Skip to main content


NEH Launches Initiative to Create Online Encyclopedias for States, U.S. Territories and D.C.

Planning grants awarded to 15 states, District of Columbia, Guam

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2001--William R. Ferris, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), today announced the first 17 grants under an initiative to create comprehensive online encyclopedias for all 50 states, all five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

"NEH's online state encyclopedia initiative will have a tremendous educational and economic impact in each state," Ferris said. "With an online encyclopedia as a portal, each state's cultural heritage will become readily accessible not only in America but throughout the world. The encyclopedias will raise awareness of the importance of geographical roots and foster pride of place."

The NEH grants, totaling $731,000, have been awarded for the planning of online encyclopedias in 15 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. The states are Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Hawai'i, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island and Virginia.

Because online encyclopedias are not subject to the space constraints of print encyclopedias, online articles can be more comprehensive. The grants will allow each grantee to develop a plan for designing an online publication in consultation with potential collaborating institutions, contributors, technical experts and intended users.

"Teachers will be able to incorporate articles from the encyclopedias into their lesson plans," Ferris added. "Students at all levels will have a vast amount of reliable, constantly updated information at their fingertips. Travelers will have a comprehensive and evolving source of information about cultural tourism, from local history and places to visit to folklore and foodways. I am very pleased to announce the first grants under this important NEH initiative."

The next application deadline for planning grants for online state encyclopedias is July 1, 2001. For information, contact Helen Aguera or Joseph Herring in the NEH Division of Preservation and Access at (202) 606-8570 or

    Birmingham, Alabama Humanities Foundation
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Michael Malone, (334) 983-4924
    Middletown, Connecticut Humanities Council
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Stuart Parnes, (860) 767-7067
    Humanities Council of Washington, D.C.
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Ethelbert E. Miller, (202) 387-8391
    St. Petersburg, Florida Humanities Council
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Frank Helsom, (212) 708-9356
  • GUAM
    Tamuning, Guam Humanities Council
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Anthony A. Leon Guerrero, (671) 646-4461
    Honolulu, Hawai'i Council for the Humanities
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Mitch Yamasaki, (808) 735-4824
    Indianapolis, Indiana Humanities Council
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Robert S. Kasper, (317) 638-1500
    Portland, Maine Humanities Council
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Geoffrey Gratwick, (207) 773-5051
    Hunt Valley, Maryland Humanities Council
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Taunya L. Banks, (410) 706-3850
    Lansing, Michigan Humanities Council
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Stephen R. Williams, (810) 982-0891
    St. Paul, Minnesota Humanities Commission
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: W. Andrew Boss, (651) 523-7807
    Reno, Nevada Humanities Committee
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Barbara Cloud, (702) 895-3270
    Concord, New Hampshire Humanities Council
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Richard Kremer, (603) 224-4071
    Bismarck, North Dakota Humanities Council
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: John Ettling, (701) 777-2167
  • OHIO
    Columbus, Ohio Humanities Council
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: George Garrison, (330) 672-2300
    Providence, Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Charles Sullivan, (401) 273-3350
    Richmond, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
    PROJECT DIRECTOR: Wyndham B. Blanton, Jr., (804) 560-6927


About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

Media Contacts: Office of Communications at (202) 606-8446 or