Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Division of Preservation and Access

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount

Implementation projects: $350,000
Foundations projects: $50,000 (NEH offers an additional $10,000 to support interinstitutional planning and pilot activities).

Open to


Expected output

Digitized Collection;
Web Resources;

Period of performance

Implementation projects: three years Foundations projects: two years

Application available

Application due

Project start date

ALERT from The first time you log in to after June 29, 2018, you’ll be asked to create a user account (if you don’t already have one). Going forward, you will use your username and password every time you log in to Your current username and password will no longer work.  If you are renewing or registering a new entity in, you must mail an original, signed notarized letter stating that you are the authorized Entity Administrator for the entity associated with the DUNS number. Read the FAQs to learn more about these process changes. Currently recommends that registrations and renewals submit their notarized letters at least 45 days in advance of expiration dates or anticipated needs. Please note that you will be unable to access Workspace or fillable application forms until your registration is active.

The Humanities Collections and Reference Resources (HCRR) program supports projects that provide an essential underpinning for scholarship, education, and public programming in the humanities. Thousands of libraries, archives, museums, and historical organizations across the country maintain important collections of books and manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings and moving images, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, art and material culture, and digital objects. Funding from this program strengthens efforts to extend the life of such materials and make their intellectual content widely accessible, often through the use of digital technology. Awards are also made to create various reference resources that facilitate 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.

HCRR offers two kinds of awards: 1) for implementation and 2) for planning, assessment, and pilot efforts (HCRR Foundations awards).

Review your application package

As soon as you know you're ready to apply for this grant, make sure you register for a SAM number/DUNS number, and for a account as this is vital to the grants process. If you already have registered for these items, make sure they are up to date.

Begin by reading the full grant guidelines and studying the application. The files are linked below. You want to ensure you understand all the expectations and restrictions for projects delivered under this grant and are prepared to write the most effective application. 

Download Application Materials

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Guidelines (PDF)

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Guidelines (DOC) application package

Budget Resources

Budget Instructions, September 2018 (PDF)

Sample Budget, September 2018 (PDF)

Budget Form, September 2018 (MS Excel)

Program Resources

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Frequently Asked Questions, 2018 (PDF)

List of recently funded grants in this program

DUNS Number Requirement

Sample Application Narratives

Foundations Project: Barnum Museum, Planning to Digitize the Collections

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

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

Implementation Project: Adler Planetarium, Celestial Cartography Digitization 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: Harvard University, Creating a Consolidated Archaeological Reference Database for the Giza Project

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: Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Digital Archive for Archaeological Research at The Hermitage

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

Complete your application package

Be sure to follow the instructions outlined in the guidelines and in the instructions. 

Submit your application package on

You will receive a confirmation from when you've successfully submitted your application. 

Verify you have received email messages from

After you submit your application, will send you up to five e-mail messages confirming receipt of your application. These messages represent different stages in the application acceptance process. You should verify that you have received all confirmation messages. Please 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
per year
This grant has a
Funding Ratio
NEH made an average of
per year

Examples of Projects Funded by this Grant Program