National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions – applications due May 1, 2012

Closing Date for Applications: May 1, 2012
Award Amount: Up to $6,000

National Endowment for the Humanities 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 that are the focus of their projects. 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 archival holdings, applicants must seek a consultant specifically knowledgeable about archives and preservation. Because the organization and the preservation of archival collections must be approached in tandem, an archival consultant should also provide advice about the management and processing needs of such holdings as part of a preservation assessment that includes long-term plans for the arrangement and description of archival collections.

Small and mid-sized institutions that have never received an NEH grant are especially encouraged to apply.

Preservation Assistance Grants may be used for:

  • General preservation assessments
  • Consultations with professionals to address a specific preservation issue, need, or problem
  • Purchase of storage furniture and preservation supplies
  • Purchase of environmental monitoring equipment for humanities collections
  • Education and training

Applicants may combine two or more elements of the project types listed above in a single application. For example, an applicant may request funds for a consultant to conduct a preservation assessment and an on-site preservation workshop for the institution’s staff. In such cases, the consultant’s letter of commitment should fully describe both proposed activities and the associated fees.

NEH grants may support consultant fees, workshop registration fees, travel and per diem expenses, and the costs of purchasing and shipping preservation supplies and equipment.

Details are available at

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