Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

Division of Preservation and Access

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount

Planning: $50,000
Implementation Level I: $100,000
Implementation Level II: $350,000

Open to


Expected output

Improved conditions for collection storage and display;
Improved systems and resilience for collections;
In-depth preservation studies and plans

Period of performance

Up to two years for Planning and Implementation Level I; up to three years for Implementation Level II

Application available (anticipated)

Next deadline (anticipated)

Expected notification date

Project start date

Cultural institutions, including libraries, archives, museums, and historical organizations, face an enormous challenge: to preserve humanities collections that facilitate research, strengthen teaching, and provide opportunities for lifelong learning.  To ensure the preservation of books and manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings and moving images, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, art, and historical objects, cultural institutions must implement measures that slow deterioration and prevent catastrophic loss from emergencies resulting from natural or human activity.  They can accomplish this work most effectively through preventive conservation.  Preventive conservation encompasses managing relative humidity, temperature, light, and pollutants in collection spaces; providing protective storage enclosures and systems for collections; and safeguarding collections from theft, fire, floods, and other disasters. 

For the January 2023 deadline, there are two levels of funding available at the Implementation phase. Level I (up to $100,000) is intended to address discrete preservation challenges that are identified through general preservation assessments at small to mid-sized institutions. Level I awards support organizations that have already undertaken a general preservation assessment or other targeted collections assessment, identified preservation challenges and priorities, and are ready to implement small-scale improvements to environmental conditions and other sustainable conservation measures. Level II (up to $350,000) provides funding for institutions of any size that have completed interdisciplinary planning and are prepared to implement more extensive preventive conservation projects. 

For more information on the funding levels and supported activities, please see the link to the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

For more information about the Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections program and the 2023 Notice of Funding Opportunity, you may refer to the pre-recorded webinar below. Captions are provided.

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Complete your application package

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

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Program Statistics

In the last five competitions this program received an average of
per year
This program has a
Funding Ratio
NEH made an average of
per year

Examples of Projects Funded by this Grant Program