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AFS Review: Professional Opportunities

NEH Offers Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions

Wednesday, March 23, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon K. Larson
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The National Endowment for the Humanities’ Division of Preservation and Access has offered Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions for more than a decade. These grants help small and mid-sized cultural heritage institutions such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections.  Awards of up to $6,000 support preservation related collection assessments, consultations, purchase of preservation supplies and equipment, training and workshops, and institutional and collaborative disaster and emergency planning.  Preservation Assistance Grants also support assessments of digital collections and education and training in standards and best practices for digital preservation, and the care and handling of collections during digitization.  NEH does not fund digitization or the development of digital programs in this grant category.  

All applications to the NEH must be submitted through See the application guidelines for details.

The 2016 guidelines for Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions are available at  You will also find sample project descriptions, sample narratives, and a list of frequently asked questions. The deadline for applications is May 3, 2016.

See the following feature article of PAG awards across the country:

Small and mid-sized institutions that have never received an NEH grant are encouraged to apply. The NEH also has a special encouragement for applications from presidentially designated institutions (Hispanic-serving institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities), and from Native American tribes with significant humanities collections.

This year, the NEH is offering some special encouragements to address issues facing small institutions and the preservation field. To provide practical experience to emerging preservation professionals, the NEH encourages consultants to work as mentors with advanced students or recent graduates from preservation programs who may assist in conducting preservation assessments, addressing specific preservation issues, and/or training of staff at the applicant institution.  To employ environment-friendly practices and limit travel costs, applicants are encouraged, when possible, to secure the services of local or regional consultants.  The NEH also encourages consultants to consider preventive conservation strategies that pragmatically balance effectiveness, cost, and environmental impact.

And to address the risk to cultural heritage materials from natural disasters, theft, looting, civil unrest, and other types of destruction, the NEH encourages applicants to engage in disaster planning and emergency preparedness through development of disaster plans and working collaboratively with local institutions for training in disaster preparedness and emergency response.

For more information, contact the staff of NEH's Division of Preservation and Access at 202-606-8570 and



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