Endowment Awards $16.7 Million for 182 New Grants
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced that 182 successful applicants will receive a total of $16.7 million in grants or offers of matching funds for projects designed to advance research in the humanities, provide high-quality public programming in museums and libraries, strengthen and enrich humanities education, preserve important cultural resources, and provide greater access to them.
Fifty-four of the successful grants are designated as We the People projects, a special recognition by the NEH for model projects that advance the study, teaching, and understanding of American history and culture.
In this award cycle, scholars and institutions in 35 states and the District of Columbia received support from the NEH; two U.S. scholars working in other nations also received awards. The 182 new NEH grants and matching offers come from four of the Endowment’s major program areas–education, preservation and access, public, and research programs–with examples of each:
NEH’s Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants were designed to provide “seed money” to support scholars with bright ideas about new ways to use technology to advance understanding of history, literature, and other humanities disciplines. Awards are:
–Education program awards include Faculty Humanities Workshops, which support local and regional professional development programs for K-12 teachers and faculty at post-secondary institutions. For example, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland (Baltimore) will offer a series of workshops for high school Latin teachers on the history and culture of Augustan Rome, the University of Wisconsin, Stout (Menomonie) will offer a week-long philosophy workshop for 20 high school teachers focusing on the examined life and its value, and the Theatre for a New Audience (New York, NY) will offer a two-week summer workshop for 20 New York City school teachers on four plays by William Shakespeare. NEH Grants for Teaching and Learning Resources and Curriculum Development support projects intended to serve as national models of excellence that improve humanities education through the development of new or revised curricula and instructional and learning materials. The Witherspoon Institute (Princeton, NJ) will construct a Web-based resource with links to political and philosophical documents contributing to the concepts of natural law and natural rights and their relationship to the American founding and the development of its Constitution, and the University of California, Davis, will expand its existing database of historical images as primary sources for teaching U.S. history to include images for world history.
–Preservation and Access awards preserve and create intellectual access to humanities collections. Collections may include books, journals, newspapers, manuscript and archival materials, maps, still and moving images, sound recordings, and objects of art and material culture. For example, the Library Company of Philadelphia will catalog and conserve 2,844 pre-1820 pamphlets, broadsides, bound books, and other imprints published in America from the Michael Zinman Collection, and the Carnegie Institute Museum of Art will catalog, conserve, and mount on the Internet with finding aids more than 26,000 images by photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris to document African American history and culture in Pittsburgh from 1935 to 1975. NEH Reference Material grants support projects that create reference works and research tools that include databases and electronic archives; print and online encyclopedias; historical, etymological, and bilingual dictionaries; tools for spatial analysis and representation of humanities data; and descriptive catalogs that provide detailed information about humanities materials. For example, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation will develop a Geographic Information Systems software tool that will enable users to construct multilayered and time-based queries to analyze the growth and development of 18th-century Colonial Williamsburg, and the Newberry Library (Chicago, IL) will complete the Digital Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, illustrating all changes in the boundaries, names, organization, and attachment of every U.S. county from 1619 to 2000.
–Public programs awards promote lifelong learning for broad public audiences in fields such as history, literature, comparative religion, and philosophy, and other fields of the humanities. They support projects that go beyond the presentation of factual information to encourage thought and conversation about humanities ideas and questions. This new round of NEH awards supports consultation and planning for projects at museums and libraries and for collaborative special projects, including awards to the George C. and Hazel H. Reeder Heritage Foundation (Montclair, CA) for consultation and site visits for the interpretation of a historic citrus ranch in Southern California, the Missouri Historical Society (St. Louis) for planning for a traveling exhibition and companion Web site examining the American Revolution as experienced in the trans-Appalachian United States, and the National Book Foundation (New York, NY) for planning for reading and discussion programs to be held at 100 libraries and a companion Web site about Mark Twain and his lasting cultural influence. Consultation and planning grants for Interpreting America’s Historic Places support the interpretation of nationally significant places in the United States by linking the story of those places to central themes and issues in American history, with awards made to the Ossabaw Island Foundation (Savannah, GA) to consult with scholars and interpretive experts to examine the history of African American life on the island, and University of Minnesota’s Rodney A. Briggs Library (Minneapolis) to plan site tours, exhibits, a Web site, and signage along the Mississippi riverfront in the Twin Cities to interpret the influence of the river on life in several historic urban neighborhoods.
–Research awards include NEH grants to 11 independent research institutions, such as the American Councils for International Education (Washington, DC) and the Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston, MA) to support fellowships for scholarly research. NEH also awarded summer stipends of $5,000 each to 84 scholars who will conduct humanities research for two months, usually between academic semesters.
Programs, total number of projects, and total dollar amounts for grants and offers of matching funds included in this announcement are as follows:
Education Programs (24) $2,486,903 (plus $45,000 in matching offers)
Faculty Humanities Workshops (14) $768,113
Teaching and Learning Resources and Curriculum Development (10) $1,718,790 (plus $45,000 in matching offers)
Research Programs (95) $2,386,000 (plus $533,000 in matching offers)
Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions (11) $1,966,000 (plus $533,000 in matching offers)
Summer Stipends (84) $420,000
Preservation and Access (37) $9,698,129 (plus $846,380 in matching offers)
Grants to Preserve and Create Access to Humanities Collections (20) $5,575,921 (plus $84,380 in matching offers)
Reference Materials (17) $4,122,208 (plus $762,000 in matching offers)
Public Programs (26) $695,136
Interpreting America’s Historic Places: Consultation Grants (7) $101,614
Interpreting America’s Historic Places: Planning Grants (5) $215,428
Library Projects: Planning Grants (2) $79,972
Museum Projects: Consultation Grants (6) $59,682
Museum Projects: Planning Grants (5) $199,653
Special Projects: Planning Grants (1) $38,787
NEH grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Throughout the year, humanities experts outside of the Endowment and members of the National Council on the Humanities consider all applications and advise NEH on the quality and significance of each.