Between 2006 and 2010, institutions and individuals in the District of Columbia received $19.6 million from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C., for projects that explore the human endeavor and preserve our cultural heritage. Below are some examples.
- George Washington University received a total of nearly $710,000 through three grants to support the preparation and publication of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, a project to produce a comprehensive five-volume edition of her written and spoken works. Electronic imprints as well as hard copies are planned for all volumes and a website for the papers receives over 3 million hits each year.
- Archaeological and historical research of the Great Dismal Swamp on the border of Virginia and North Carolina—sometime home to a community of runaway slaves and the site of a failed real estate investment of George Washington’s--is made possible with the assistance of a $200,000 research grant to American University.
- The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, received a $315,000 grant for a three-year project to create an online catalog of 18,000 volumes of the works of William Shakespeare. The project will also help de-acidify and create custom storage for thousands of these fragile items.
- A start-up grant of just under $50,000 was awarded to the Map of Jazz Musicians project, based at American University. The project is developing an interactive and freely accessible online tool that explores collaborations and connections between American jazz musicians.
- The Peabody Collection at the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, a special collection of documents, records, and photos of Georgetown’s history, was nearly destroyed in a 2007 fire. A $30,000 emergency conservation grant was made available to the DC Public Library system for the recovery and restoration of the materials as well as to create a disaster preparedness plan for all DC Public Library buildings.
- The DC Community Heritage Project, a collaboration between the Humanities Council of Washington, DC and the DC Historic Preservation Office, began in 2005 as an effort to explore the social and cultural history of DC neighborhoods from the perspective of long-time residents and now consists of not only neighborhood studies, but also includes an annual symposium, grant initiatives, and a library of multimedia resources.
- The First Federal Congress Project at the George Washington University has received two grants totaling just over $330,000 for the work on volumes eighteen through twenty-two of the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress, 1789-1791. The first seventeen volumes are being prepared for online publication.
- The National Building Museum received a grant of $380,000 to support the planning and production of Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s, an exhibition showing how six Depression-era world’s fairs across the United States popularized modern design and forecast a world of streamlined trains, television, and talking robots. The exhibition features nearly two hundred artifacts, archival footage, interactive stations, and a printed family guide.