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NEH Announces $17.5 Million in Awards and Offers for 118 Projects

Awards include 79 We the People projects in U.S. history and culture

WASHINGTON (May 31, 2007)–The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that 118 successful applicants will receive a total of $17.5 million in grants and offers of matching funds for projects designed to advance humanities research and prepare scholarly editions, provide high quality public programming on television and in libraries, support projects in U.S. history and culture offered by state humanities councils, preserve and stabilize significant humanities collections, and support long-term plans for strengthening humanities programming at cultural institutions.

Seventy-nine of the successful grants announced today are designated as We the People projects, a special recognition by the NEH for model projects that advance the study, teaching, and understanding of American history and culture.

“Put simply, the humanities teach us what it means to be human—and today’s NEH grant recipients are illuminating the human condition through rigorous scholarly research, vital efforts to preserve our cultural heritage, and innovative public programs that engage our minds and deepen our understanding of human history,” said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. “With these grants, NEH continues its support of wide-ranging and substantial projects that explore the great ideas and great events of both our own culture and other cultures throughout the world.”

In this award cycle, scholars and institutions in 39 states and the District of Columbia received support from the NEH. A complete state-by-state listing of grants and offers is available in three Adobe PDF files, located in the box above. [Some of the projects cited in this release and included in the linked files have received an offer of an award; in such cases, the exact dollar amount and duration may be subject to change.] The 118 new NEH grants and matching offers come from six of the Endowment’s major program areas—challenge grants; education programs; federal/state partnership; preservation and access; public programs; and research programs—with examples of each:

  • NEH Challenge Grants are offered only when NEH funds will make a significant improvement in humanities programs, help institutions carry out long-term plans for strengthening their basic resources and activities in the humanities, and enhance financial stability through increased nonfederal support. First-time recipients of NEH Challenge Grants, which must raise non-federal funds on a 3-to-1 matching basis, include the Fayetteville Public Library Foundation in Arkansas, Historic Cherry Hill in Albany, N.Y., and the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass.
  • Education Programs, as part of the agency’s new Digital Humanities Initiative, made the first two awards for Digital Humanities Workshops for School Teachers, which are designed to offer K-12 teachers intensive professional development workshops where they can deepen their knowledge, understanding, and skill in using digital resources in their humanities classrooms. Columbia University in New York will conduct workshops in New York, Florida, and Texas that draw upon the digital resources of “Asia for Educators” to explore topics in early modern China; the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, also in New York, will conduct a workshop for 30 school teachers focused on digital resources on the American revolution and the Civil War.
  • Federal/State Partnership awards include 20 We the People projects, each sponsored by a state humanities council to explore significant events and themes in American history and culture. For example, Colorado Humanities in Denver will hold Chautauqua presentations in Greely and Grand Junction and solicit grant proposals to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the New Deal; the Georgia Humanities Council in Atlanta will conduct reading and discussion programs in Georgia communities and develop resource and training materials to accompany a touring exhibition, “Key Ingredients: America by Food”; the Indiana Humanities Council in Indianapolis will conduct a series of conversations on topics in American history and culture to strengthen civic engagement in Indiana and will create Web-based packets of resources for teachers that correspond to four of the state’s high school history standards; and the New Hampshire Humanities Council in Concord will provide a statewide speakers bureau program and provide grants for community projects on topics in American history and culture.
  • Preservation and Access stabilization grants assist cultural institutions in their efforts to preserve significant humanities collections by supporting improved housing and storage, environmental conditions, security, lighting, and fire protection. For example, the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe will relocate and rehouse its historical collections that document four centuries of regional history from Spanish Colonial times to the present; the University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History will reorganize and rehouse archaeological collections from Pineland, the largest site of the now extinct Calusa Indians; and the Spertus College of Judaica in Chicago will rehouse and relocate material culture, library, and archival collections related to the history and culture of Jewish communities throughout the world.
  • Public programs awards promote lifelong learning in the humanities for broad public audiences and support projects that go beyond the presentation of factual information to encourage thought and conversation about humanities ideas and questions. This new round of awards includes 23 awards of $1,000 each to libraries throughout the nation to support a traveling exhibition, Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country. Additional awards will support the planning, scripting, and production of documentary films on humanities topics for television. For example, NEH awarded television production grants to the Educational Broadcasting Corporation in New York for production of a two-part documentary film series about art and culture in Paris between 1905 and 1930, the Western New York Public Broadcasting Association in Buffalo for a two-hour television documentary on the War of 1812, and Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., for a 90-minute television documentary on the life and career of Dolley Madison.
  • Research awards include NEH grants and offers for collaborative research projects and scholarly editions. Collaborative research encompasses a variety of activities, including research conferences, translation of humanities documents and textual materials into English, and field archaeology. New awards include ones to Timothy Wengert of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, who will prepare an English edition of the correspondence of Heinrich Muhlenberg, the patriarch of American Lutheranism, and John Walsh of Indiana University in Bloomington, who will develop new digital tools for searching and manipulating Isaac Newton’s 2,000 pages of writings on alchemy. NEH will support scholarly editions projects by Paul Israel of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., on the Papers of Thomas Alva Edison, Diana Buchwald of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena on the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, and John C. Stagg of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville for the Papers of James Madison.

Programs, total number of projects, and total dollar amounts for grants and offers of matching funds included in this announcement are as follows:

Challenge Grants (7) $3,975,000 in matching offers

  • Challenge Grants (7) $3,975,000 in matching offers that must be matched by non-federal funds to be raised by the grant recipients on either a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 basis.

Education Programs (2) $141,256

  • Digital Humanities Workshops for School Teachers (2) $141,256.

Federal/State Partnership (20) $2,313,140 (plus $200,000 in matching offers)

  • We the People Project Grants for State Humanities Councils (20) $2,313,140
    (plus $200,000 in matching offers).

Preservation and Access (16) $5,183,904 (plus $212,735 in matching offers)

  • National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) (8) $2,577,596
  • Stabilization Grants (8) $2,606,308 (plus $212,735 in matching offers).

Public Programs (30) $3,238,500

  • Small Grants to Libraries (23) $23,000.
  • Television Projects: Planning Grants (1) $30,000.
  • Television Projects: Scripting Grants (2) $140,000.
  • Television Projects: Production Grants (4) $3,045,500.

Research Programs (43) $4,749,000 (plus $1,458,500 in matching offers)

  • Collaborative Research (23) $2,352,000 (plus $170,000 in matching offers).
  • Scholarly Editions (20) $2,397,000 (plus ($1,288,500 in matching offers).

NEH grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Throughout the year, humanities experts outside of the Endowment and members of the National Council on the Humanities consider all applications and advise NEH on the quality and significance of each proposed project.


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:

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