NEH Grant Release: January 2020

In January, the NEH announced $30.9 million in funding for 188 projects located throughout the United States. Grants were awarded in a number of categories:

  • Through its Fellowships, Awards for Faculty, and Fellowships for Advanced Research on Japan programs, the NEH provides year- or semester-long sabbaticals for researchers. Ninety-nine grants were awarded in these categories, totaling $5,375,000. These grants will support faculty from 82 institutions, representing both a broad range of institutional types and humanities projects, from a biography of Tim O’Brien, to work on ethnic identity and the Menominee, to an English translation of The Princess of Clèves by Marie-Madeleine de Lafayette.

  • Digital Humanities Advancement Grants support innovative and experimental projects at different stages—from early development through sustainability. Fourteen grants totaling $1,577,064 were awarded to 13 institutions. Among other projects, these grants will make Clio, a public history app, more accessible to the visually impaired and support the creation of a data repository for those who study the histories of social groups. 

  • Digital Projects for the Public support the development and production of websites, apps, games, and virtual environments. Eleven grants totaling $1,530,475 were awarded to 11 institutions. These grants will support the creation of a digital graphic history highlighting the trial of Cuffee, an enslaved man, as part of the 1741 New York Conspiracy and two augmented reality apps designed to help visitors to historic sites better engage with the past. One will help visitors better understand the Kent State Shootings. The other will help visitors to Cahokia Mounds better envision the pre-Columbian past.

  • Humanities Initiatives at Community Colleges, HBCUs, HSIs, and TCUs support curricular and faculty professional development at these institutions. Sixteen grants totaling $1,586,390 were awarded to 15 institutions. These grants will support humanities summer bridge programs for high schoolers and college students in Oklahoma and California, strengthen humanities education and career readiness for early childhood educators in Chicago, and advance ethics education at Santa Fe College in Florida and Montana State University, Billings.

  • In addition to supporting construction and renovation, Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants help humanities organizations build endowments and ensure the sustainability of their collections and projects. Thirty-two of these challenge grants were awarded, totaling $15,237,480, to projects at 32 institutions. These grants will support the restoration of historic buildings in the District of Columbia, Louisiana, and New York; construction and renovation of public libraries in Virginia, Maine, Oregon, and Colorado; and the preservation of collections like the New York Public Radio Archives.

  • Preservation Education and Training grants support nation- and state-wide efforts to protect our cultural heritage. Nine grants totaling $2,458,997 were awarded to as many institutions. These will support graduate education in cultural heritage conservation, preservation of community-based archives, and emergency planning, among other projects.

  • Research and Development grants support major projects addressing broad-scale challenges in cultural heritage preservation and access. Four grants totaling $1,079,492 were awarded to four institutions. These will support projects like the Universal Scripts Project at the University of California, Berkeley and the development of a low-cost spectral imaging system for use on historical documents. 

  • In addition, the NEH awarded three Cooperative Agreements and Special Projects projects grants, totaling $2,008,935. These will support the description of understudied Christian and Islamic Manuscripts at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library and programming by National History Day and the American Association for State and Local History in advance of the semiquincentennial in 2026.


Photo Credit

Thumbnail image: Students using Clio to discover archival materials relating to the world around them. Image courtesy of Clio.

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