Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections
Division of Preservation and Access
THE DEADLINE FOR THIS CYCLE HAS PASSED.
Updated guidelines will be posted in advance of the next deadline. In the meantime, please use these guidelines to get a sense of what is involved in assembling an application.
Maximum award amount
Implementation Level I: $100,000
Implementation Level II: $350,000
Period of performance
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.
Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity to ensure you understand the expectations and restrictions for projects delivered under this program and are prepared to write the most effective application.
Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections Notice of Funding Opportunity 2023 (PDF)
Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections Grants.gov application package
List of Recently Funded Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections projects
Sample Application Narratives
Autry Museum of the American West, Planning a Sustainable Preservation Environment
Buffalo Bill Memorial Association, Preserving Collections at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West
The Fort Ticonderoga Association, The Future is Calling: Developing a Master Preservation and Storage Needs Plan for Ticonderoga’s Collections
University of Arizona, Planning for the Sustainable Preservation of At-Risk Film in the Center for Creative Photography Archives
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Inc., Creating a Suitable and Energy-Efficient Lighting Environment for the Preventive Conservation of the Permanent Collection
Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Sustainable HVAC Stabilization Phase 1
Shelburne Museum, Inc., Shelburne Museum Stagecoach Inn Renovation Project
The University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc., Improving energy efficiency in collection storage in Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas
Confirm that your SAM registration is current and verify your access to Grants.gov. If you have not already done so, you be required to create a Login.gov user account to register and log in to SAM and Grants.gov. Login.gov is a secure sign in service used by the public to sign in to participating government agencies. Create and link your account now.
Follow the instructions outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity and in the Grants.gov instructions.
You will receive a confirmation from Grants.gov when you’ve successfully submitted your application. Subsequently, you will receive up to five more notices confirming different stages in the application process. Verify that you have received all confirmations. Note that email filters may send these messages to your spam or junk folder.