Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Division of Preservation and Access

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount

Planning projects: $50,000
Implementation projects: $350,000

Funding Opportunity for


Expected output

Finding Aids;
Digitized Collection;

Period of performance

Planning projects: two years, Implementation projects: three years

Application available

Optional draft due


Expected notification date

Project start date

Applicants to NEH for awards with expected issuance dates on or after October 1, 2024, should be aware of revisions to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR Part 200) effective from that date. All NEH awards issued on or after October 1, 2024, will be subject to the revised regulations. You may incorporate these changes into your applications now.

Additional information is available at

HCRR advances scholarship, education, and public engagement in the humanities by helping libraries, archives, museums, and historical organizations across the country steward important collections of books and manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings and moving images, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, art and material culture, and digital objects. The program strengthens efforts to make the content of such materials accessible through digitization and description. Awards also support the creation of reference resources that facilitate the use of cultural materials, from works that provide basic information quickly to tools that synthesize and codify knowledge of a subject for in-depth investigation.    

The HCRR program encourages open access, collaboration, and sustainable strategies for managing digital collections and resources. To the extent that the condition of the materials, intellectual property rights, and privacy and cultural considerations allow, you should make the resources you develop publicly available. NEH encourages collaboration between smaller and larger repositories, as well as between humanities experts, information professionals, and community stakeholders to expand participation in cultural heritage and promote engagement with primary sources. You should prioritize methods that allow for sharing and the interoperability of information and resources to ensure their long-term availability.

Review your application package

Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity and study the application package and supplementary materials.

Application Materials and Program Resources

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Notice of Funding Opportunity 2024 (PDF)

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources application package

List of recently funded projects in this program

Sample Application Narratives

Planning Project: Barnum Museum, Planning to Digitize the Collections

Planning Project: Bryn Mawr College, History of Women's Education Open Access Portal Project

Planning Project: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Building a Duchamp Research Portal

Implementation Project: University of Nebraska, Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project

Implementation Project: Barnum Museum, Digitizing the P.T. Barnum Collections

Implementation Project: Bryn Mawr College, Documenting the Student Experience at the Seven Sisters Colleges

Implementation Project: Cal. State University-Dominguez Hills, Digitizing Records of the Internment of Japanese Americans

Implementation Project: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, The American Soldier in World War II

Implementation Project: Museum of the City of New York, Digitizing the Museum's Ephemera Collections

Implementation Project: Rutgers University-Camden, Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Implementation Project: University of Massachusetts, Boston, Digitizing Plimoth Plantation’s 17th-Century Historical Archaeology Collections

Implementation Project: U. of Southern Mississippi, Providing Access to the Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi

Register for a SAM number and an account on

Confirm that your SAM registration is current and verify your access to If you have not already done so, you must create a user account to register and log in to SAM and is a secure sign in service used by the public to sign in to participating government agencies. Create and link your account now. 

Complete your application package

Follow the instructions outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity and in the instructions. 

Submit your application package on

You will receive a confirmation from when you’ve successfully submitted your application. Subsequently, you will receive up to five more notices confirming different stages in the application process. Verify that you have received all confirmations. Note that email filters may send these messages to your spam or junk folder.

Program Statistics

In the last five competitions this program received an average of
194 Applications
per year
This grant has a
18% Funding Ratio
NEH made an average of
35 Awards
per year

Examples of Projects Funded by this Grant Program