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NEH Announces $43.1 Million for 218 Humanities Projects Nationwide

Grant awards support cultural infrastructure, humanities research, exhibitions, documentaries, education programs for teachers, and the preservation of historic collections

image National Endowment for the Humanities grant projects
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National Endowment for the Humanities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 8, 2018) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $43.1 million in awards for 218 humanities projects across the country. The grants include the first awards made under NEH’s new Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grant program, which will support infrastructure projects at 29 U.S. cultural institutions in 20 states and the District of Columbia.   

This round of funding, NEH’s third and last for fiscal year 2018, will support vital research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. These peer-reviewed grants were awarded in addition to $47 million in annual operating support provided to the national network of state and local humanities councils during fiscal year 2018.

“From nationally broadcast documentaries to summer workshops for high school teachers, the projects receiving funding today strengthen and sustain the cultural life of our nation and its citizens,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede.

Infrastructure grants include funding to construct a new arts and culture hub in downtown Juneau, Alaska, and to provide conservation services and training for staff of libraries at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to strengthen stewardship of special collections documenting the African- American experience.

In addition to providing for construction and capacity-building projects at museums, libraries, and colleges, NEH grants support a wide range of public programs that bring humanities ideas, experiences, and resources to communities large and small. Grants include funding for the reinstallation of a permanent gallery of early American art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as support for feature-length documentaries on the life and civil rights legacy of singer Marian Anderson and on the literary career and cultural impact of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Other grants announced today advance scholarship and discovery in the fields of history, literature, linguistics, art history, and comparative religion. Archaeological excavation of an abandoned settlement in Western Anatolia will answer important questions about the transition from Greek to Roman rule in the ancient world. A project to develop software to identify and analyze archival materials in multiple indigenous languages will enable Native American communities such as the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma to revitalize languages close to extinction.   

NEH Public Scholar grants, which support popular nonfiction books in the humanities, will enable publication of: a comprehensive biography of Teddy Roosevelt by Pulitzer Prize-winning author T. J. Stiles; a history of a clandestine Nazi resistance group that attempted to dismantle the Third Reich from within; and a book on a 1939 Picasso exhibition at the MoMA as a turning  point in American culture. Grants for scholarly editions and translations of significant humanities texts include continued NEH-supported work on the papers of Andrew Jackson, a documentary history of the adoption of the Bill of Rights, and a digital edition of the complete correspondence of Willa Cather.

Several projects receiving grant awards will help preserve archival collections of historical and cultural importance. These include history of science collections at the American Institute of Physics’ Niels Bohr Library and Archives, objects and art documenting the life of Emily Dickinson at The Evergreens historic house museum, and records from the Adirondack Historical Association of the region’s Native American history, settlement, and development of local logging, mining, and tourism industries.

Forty-five institutions received grants to support professional development for K-12 and college teachers through summer workshops and institutes on humanities topics such as: the Great Sioux War and the Battle of Little Bighorn; American women’s experience of the Revolutionary War and Civil War; and the history of the transcontinental railroad.

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

Grants were awarded in the following categories:

Collaborative Research

Support interpretive research undertaken by a team of two or more collaborating scholars that adds significantly to knowledge and understanding of the humanities.
 

7 grants, totaling $1.2 million

Digital Humanities Advancement

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


15 grants, totaling $2.3 million

Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants

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

29 grants, totaling $13 million

Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities

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.


3 grants, totaling $643,858

Landmarks of American History and Culture

Support a series of one-week workshops for a national audience of K-12 educators that enhance and strengthen humanities teaching at the K-12 level.


15 grants, totaling $2.5 million

Media Projects: Development and Production

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.


9 grants, totaling $2.2 million

National Digital Newspaper Program

Support the creation of a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1690 and 1963, from all states and U.S. territories.


18 grants, totaling $4.5 million

NEH On the Road

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


14 grants, totaling $14,000

Public Humanities Projects: Community Conversations, Exhibitions, and Historic Places

Support museum exhibitions, community discussion programs, and interpretations of historic places that bring the ideas and insights of the humanities to life for general audiences.


19 grants, totaling $3.5 million

Public Scholar Program

Support well-researched books in the humanities aimed at a broad public audience.


22 grants, totaling $1.3 million

Scholarly Editions and Translations

Support the preparation of editions and translations of texts that are valuable to the humanities but are inaccessible or available only in inadequate editions


21 grants, totaling $5.4 million

Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Support intensive one- to four-week projects in which sixteen to twenty-five college and university faculty members, working with scholarly experts, engage in collegial study of significant texts and topics in the humanities.
 

10 grants, totaling $1.4 million

Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers

Support intensive one- to four-week projects in which sixteen to thirty school teachers, working with scholarly experts, engage in collegial study of significant texts and topics in the humanities.
 

20 grants, totaling $2.7 million

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

Support preventative conservation measures to prolong the useful life of collections to help cultural institutions preserve large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations.
 

14 grants, totaling $2.2 million

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About the 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: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or pwasley@neh.gov