WASHINGTON (September 28, 2006)–Dr. Bruce Cole, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Dr. Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, announced today that they will dedicate $1.5 million to Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership. Through this new partnership, NEH and IMLS are joining together to help teachers, scholars, museums and libraries take advantage of developing technology. These new digital tools will aid in the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge about our past and our culture. The announcement was made at the ninth meeting of the National Museum and Library Services Board.
The IMLS and NEH partnership creates a new funding opportunity-Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership. These grants will bring together museum, library, archives, and IT professionals with humanities scholars to spur innovative projects. In addition, NEH and IMLS will work together to encourage libraries, museums and cultural institutions to take part in NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants.
Dr. Cole said, "Our partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services will combine our agencies' talents to find new ways for digital technology to advance humanities scholarship and education. The ultimate goal is to make more resources more broadly available to more people."
Dr. Radice noted that, "We are eager to get this partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities underway. Libraries and museums connect people to information and ideas. These grants will be a catalyst for innovation and new collaborations."
They noted that digital technology developments to support science research are outpacing the development of such advances for the humanities. Collaborative work of the two federal agencies can help turn that around. Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership will encourage digital scholarship, develop and maintain open standards and robust tools, and create extensive and reusable digital collections.
NEH and IMLS staff will jointly develop and distribute the grant guidelines for the new Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership. The release of the guidelines is scheduled for early 2007. Applicants will use www.Grants.gov  to apply electronically to the grant program.
NEH's Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants are intended to encourage scholars with new ideas that incorporate new ways of using technology in the humanities. The Start-Up Grants with applications deadlines in 2006 and 2007 will support the planning or initial stages of digital humanities in research, publication, preservation, access, teacher training, and dissemination in informal or formal educational settings.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute helps create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. It works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organization to enhance learning and innovation; sustain heritage, culture and knowledge; and support professional development.