NEH Announces $35.63 Million for 258 Humanities Projects Nationwide

NEH grants April 2023 graphic
Photo caption

New NEH grants will support preservation of the Willis E. Bell photographic archive, online access to San Diego Air and Space Museum’s collections documenting aerospace projects, a documentary film on fictional detective Nancy Drew, a traveling exhibition on Himalayan art from the Rubin Museum, and the digitization of fashion illustrations by designer Pauline Trigère.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

(April 18, 2023)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $35.63 million in grants for 258 humanities projects across the country. Grants awarded today will underwrite a documentary on the life and legacy of African American intellectual W.E.B. DuBois; enable the digitization of the personal papers of former members of Congress for the American Congress Digital Archives Portal; and support restoration of the sick bay, post office, barber shop, and torpedo-handling spaces aboard the historic aircraft carrier the USS Intrepid to allow these areas to be reopened for public access.

“These 258 newly funded projects demonstrate the vitality of the humanities across our nation,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “NEH is proud to support exemplary education, preservation, media, research, and infrastructure projects that expand resources for Americans, support humanities programs and opportunities for underserved students and communities, and deepen our understanding of our history, culture, and society.”

This funding cycle includes the first round of awards made under NEH’s new Spotlight on Humanities in Higher Education grant program. Developed as part of the agency’s American Tapestry: Weaving Together Past, Present, and Future initiative, Spotlight on Humanities in Higher Education supports humanities teaching and research projects that benefit underserved populations at small- to mid-sized colleges and universities. Thirty new Spotlight grants will fund an array of curriculum and program development projects, teaching resources, and community engagement efforts, including the conversion of humanities courses at Stanly Community College that currently rely on textbooks into open educational resources to reduce the financial burden on students; the creation of a humanities-focused bridge program at La Salle University to support Spanish-speaking students in enhancing English proficiency and college readiness; a series of community workshops on literature about the African American experience that would foster greater interaction between Southern University, an HBCU, and the surrounding historically Black communities in Shreveport; and a workshop and lecture series led by the Modern Language Association to assist faculty in designing language and literature courses that align with students’ career goals.  

Newly awarded Humanities Connections grants will support large curricular innovation projects at 19 higher education institutions. These include an initiative to integrate humanistic methods and modes of inquiry into engineering courses at Purdue University, the creation of a minor in art conservation at Saint Mary’s College in California, and the development of a new minor in medical and health humanities at Baldwin Wallace University. Additional funding for education programs, awarded through the NEH Dialogues on the Experience of War grant program, will support the Providence Clemente Veterans Initiative in developing discussion programs for military veterans in Rhode Island that use history, literature, film, and philosophy to examine the experience of homecoming after war and military service.

Several grants awarded today will help preserve and expand access to important historical and cultural collections, including a project to digitize and create a database of seventeenth-century court cases relating to escape attempts by enslaved and indentured laborers in the Chesapeake Bay region, and an effort to preserve and put online four decades of photographs, news clippings, and other materials from the Religious News Service documenting the response of religious communities in the U.S. to pivotal historical events. Other funding will support the development of an online archive to preserve the cultural and historical heritage of the Chickaloon Native Village of southcentral Alaska and provide for the expansion of the Perseus Digital Library, the largest online open-access reference collection of Greco-Roman culture and language.

New NEH awards will also fund the creation of media, exhibitions, and public programs that bring the insights of the humanities to wide audiences. These include a grant to support work on a documentary exploring the historical and cultural legacies of Nancy Drew, the iconic fictional girl detective whose books have been in print for nearly 100 years; and underwriting for a nationally syndicated radio program and podcast series focusing on influential women philosophers from antiquity to the twentieth century. Grants for museum exhibitions will support a traveling exhibition on the global impact of the art and culture of Byzantine-era North and East Africa organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art, provide for the reinstallation and reinterpretation of a permanent gallery on Kentucky art at the Speed Art Museum, and make possible a traveling exhibition from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on the role and use of color in Mesoamerican art.

Additional funding for public programs in the humanities will support the planning of a multi-format interpretive tour marking the 50-mile march route of West Virginian coal miners who fought for workers’ and civil rights during the 1921 Mine Wars. Grant awards for public discussion programs will support a partnership among twelve New York museums to host a series of public events throughout the state exploring themes related to community and democracy in America, and help fund “Music Unwound” festivals and public programming across six states that will bring historical and cultural context to performances of major works of twentieth-century classical music.

