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

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.

The HCRR program includes two funding categories: Implementation and Foundations.

Review your application package

To apply for this grant, you will be need to be registered for a D-U-N-S® number, with the System for Awards Management (SAM), and with If you have registered with these systems previously, confirm that your registrations are current and up to date. If you fail to allow ample time to complete registration with SAM or, you will not be eligible for a deadline extension or waiver of the online electronic submission requirement.

Begin by reading the Notice of Funding Opportunity below to ensure you understand 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 Notice of Funding Opportunity (PDF) application package

Budget Resources

Sample Budget, September 2019 (PDF)

Budget Form, September 2019 (XLS)

Program Resources

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Frequently Asked Questions, 2019 (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 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. 

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