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Featured Projects: Research Programs

Portrait of Louisa Catherine Adams
Featured Project

The Founding Fathers in a Digital Age

The papers of the Founding Fathers - personal letters, private diaries, even financial records - reveal the humanity beyond the statues, portraits, and memorials.

Posted: October 15, 2014
A native fisherman in the river, with mountains in the distance.
Featured Project

Two Americans in Paradise: Henry Adams and John La Farge on the Island of Tahiti

Four months before Gauguin arrived in 1891, two Americans sought to explore the “real” Tahiti, to experience its landscape and understand its history. One was a wealthy intellectual, the other a painter.

Posted: June 16, 2014
Thomas A. Edison, 1884, New York Public Library
Featured Project

Heartbreak at Menlo Park

The examination of the iconic inventor’s documents reveal both scientific and personal developments.

Posted: March 4, 2014
the white dome of St. Peter's Basilica
Featured Project

The Horoscope of St. Peter’s

Artists, patrons, theologians, philosophers, and scientists of the Italian Renaissance engaged with theories of the heavens, sharing a common belief in the power of planetary forces.

Posted: November 12, 2013
Raphael, Pope Leo I Repulsing Attila the Hun, 1514, Vatican Palace
Featured Project

Giuseppe Verdi’s Attila and Italy in the 1840s

Attila sacked the Roman Empire city of Aquileia in 452 using an army of ruthless Huns and military cunning and cruelty; he invaded Italy again in 1846—this time through the pen of Giuseppe Verdi—using bel canto arias, dramatic choruses, and stunning scenery.

Posted: September 25, 2013
A medieval illustration of a musician and five costumed actors.
Featured Project

How Shakespeare Learned to be Shakespeare

Collecting early English plays and performance records helps us understand Shakespeare’s professional background.

Posted: September 16, 2013
A terraced agricultural field in China, seen from a neighboring hillside.
Featured Project

China: Its Environment and History

China’s recorded history extends back thousands of years, affording us an uncommonly long view of the relationship between humans and their natural environment.

Posted: April 8, 2013
Jefferson's sketch of the new capital district, March 1791, Library of Congress
Featured Project

Building America from Scratch

In a letter, Thomas Jefferson declared that the United States is an experiment “to shew whether man can be trusted with self-government.” Jefferson’s deeds followed his lofty words. During the summer of 1802, amid the possibility of war against the Barbary Coast and uncertainty about Napoleon’s intentions in New Orleans, Jefferson devoted himself to the construction of the national capital.

Posted: November 5, 2012
Featured Project

Research Division Evaluates the Impact of its Fellowships Program

In academic circles, it’s common to hear it said that a professor “got an NEH.”  What is meant by this shorthand is that a faculty member was awarded an NEH Fellowship. 

Posted: October 11, 2012
Édouard Manet's Impressionist portrait of Stéphane Mallarmé reading a book.
Featured Project

What Use is a Book?

Readers debate, often with angst, about where the printed book will fit into an increasingly digital future. These 21st-Century discussions wrestle with the question: what use is a book? The Book as Instrument looks to the past, to another time when the future of the book was in question, for answers to our present dilemma.

Posted: October 3, 2012