Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions

Division of Preservation and Access

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount


Open to


Expected output

Preservation Assessment Reports;
Preservation and Collections Care Workshops;
Preservation Supplies/Equipment

Period of performance

Eighteen months

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.

Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. These may include special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine art objects, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, historical objects, and digital materials.

Applicants must draw on the knowledge of consultants whose preservation skills and experience are related to the types of collections and the nature of the activities on which their projects focus. Within the conservation field, for example, conservators usually specialize in the care of specific types of collections, such as objects, paper, or paintings. Applicants should therefore choose a conservator whose specialty is appropriate for the nature of their collections. Similarly, when assessing the preservation needs of library, museum, or archival holdings, applicants should seek a consultant specifically knowledgeable about the preservation of collections in these types of institutions.

What's New for 2018

The program is mindful of the importance of preserving cultural heritage in regions affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and mudslides in California. Recognizing the long-term nature of recovery efforts, the program is making available special assistance (of up to $10,000) to cultural institutions in federally designated disaster areas. In addition to the regular activities supported by Preservation Assistance Grants, applicants in these areas are encouraged to seek additional support for disaster planning, response, recovery, and mitigation; preservation assessments; conservation treatments; the temporary relocation and storage of collections; the purchase of supplies; education and training related to disaster planning and response, and the reformatting of collections as a preservation methodology.

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

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions Program Guidelines (PDF)

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions Program Guidelines (DOC)

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions application package

Budget Resources

Preservation Assistance Grants Sample Budget (PDF)

Program Resources

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions Frequently Asked Questions, 2018 (PDF)

Preservation Assistance Grants, list of recently funded projects

DUNS Number Requirement

Sample Application Narratives

Antiochian Village, assessment of museum and library collections

Chester County Historical Society, digital preservation plan

Chicago Film Archives, purchase of film preservation furniture and supplies

City of Ontario, library local history room preservation assessment

Mills College Art Museum, workshop on sustaining digital collections

National Japanese American Historical Society, general preservation assessment for collections

Shady Side Rural Heritage Society, improving environmental conditions for historical collections

Sunflower County Library, Mississippi Delta collaborative emergency preparedness project

Museum of Printing History, improving the storage environment of collections

    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