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Common Heritage 2017 Guidelines and Applicant Webinar

April 12, 2017 | By NEH Staff

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announces the next competition for the “Common Heritage” program. Awards in this program will bring to light historical records and artifacts currently hidden in family attics and basements across the country and make them digitally available to the wider public and for the public good.

NEH invites historical societies, libraries, archives, museums, colleges and other local institutions to apply for the Common Heritage grant program. Grants will support day-long events, organized by community cultural institutions, in which members of the public will be invited to share materials important to their family or community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, family letters, and works of art.

These items will be digitized, along with descriptive information and context provided by the community attendees. With the owner’s permission, digitized materials will be made publicly available through the institution’s online collections. Contributors will receive a free digital copy of their items to take home, along with the original materials.

Grants will also be used for outreach activities – including lectures, exhibits, discussion programs, and film screenings – that celebrate and expand knowledge of the community’s past and its members.

Application guidelines and other resources for interested applicants to the Common Heritage program are available at The application deadline for this year’s Common Heritage applications is June 1, 2017. Awards will be announced late in the year and funded projects may begin as early as January 2018.

The Common Heritage program is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ agency-wide initiative The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, which seeks to demonstrate and enhance the role and significance of the humanities and humanities scholarship in public life.

NEH’s Common Heritage program will award grants of up to $12,000 to community cultural organizations to coordinate community events and ensure that a wide range of historical materials can be digitized and contextualized through public programming. 

NEH program staff from the Divisions of Preservation & Access will conduct webinars for interested applicants on Friday, April 21 at 2 PM (EST).

NEH Common Heritage grants webinar information:
April 21, 2-3:00 PM (EST)