National Endowment for the Humanities announces $22.8 million in awards and offers for 232 humanities projects

Delegate Eleanor Roosevelt at a meeting of the United Nations, 1947
Photo caption

Eleanor Roosevelt at a meeting of the United Nations, 1947. A newly announced NEH grant will help digitize and make available Eleanor Roosevelt's legacy of audio-visual recordings including her many radio and television broadcasts.

Courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library

WASHINGTON, (March 23, 2015)

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today $22.8 million in grants for 232 humanities projects, the second round of NEH grant awards this fiscal year.

Grant awards announced today will support a variety of projects, including the development of new digital tools for study of the humanities, stipends and fellowships that support scholarly research, and the preservation of and access to historic collections. Grants will also support the production and development of films, the creation of new undergraduate courses in the humanities, traveling exhibitions, and the study and preservation of languages at risk of extinction.

“In the 50 years since NEH’s founding, the Endowment has supported excellence in the humanities by funding far-reaching research, preservation projects and public programs,” said NEH Chairman William Adams. “The grants announced today continue that tradition, making valuable humanities collections, exhibitions, documentaries, and educational resources available to communities across the country.”    

Several grants awarded during this cycle were funded under NEH’s Standing Together initiative, a special encouragement across the Endowment’s grant programs for projects that explore war and its aftermath, promote discussion of the experience of military service, and support returning veterans and their families. Standing Together grants form part of NEH’s larger agency-wide initiative:  Common Good: Humanities in the Public Square, which seeks to demonstrate the critical role humanities scholarship plays in our public life. Read more about NEH’s Common Good initiative. Newly awarded Standing Together grants include:

  • a $1,000,000 grant to support a 10-part documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on the Vietnam War;
  • a $6,000 summer stipend to support scholarly research for a book on the historical context of debates about the mental health issues faced by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars;
  • $300,000 to support an exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts on World War I and American Art;
  • $350,000 to support a public discussion program led by Aquila Theatre Company featuring staged readings of Greek drama by military veterans;
  • and a $39,850 grant to support a pilot project to digitize and make available online a collection of letters written by military servicemen and women from the Revolutionary War to current conflicts at Chapman University’s Center for American War Letters.

NEH grants announced today will also support a reading and discussion program for at-risk teens in 200 communities, the creation of a crowd-sourced database of runaway slave advertisements drawn from pre-1865 U.S. newspapers, and the digitization of a collection of over 2,700 early twentieth-century wax cylinder recordings of Native American speech and song. Additional grant funding will enable scholars to conduct research on the first documented student loan program —in 13th century Oxford—and support the digitization Eleanor Roosevelt’s radio and television broadcast recordings.

Institutions and independent scholars in 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will receive NEH support. Complete state-by-state listings of grants are available here (41-page PDF).

Grants were awarded in the following categories:

  • Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations: Planning and Implementation Grants support exhibitions, reading and discussion programs, and other interpretive humanities projects for broad public audiences.
  • Media Projects: Development Grants enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare programs for production. 
  • Media Projects: Production Grants support the preparation of a media program for distribution.
  • Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges Grants advance the role of the humanities at community colleges through curriculum and faculty development projects focused on the theme of Bridging Cultures.
  • Documenting Endangered Languages Fellowships and Preservation Grants, a joint initiative between NEH and the National Science Foundation (NSF), 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. 
  • Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants encourage innovations in the digital humanities by supporting the planning stages of projects.
  • Enduring Questions Grants allow faculty members to develop a new undergraduate course that grapples with a fundamental question addressed by the humanities.
  • Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions provide scholars with research time and access to resources that might not be available at their home institutions.
  • 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.
  • NEH On the Road Grants help small organizations defray the cost of hosting an NEH traveling exhibition.
  • Summer Stipends support full-time work by a scholar on a humanities project for a period of two months.
Media Contacts:
Paula Wasley: (202) 606-8424 |