Four projects receive NEH grants

(December 13, 2018)

Four local projects are getting funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

According to a release, NEH is giving a total of $14.8 million to 253 project across the country to support digital projects for the public, the preservation of collections at small institutions and humanities initiatives on college campuses.

Another $47.5 million was awarded to fund 55 state humanities council partners.

"From cutting-edge digital projects to the painstaking practice of traditional scholarly research, these new NEH grants represent the humanities at its most vital and creative," said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. "These projects will shed light on age-old questions, safeguard our cultural heritage, and expand educational opportunities in classrooms nationwide."

Projects getting funding through these grants include developing computer-based techniques to read the lost scrolls of the library at Herculaneum that were carbonized during the 79 CE eruption of Mount Vesuvius, designing a virtual-reality game to let users explore ancient Pueblo sites at Mesa Verde, and a multimedia recreation of a 1960 Martin Luther King, Jr. speech.

Locally, three projects at the University of Virginia and one at Montpelier are getting funding.

One of the UVA projects explores the Greensboro Massacre on 1979 in Greensboro, North Carolina involving the deaths of five labor and racial justice organizers and the subsequent trials of the Ku Klux Klansmen and Neo-Nazi who shot them.

Another is working on a study of how U.S. technology companies and the Chinese government are changing global relationships between individuals, governments and markets, specifically controlling data.

The third UVA project is preparing a digital publication of Bernard Narokobi's "History of Wautogik Village" Manuscript.

The Montpelier Foundation is working on an online collections platform to aggregate four collections held by James Madison's Montpelier.

There will be a three-day workshop of digital cultural heritage professions, scholars in American history and culture, and descendants of Montpelier's enslaved families as part of this.

The release says these grant awards will also help document, preserve, and ensure access to materials of importance to the nations cultural heritage, from fragile artifacts and manuscripts to recordings on technologically obsolete media like phonographs.

Fellowships and Awards for Faculty support research by humanities scholars on various topics, including a social history of Edo, now Tokyo, based on handwritten letters from a woman who migrated there in 1839.