Twenty-four NEH Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants will leverage federal funds to spur nonfederal support for capital construction and renovation projects and physical and digital capacity-building at cultural institutions. These awards will allow for the renovation and adaptive reuse of Rust Hall, an architecturally significant mid-century modern building in downtown Memphis, as the new home of the National Ornamental Metal Museum; and help fund construction of a new building for the Rollins Museum of Art in Winter Park, Florida. Other grants will unite over 200 separate digital collections and digital humanities projects managed by the University of Chicago’s library and academic departments within a central accessible digital platform, and support restoration of a historic strawberry farm and processing facility that was established by Japanese immigrants on Vashon Island in Washington in 1926 to serve as a center for public humanities programming on Japanese immigration and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

NEH Summer Stipends for scholars will enable archival research for more than 100 publications, including a history of Indigenous veterans and their families after the U.S. Civil War; a study of the impact of affordable paper on Christian devotional practices in medieval Western Europe; a book on the 1970s prisoners’ union movement; and an account of early uses of data analysis in academic literary studies before the advent of electronic computing.

Awards made through NEH’s Archaeological and Ethnographic Field Research grant program will support archaeological investigation of Nashville’s Bass Street neighborhood, which was founded by Black Civil War veterans, and the collection of oral histories from the descendants of the community’s nineteenth- and twentieth-century residents. Another funded project will conduct archaeological excavations at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Jebel Barkal in northern Sudan, one of the most important urban centers in the ancient kingdom of Kush.

Ten NEH Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions grants will fund fellowships for humanities scholars at libraries, museums, and centers for advanced study such as the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, the Science History Institute, the Winterthur Museum, and the Center for Jewish History.

This award cycle also includes six new NEH Dynamic Language Infrastructure–Documenting Endangered Languages grants. Administered in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), these awards fund research, fieldwork, and the preparation of linguistic resources that document languages at risk of extinction. Among these are a fellowship to support work on an online dictionary and grammar to aid in revitalization of the Native American Muskogee language of eastern Oklahoma and an award to create a corpus of texts in Lamkang—a Tibeto-Burman language currently spoken by fewer than 10,000 people—that would document language change related to migration and relocation due to environmental changes.

These peer-reviewed grants were awarded in addition to $65 million in annual operating support provided to the national network of state and jurisdictional humanities councils.

A full list of grants by geographic location is available here.

Grants were awarded in the following categories:


Archaeological and Ethnographic Field Research  

Support institutionally based empirical field research that uses archaeological or ethnographic methods to answer significant questions in the humanities.

5 grants, totaling $747,919

Dialogues on the Experience of War

Support the study and discussion of important humanities sources about war and military service.

3 grants, totaling $297,609

Documenting Endangered Languages–Dynamic Language Fellowships and Senior Research Grants  

Joint initiative between NEH and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support fieldwork and other activities relevant to recording, documenting, and archiving endangered languages, as well as the preparation of transcriptions, databases, grammars, and lexicons of languages that are in danger of being lost.

6 grants, totaling $812,304

Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions

Provide scholars with research time and access to resources beyond what is available at their home institutions.

10 grants, totaling $2.25 million

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grants

Allow institutions to preserve, and provide access to, collections essential to scholarship, education, and public programming in the humanities.

36 grants, totaling $9.42 million

Humanities Connections

Connect non-humanities fields to the humanities curriculum at two- and four-year institutions.

19 grants, totaling $1.46 million

Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants

Leverage federal funding to strengthen and sustain humanities infrastructure and capacity-building activities at cultural institutions.

24 grants, totaling $10.52 million

Media Projects: Development and Production Grants

Support the preparation of media programs, including radio, podcasts, television, and long-form documentary films, for distribution.

11 grants, totaling $4.59 million

Public Humanities Projects: Exhibitions 

Support permanent, temporary single-site, and multi-venue traveling humanities exhibitions.

10 grants, totaling $1.97 million

Public Humanities Projects: Historic Places

Support the interpretation of historical sites, houses, neighborhoods, and regions.

2 grants, totaling $114,991

Public Humanities Projects: Humanities Discussions

Support one- to two-year-long series of community-wide public programs that are centered on one or more significant humanities resources, such as historical artifacts, artworks, literature, musical composition, or films. 

3 grants, totaling $1.3 million

Spotlight on Humanities in Higher Education

Support smaller humanities projects at small- to medium-sized two- and four-year higher education institutions that benefit underserved populations.

30 grants, totaling $1.51 million

Summer Stipends 

Support full-time work by a scholar on a humanities project for a period of two months.

98 grants, totaling $588,000


National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

Media Contacts:
Paula Wasley: |