Skip to main content



Between 2008 and 2012, institutions and individuals in Ohio received $16.4 million from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ohio Humanities Council for projects that explore the human endeavor and preserve our cultural heritage.

Below are some examples.

  • Albert Sabin, who developed the oral vaccine against polio, came to widespread fame after immunizing 180,000 schoolchildren in Cincinnati. Recently, scholars at the University of Cincinnati received $314,000 to digitize fifty thousand pages of Sabin’s correspondence and accompanying materials.
  • The American Folklore Society in Columbus received a $258,000 grant for the National Folklore Archives Initiative, which will result in a unified catalog and database of folklore collections throughout the country, many of which have never been systematically documented.
  • One hundred community college teachers examined hidden complexities of society, politics, and literature during the Gilded Age in weeklong conferences at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, supported by a $273,000 grant.
  • The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which opened in Cincinnati in 2004 and has received more than 900,000 visitors, has been awarded over $1.2 million in challenge grants (which require matching funds) to support its distance learning programs, exhibitions, and educational workshops.
  • The Ohio Historical Society has received $936,000 to digitize and make public two hundred thousand pages of newspapers, such as the Akron Daily Democrat, dating from 1880 to 1922. This work is part of Chronicling America, which NEH conducts in partnership with the Library of Congress.
  • In June 1964, young civil rights activists came to the Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio (now Miami University), to train for work in The Mississippi Summer Project, which brought together about a thousand out-of-state volunteers and thousands of Mississippi residents to register African-American voters. By the time the ten-week project was over, four civil rights workers had died and many were injured. From 2009 to 2010, Miami University received $40,000 to plan an exhibition and public education programs about the Ohio effort and its national implications.
  • In 2013, an institute run by Hiram College and supported by the Ohio Humanities Council guided teachers as they studied the first century of U.S. history by examining art collections in museums of northeast Ohio.
  • Through the Ohio Historical Society, eighty schoolteachers and fifty community college faculty participated, with the support of two grants totaling $327,000, in weeklong workshops with presentations by Pulitzer-winning historian Alan Taylor and other scholars on the War of 1812.
  • The sesquicentennial of the Civil War was noted by an entire corps of Civil War presenters supported by the Ohio Humanities Council, which worked with the Ohio Historical Society to highlight the politically divided state’s contributions to the war and emancipation.