well as third party in-kind contributions, such as donated services and goods. Cost sharing includes gift money that will be raised to release federal matching funds. Cost sharing is not required. NEH, however, is rarely able to support the full costs of projects approved for funding. Consult the individual program guidelines for more information.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Up to 24 months. Funds must be expended during the grant period. Funds are released as required.

Post Assistance Requirements


Progress reports are required semiannually or annually.

Cash reports are required quarterly.

Final progress and expenditures reports are due within 90 days after completion or termination of project support by NEH.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. For nongovernmental recipients, audits are to be carried out in accordance with the provisions set forth in OMB Circular No. A-110, "Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations Uniform Administrative Requirements" and with OMB Circular No. A-133. In addition, grants are subject to inspection and audits by NEH and other Federal officials.


Documentation of expenditures and other fiscal records must be retained for three years following the submission of the final expenditure report.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $23,905,060*; FY 08 est $18,380,000; and FY 09 est $13,861,000. *Includes additional funding provided by NEH Treasury matching grants and by We the People. See 45.168 PROMOTION OF THE HUMANITIES-WE THE PEOPLE.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

FY 07 from $5,000 to $650,000; average $325,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

45 CFR 1100 and 1105. Guidelines are available online at or upon request from National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, DC 20506. It is also available from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, is the Endowment's official publication, "Humanities" by subscription (6 issues annually, $24.00 domestic, $30.00 foreign).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Division of Preservation and Access, National Endowment for the Humanities, Room 411, Washington, DC 20506. Telephone: (202) 606-8570. Use the same number for FTS. Fax: (202) 606-8639. E-mail: PRESERVATION@NEH.GOV.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The criteria used to determine funding priorities include the significance and potential impact of the project, either for creating, preserving, and establishing intellectual access to important humanities resources or for improving the infrastructure for preservation and access activities in the country's academic and cultural institutions; the soundness of the project's methodology, including its adherence to accepted professional and technical standards or practice; the viability, efficiency, and productivity of the project's plan of work; the professional training and experience of the project's staff in relation to the activity for which support is requested; and the appropriateness of the project's budget. Preference is given to projects that provide free, online access to digital materials produced with grant funds.

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