National Endowment for the Humanities Announces New “Common Heritage” Grant Program
Monday, April 20, 2015
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
WASHINGTON (April 20, 2015) — The National
Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced a new grant program, called
"Common Heritage,” that will bring to light historical records and artifacts
currently hidden in family attics and basements across the country and make
them digitally available to the wider public and for posterity.
NEH invites historical societies, libraries,
archives, museums, colleges and other local institutions to apply for the
Common Heritage grant program, the first federal grant program of its kind.
Grants will support day-long events, organized by community cultural
institutions, in which members of the public will be invited to share materials
important to their family or community histories, such as photographs,
artifacts, family letters, and works of art.
These items will be digitized, along with
descriptive information and context provided by the community attendees. With
the owner’s permission, the digitized materials will be made publicly available
through the institution’s online collections. Contributors will receive a free
digital copy of their items to take home, along with the original materials.
These materials will also be used for public
programming – including lectures, exhibits, discussion programs, and film
screenings – that celebrates and expands knowledge of the community’s past and
the diverse histories of its members.
"We know that America’s cultural heritage
isn’t found only in libraries and museums,” said NEH Chairman William Adams,
"but in our homes, in our family histories, and the stories and objects we pass
down to our children. NEH’s new Common Heritage grant program aims to capture
this vitally important part of our country’s heritage and preserve it for
guidelines and a list of FAQs for the Common Heritage program are available
The application deadline for the initial cycle of Common Heritage grants is
June 25, 2015. The first round of Common Heritage digitization days is expected
to take place in early 2016.
The new Common Heritage grant program is
part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ agency-wide initiative The Common Good: The Humanities in the
Public Square, which seeks to demonstrate and enhance the role and
significance of the humanities and humanities scholarship in public life.
NEH’s Common Heritage program will award
grants of up to $12,000 to community cultural organizations to coordinate
community events and ensure that a wide range of historical materials can be
digitized and contextualized through public programming.
NEH program staff from the Divisions of
Preservation & Access and Public Programs will conduct a webinar for
interested applicants on Tuesday, May 5 at 4 PM (EST).
NEH Common Heritage grants webinar
4-4:30 PM (EST)
Access code: 232-247-517
You can also dial in by phone at: (872) 240-3312