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Between 2008 and 2012, institutions and individuals in California received $47 million from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Cal Humanities for projects that explore the human endeavor and preserve our cultural heritage.

Below are some examples.

  • The Mark Twain Papers Project at the University of California, Berkeley, gave birth to one of the great surprise best-sellers of recent times, but work on this 26-volume edition had been under way for decades, supported by many grants, the last a $500,000 grant to work on Twain‘s letters and notebooks.
  • The Martin Luther King Jr. Papers project has received grants in this period for editing and publication, totaling $609,000. The relevant volumes range from the Freedom Rides (volume seven:1961–62) to the March on Washington (volume eight:1963) and the passage of the Civil Rights Act (volume nine:1964).
  • Over three summers, fifty K–12 teachers have attended summer institutes on the life and writings of John Steinbeck with funding from three separate grants totaling $485,700.
  • The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, accepted the San Francisco Examiner’s photographic archive from 1919 to 1998, including 3.6 million negatives and over one million prints that doubled the library’s holdings. To help preserve, arrange, and describe 180,000 images, the university has received grants totaling $419,000.
  • Over four summers, sixty-two high-school teachers attended seminars on the Political Theory of Hannah Arendt at San Diego State University to study her writings on evil, terror, and the origins of totalitarianism. The project was supported by four grants totaling $577,000.
  • Legal historian Stuart Banner at UCLA received a $50,400 research grant to support a study of the history of property in the United States from 1770 to the digital age, in which property rights have been extended to genetic material and digital music files.
  • The University of California Press, one of the largest and most respected scholarly presses in the country, releases 180 new books and fifty journals annually. It raised $1.6 million to match a $400,000 challenge grant to endow its future publications in history (including that of the western United States), literature, and film studies.
  • Hollywood Chinese, an award-winning documentary about Chinese contributors to American filmmaking and the image of the Chinese people in American film, was supported by a grant from Cal Humanities.
  • We Are California, a program of Cal Humanities, is a website for reading about state and pre-state history stretching back to the 1500s. Visitors are invited to contribute their own stories of immigration and settlement.
  • Cal Humanities recently gave a $20,000 production grant to Catticus Corporation for a documentary on the rise and fall of the Communist Party USA, with a special emphasis on West Coast aspects such as Upton Sinclair’s gubernatorial campaign.