The National Endowment for the Humanities’ Division of Preservation and Access has offered
Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions since 2000. These grants help smaller
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. (Applicants may request up to $7,000 if the
project would support emerging professionals, as discussed below.) Preservation Assistance
Grants also support assessments of digital collections, 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
All applications to NEH must be submitted through Grants.gov; see the application guidelines
for details. The 2018 guidelines for Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions are
available at www.neh.gov/files/grants/pres-assist- grants-may- 1-2018.pdf. You will also find
sample project descriptions, sample narratives, and a list of frequently asked questions. The
deadline for applications is May 1, 2018.
Smaller and mid-sized institutions that have never received an NEH grant are encouraged to
apply. We also have a special encouragement for applications from Hispanic-serving
institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities,
and from Native American tribes and Native Hawaiian and Native Alaskan organizations with
significant humanities collections.
Mindful of the importance of preserving cultural heritage in regions affected by Hurricanes
Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and mudslides in California, the program is
offering special assistance of up to $10,000 to applicants in federally declared disaster
areas. In addition to the regular activities supported by Preservation Assistance Grants,
applicants in these areas are encouraged to seek additional support for disaster planning,
response, recovery, and mitigation; preservation assessments; conservation treatments;
the temporary relocation and storage of collections; the purchase of supplies; education
and training related to disaster planning and response; and the reformatting of collections
as a preservation methodology.
NEH is also offering encouragements to address issues facing smaller institutions and the
preservation field. To provide practical experience to emerging preservation professionals, we
encourage 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 staff at the applicant institution. Applicants may
request up to an additional $1,000 if the consultant is working with emerging professionals. To
address the risk to cultural heritage materials from natural disasters, theft, and other types of
destruction, NEH encourages all applicants to develop disaster plans and to work collaboratively
with local institutions for training in disaster preparedness and emergency response.
See our Web series, 50 States of Preservation, about PAG awardees across the country, on our
Web site: www.neh.gov/divisions/preservation/featured-project.
For more information, contact the staff of NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access at 202-
606-8570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.