Grants Awarded for 33 Humanities Projects at Museums, Historical Organizations, and Libraries

WASHINGTON, (May 10, 2005)

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that 33 projects at U.S. museums, historical organizations, and libraries will receive a total of $773,000 for consultation and planning grants to support the development of public humanities programming.

"Museums, historical organizations, and libraries bring the humanities to life for many Americans," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole in announcing the awards. "Through the collaboration of scholars, curators, and exhibit designers, audiences will deepen their understanding of history and culture through excellent public programming in the humanities."

A complete list of the planning and consultation grants is available as PDF in the above box.

With consultation grants of up to $10,000 each, 18 institutions will work with scholars at the very earliest stages of a project on exhibitions, reinstallations or reinterpretations of permanent collections or historic sites, institutional interpretive planning, or other kinds of public humanities projects. For nine of the 18 institutions, the new consultation grant is their first NEH grant for public programming.

New NEH consultation grants will support projects such as these:

  • The L.C. Bates Museum (Hinckley, Maine) will consult with scholars to plan public programs about a historic orphanage in the larger contexts of institutional child care since the late 19th century;
  • North Carolina's Greensboro Historical Museum will define themes and preliminary design issues for a new permanent core exhibition about Greensboro to open during the city's bicentennial celebration in 2008;
  • Friends of the Missouri State Archives (Jefferson City) will consult for a traveling exhibition and public programs exploring the unique nature of the Civil War in Missouri;
  • Save Ellis Island (Gladstone, N.J.) will work to develop the first permanent exhibition interpreting the hospital complex on Ellis Island; and
  • The Indiana State Library in Indianapolis will consult on establishing a traveling exhibition and statewide education programs examining World War I and its impact on the people of Indiana.

Planning grants offer museums, historical organizations, libraries, and other humanities-based institutions up to $40,000 each to support projects that require further preparations before being ready for full implementation. In most cases, a team of humanities scholars and programming advisers, representing a variety of perspectives, will work with an institution's staff to develop and refine key humanities themes of planned public programs, with examples such as these:

  • The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin will plan for a traveling exhibition and public programs exploring immigration and slave migration through Galveston, Texas, from 1845 to 1914;
  • Ohio's Cincinnati Museum Center will continue development of two traveling exhibitions on the life and work of James Presley Ball, a 19th-century African American photographer, entrepreneur, and abolitionist; and
  • The OASIS Institute (St. Louis, Mo.) will plan a national program of informal courses for older adults and a related website to examine the role of immigration in the history and culture of the United States.

NEH grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Throughout the year, humanities experts outside of the Endowment and members of the National Council on the Humanities consider all applications and advise NEH on the quality and significance of each proposed project. Additional information about the Endowment and its grant programs is available on the Internet at

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