The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $34 million in grants for 177 humanities projects, including the creation of an online digital archive that would make publicly accessible nearly 5,000 oral histories conducted by Chicago journalist Studs Terkel, and the archeological excavation of the site of a Spanish colonial forced resettlement in Peru to determine how indigenous communities adapted to challenges of life in new settlements under a new political-economic regime.
This funding will support a wide variety of projects including traveling exhibitions, the creation of new digital research tools, the preparation and publication of scholarly editions, professional development opportunities for teachers and college faculty, the preservation of cultural collections, collaborative humanities research, and the production and development of films, television, and radio programs.
Among the grants awarded today are those that will support publication of the papers of Benjamin Franklin documenting his campaign to publicize American democratic ideals following the signing of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, and production of a documentary film on the history and legacy of America’s historically black colleges and universities. NEH grants will allow schoolteachers to study the historical and cultural issues accompanying the development of mining in the far West, and bring together digital humanities scholars for a workshop on the theoretical and ethical issues associated with 3D modeling of cultural heritage sites.
Additional funding will provide for a curatorial center to house the Franklin Institute Science Museum’s material culture collections related to the history of science, technology, design and the arts, enable the digitization of historic American newspapers dating from 1836 to 1922, and allow scholars to refine a digital tool for analyzing millions of books held in the HathiTrust Digital Library for textual and linguistic patterns and historic and literary trends over time.
“The National Endowment for the Humanities is proud to support these exceptional research, educational, and public programs in the humanities,” said NEH Acting Chairman Carole Watson. “The projects made possible by these grants will enrich our knowledge of our history and ourselves, encourage reflection on the traditions and values that have shaped our culture, and help preserve and make accessible our nation’s diverse wealth of humanities materials and resources.”
Institutions and independent scholars in 43 states and the District of Columbia will receive NEH support. Complete state-by-state listings of grants are available here (36-page PDF).
Grants were awarded in the following categories:
- Collaborative Research Grants support original research undertaken by a team of two or more scholars or research coordinated by an individual scholar that adds significantly to humanities knowledge or uses the perspectives of the humanities to enhance understanding of science, technology, medicine, and the social sciences.
- Digital Humanities Implementation Grants support the implementation of innovative digital humanities projects that have successfully completed a start-up phase and demonstrated their value to the field.
- Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities Grants provide scholars and advanced graduate students with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of advanced technology tools and methodologies relevant to the humanities and to increase the number of humanities scholars using digital technology in their research.
- Landmarks of American History and Culture: Workshops for School Teachers support a series of one-week workshops for K-12 educators that address central themes and topics in American history, government, literature, art history, and other humanities fields related to historic landmarks.
- Media Projects: Development and Production Grants support film, television, and radio projects that explore significant events, figures, and ideas within the humanities. Development grants enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare programs for production; production grants support the preparation of a project for presentation to the public.
- Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations Planning and Implementation Grants support museum exhibitions, library-based projects, interpretation of historic places, living history presentations, and book and film discussion programs that deepen public understanding of significant humanities questions.
- National Digital Newspaper Program Grants support the creation of a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1836 and 1922, from all states and U.S. territories.
- NEH On the Road Grants help small sites defray the cost of hosting an NEH traveling exhibition.
- Scholarly Editions and Translations Grants enable the preparation of editions and translations of significant literary, philosophical, and historical texts and documents that are currently inaccessible or available in inadequate editions.
- Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers Grants support intensive two- to six- week projects in which fifteen to twenty-five college and university faculty members, working with scholarly experts, engage in collegial study of significant texts and topics in the humanities.
- Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers Grants support intensive two- to six-week projects in which fifteen to thirty school teachers, working with scholarly experts, engage in collegial study of significant texts and topics in the humanities.
- Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections Grants help cultural institutions meet the complex challenge of preserving large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations by supporting preventative conservation measures to prolong the useful life of collections.