NEH’s Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions

Last date: 
Thursday, January 14, 2021
United States

Detailed Description

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Division of Preservation and Access is accepting applications for the Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions program. The purpose of this program is to help small and mid-sized institutions improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections.

Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions, such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities, improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections.

Applicants must draw on the knowledge of consultants whose preservation skills and experiences are related to the types of collections and the nature of the activities on which their projects focus. Within the conservation field, conservators usually specialize in the care of specific types of collections, such as objects, paper, or paintings. Applicants should choose a conservator whose specialty is appropriate for the nature of their collections.

Funding Information


  • Approximately $600,000 is expected to be available to fund 55 recipients per deadline.
  • Applicants may request up to $10,000.

Consultations with preservation professionals to address a specific preservation issue, need, or problem

  • Applicants may request funding to hire a consultant to help address challenges in the stewardship of humanities collections. An advanced student or recent graduate from a preservation program may assist the project consultant.

For example, consultants can provide advice about:


  • developing and revising disaster preparedness and response plans, including continuity of operations plans
  • establishing environmental monitoring programs, instituting integrated pest management programs, and developing plans for improving environmental conditions, security, or fire protection for collections
  • studying light levels in exhibition and storage spaces and recommending appropriate methods for controlling light and reducing damage to collections
  • developing detailed plans for improving storage or rehousing a collection
  • developing detailed plans for the preservation of digital collections
  • assessing the conservation treatment needs of selected items in a collection
  • implementing preventive conservation strategies that pragmatically balance effectiveness, cost, and environmental impact • planning for capital improvements that would enhance the care of collections.
  • Based on preliminary discussions about the proposed assessment, a consultant may be able to anticipate an institution’s need for basic preservation supplies. In such cases, the applicant may request funds to purchase the recommended supplies. It is critical to include the consultant’s letter of commitment describing the supplies and justifying their use. After the on-site visit, the consultant can refine the list of supplies to be purchased.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible Applicants

  • Eligible applicants include U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, public and 501(c)(3) accredited institutions of higher education, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.
  • Individuals, foreign and for-profit entities are not eligible to apply.
  • Cost Sharing Cost sharing is not required in this program.
  • Applicants may use voluntary cost sharing for projects in which the total costs exceed the amount awarded by NEH.
  • Cost sharing or matching is the portion of the project costs not paid by NEH funds. Cost sharing will not be considered in the evaluation of applications.
  • Voluntary cost sharing consists of the cash contributions made to a project by the applicant, including unrecovered indirect costs, and by third parties as well as third-party in-kind contributions. Third-party in-kind contributions means the value of non-cash contributions (such as property or services) that benefit the funded project, and are contributed by nonfederal third parties, without charge, to the recipient of the federal award.
  • Recipients are responsible for maintaining auditable records of the source and use of cost sharing contributions.
  • Other Eligibility Information
  • An applicant may not submit multiple applications under this announcement.
  • Distinct collecting entities of a larger organization may apply under this announcement, such as the library and museum of a university or two historic sites within a historical society.
  • Applicants must demonstrate that they:
  • care for and have custody of and/or responsibility for the humanities collections that are the focus of the application;
  • have at least one staff member or the full-time equivalent, whether paid or unpaid;
  • make their collections open and available for the purpose of education, research, and/or public programming.
  • Two or more applications for federal funding and/or approved federal award budgets are not permitted to include overlapping project costs.
  • NEH does not make awards to other federal entities or to applicants whose projects are so closely intertwined with a federal entity that the project takes on characteristics of the federal entity’s own authorized activities. This does not preclude applicants from using funds from, or sites and materials controlled by, other federal entities in their projects. Such resources may not, however, be used as gifts to release NEH matching funds.
  • NEH does not provide financial assistance to foreign institutions or organizations. Nevertheless, otherwise eligible American institutions may apply for collaborative projects involving U.S. and foreign organizations provided they do not use NEH funds for the purpose of issuing subawards to any foreign organization. This limitation does not preclude American institutions from obtaining the services of foreign individuals and consultants to carry out various programmatic activities on a fee-for-service basis; it also does not preclude vendor contracts such as in-country transportation services. If you are interested in submitting an application for a project involving international collaboration, please consult beforehand with the division staff.
  • All application materials must be received by the application deadline. Late, incomplete, nonresponsive, or ineligible applications will not be considered for funding under this notice. Applications that exceed specified page limits will not be reviewed.


Copyrights 2017. All rights reserved | Technology Partner: Indev Consultancy Pvt. Ltd