NEH Announces $12.8 Million for 253 Humanities Projects Nationwide

Grant awards support preservation of collections at small institutions, innovative digital projects for the public, and advanced humanities research

New grants
Photo caption

Credit: NEH

WASHINGTON, (December 12, 2017)

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced the awarding of $12.8 million to support 253 humanities projects across the nation. NEH grants will supplement private and public funding to underwrite a virtual exhibition of more than 90 pieces of New Deal art from the town of Gallup, New Mexico, the conservation of fragile books from the personal library of author C. S. Lewis, archival research for a book on the Nazi plunder of musical instruments and manuscripts during World War II, and hundreds of other vital projects.

“The humanities offer us a path toward understanding ourselves, our neighbors, our nation,” said NEH Acting Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “These new NEH grants exemplify the agency’s commitment to serving American communities through investing in education initiatives, safeguarding cultural treasures, and illuminating the history and values that define our shared heritage.”

NEH grants will expand the range of humanities-based resources and educational opportunities in underserved communities and institutions. Funded projects include the documentation of Blackfeet language and storytelling traditions for use in liberal arts courses at Blackfeet Community College in Montana, as well as the extension of an award-winning national family literacy program, Prime Time Family Reading, into Kentucky public schools.

NEH continues to support the use of cutting-edge tools and technologies in humanities research and innovative digital projects for public audiences. Grants announced today will enable production of an educational digital game for middle and high school students that explores the history of the ratification of the United States Constitution, and will fund the creation of an interactive mobile app that incorporates archival footage, maps, music, and interviews with historians to examine the impact of Reconstruction in South Carolina. Other grants will provide for the development of a video-based web platform allowing scholars to publish papers in sign language, and a new tool that uses digital analysis of architectural floor plans to show how Frank Lloyd Wright’s structures changed over time.

Local community digitization projects will preserve historic materials held by the congregations of African-American churches in Georgia and German-American heritage items from residents of 17 rural counties in Missouri. NEH On the Road grants will bring NEH-funded art exhibitions to small institutions in North Dakota, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

NEH funding also helps preserve important objects and collections representing America’s cultural heritage. A grant to researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois will enable development of conservation tools to monitor and prevent deterioration of oil paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe. The 76 NEH Preservation Assistance Grants awarded today will help the Knoxville Jewish Alliance protect archives documenting the history of Jewish culture in the South and will preserve the nation’s maritime past at the State University of New York, Maritime College.

Four million dollars in NEH fellowships and awards for faculty will support advanced research on topics such as the role of medieval hospitals as centers of religion, literature, and civic affairs; the activities of the U.S. Army during peacetime; and an effort to trace ancient economic networks by mapping the circulation of coins minted under Alexander the Great.

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

Grants were awarded in the following categories:

Awards for Faculty

Support advanced research in the humanities by teachers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

13 grants, totaling $588,000 

Common Heritage Grants

Preserve and make accessible materials important to family and community histories by supporting digitization events and public programming at local cultural organizations.

23 grants, totaling $268,011

Digital Humanities Advancement Grants

Support the implementation of innovative digital humanities projects that have successfully completed a start-up phase and demonstrated their value to the field.

13 grants, totaling $1.6 million

Digital Projects for the Public Grants  

Support projects such as websites, mobile applications, games, and virtual environments that significantly contribute to the public’s engagement with humanities ideas.

8 grants, totaling $1 million


Support college and university teachers and independent scholars pursuing advanced research.

74 grants, totaling $3.5 million

Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan

A joint activity of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission (JUSFC) and NEH. Awards support research on modern Japanese society and political economy, Japan’s international relations, and U.S.–Japan relations.

3 grants, totaling $126,000

Humanities Access Grants

Support outstanding cultural programs for young people, communities of color, and economically disadvantaged populations. Humanities Access Grants require a dollar-for-dollar match with nonfederal funds.

17 grants, totaling $1.3 million

Humanities Initiatives Grants

Support and enrich humanities education and scholarship at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

11 grants, totaling $1 million

NEH On the Road

Bring NEH-funded traveling exhibitions to small and mid-sized museums across the country

3 grants, totaling $3,000

Preservation and Access Research and Development Grants  

Support projects that address major challenges in preserving or providing access to humanities collections and resources.

5 grants, totaling $1.2 million

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions

Help institutions—particularly small and mid-sized institutions—improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections, including special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine arts, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, and historical objects.

76 grants, totaling $441,054

Preservation Education and Training Grants

Help the staff of cultural institutions obtain the knowledge and skills needed to serve as effective stewards of humanities collections. Grants also support educational programs that prepare the next generation of conservators and preservation professionals, as well as projects that introduce the staff of cultural institutions to recent improvements in preservation and access practices.

7 grants, totaling $1.6 million


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