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Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions

Division of Preservation and Access

Receipt Deadline May 1, 2018 for Projects Beginning January 2019

Brief Summary

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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.

Program Statistics

In the last five competitions the Preservation Assistance Grants program received an average of 202 applications per year. The program made an average of 76 awards per year, for a funding ratio of 38 percent.

The number of applications to an NEH grant program can vary widely from year to year, as can the funding ratio. Information about the average number of applications and awards in recent competitions is meant only to provide historical context for the current competition. Information on the number of applications and awards in individual competitions is available from preservation[at]neh[dot]gov.

Questions?

Program questions should be directed to NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access at 202-606-8570 or preservation[at]neh[dot]gov. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact NEH via Federal Relay (TTY users) at 800-877-8399.

Guidelines Resources