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Locating and Applying for Grants

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Digitization is a great way for museums, libraries, and other institutions to expand their reach beyond their physical walls and preserve their unique information for years to come. Yet, many of the organizations who would benefit from having their collection digitally preserved simply don’t have the room in their tight budgets to afford such a project. Fortunately, there are grants that either exist for exactly this purpose or which can be applied to digital preservation projects.

We have assembled a list of grant programs that may be able to partially or completely cover your organization’s digitization efforts. While Anderson Archival does not run these programs and cannot apply to them for you, we’re happy to work with you to create a project estimate you can use when applying for grants.

Are you the recipient of a grant and looking for a vendor/partner to help?

Anderson Archival will help you get the job done right.

The lists below are only an overview. Though they focus on national grants and state grants in states closest to Anderson Archival, we have worked with clients across the country and you may be able to find additional grant programs relevant to your institution within your own state or specific subject of focus! Anderson Archival is not associated with any of the below programs and is therefore unable to answer questions or give further information about them. Any information on this page comes directly from the linked websites.

National Grant Resources

  • Digitizing Hidden Special Collections: From their website: “Launched in 2021, the program is designed to support efforts to digitize materials that deepen public understanding of the histories of people of color and other communities and populations whose work, experiences, and perspectives have been insufficiently recognized or unattended.”
  • Recordings at Risk: From their website: “Recordings at Risk is a national regranting program administered by CLIR to support the preservation of rare and unique audio, audiovisual, and other time-based media of high scholarly value through digital reformatting.”
  • Museums for America: From their website: “The Museums for America program supports museums of all sizes and disciplines in strategic, project-based efforts to serve the public through exhibitions, educational/interpretive programs, digital learning resources, professional development, community debate and dialogue, audience-focused studies, and/or collections management, curation, care, and conservation.”
  • Museum Grants for African American History and Culture: From their website: “The Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC) program is designed to build the capacity of African American museums and support the growth and development of museum professionals at African American museums. The AAHC program supports projects that nurture museum professionals, build institutional capacity, and increase access to museum and archival collections at African American museums and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).”
  • Inspire! Grants for Small Museums: From their website: “Inspire! Grants for Small Museums is a special initiative of the Museums for America program. It is designed to support small museums of all disciplines in project-based efforts to serve the public through exhibitions, educational/interpretive programs, digital learning resources, policy development and institutional planning, technology enhancements, professional development, community outreach, audience development, and/or collections management, curation, care, and conservation.”
  • Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services Program: From their website: “The Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services (NANH) grant program is designed to support Indian tribes and organizations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians in sustaining indigenous heritage, culture, and knowledge. The program supports projects such as exhibitions, educational services and programming, workforce professional development, organizational capacity building, and collections stewardship.”
  • Public Humanities Projects: From their website: “The Public Humanities Projects program supports projects that bring the ideas of the humanities to life for general audiences through public programming. Projects must engage humanities scholarship to analyze significant themes in disciplines such as history, literature, ethics, and art history. Awards support projects that are intended to reach broad and diverse public audiences in non-classroom settings in the United States. Projects should engage with ideas that are accessible to the general public and employ appealing interpretive formats.”
  • Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions: From their website: “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.”
  • Humanities Collections and Reference Resources: From their website: “HCRR advances scholarship, education, and public programming in the humanities by helping libraries, archives, museums, and historical organizations across the country steward important collections of books and manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings and moving images, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, art and material culture, and digital objects. The program strengthens efforts to extend the reach of such materials and make their intellectual content widely accessible.”
  • Scholarly Editions and Translations: From their website: “The Scholarly Editions and Scholarly Translations program provides grants to organizations to support collaborative teams who are editing, annotating, and translating foundational humanities texts that are vital to scholarship but are currently inaccessible or only available in inadequate editions or translations. Typically, the texts are significant literary, philosophical, and historical materials, but works in other humanities fields may also be the subject of an edition.”
  • Cultural and Community Resilience: From their website: “The Cultural and Community Resilience program supports community-based efforts to mitigate climate change and COVID-19 pandemic impacts, safeguard cultural resources, and foster cultural resilience through identifying, documenting, and/or collecting cultural heritage and community experience.”
  • Major Collaborative Archival Initiatives: From their website: “The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks projects that will significantly improve public discovery and use of major historical records collections.
    • “Major Collaborative Archival Initiatives must be collaborations among multiple institutions that undertake either of these two eligible activities to:
    • digitize and publish online historical records as a “virtual” collection around a common theme, organization, or important historical figure(s); or
    • create and test new tools and methods for the archival field to enhance public access, especially for born-digital records”
  • Archives Collaborative: From their website: “The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks Archives Collaboratives of three or more repositories working together to make their collections more readily available for public discovery and use.”
  • Archival Projects: From their website: “The NHPRC seeks archival projects that will significantly improve online public discovery and use of historical records collections. We welcome projects that engage the public, expand civic education, and promote understanding of the nation’s history, democracy, and culture from the founding era to the present day. The Commission encourages projects focused on collections of America’s early legal records, such as the records of colonial, territorial, county, and early statehood and tribal proceedings that document the evolution of the nation’s legal history.”
  • Public Knowledge: From their website: “Mellon’s Public Knowledge program supports the creation and preservation of the cultural and scholarly record—vast and ever-expanding—that documents society’s complex, intertwined humanity. The program works with archives, presses, and a range of university, public, and other local, national, and global libraries that are foundational to knowledge production and distribution in culture and the humanities. The program’s goal is to increase equitable access to deep knowledge that helps to build an informed, heterogeneous, and civically engaged society. We aspire to cultivate networks and maintainable infrastructure, expand digital inclusion, and ensure that more authentic, reflective, and nuanced stories are revealed, preserved, and told.”
  • Humanities in Place: From their website: “Humanities in Place supports a fuller, more complex telling of American histories and lived experiences by deepening the range of how and where our stories are told and by bringing a wider variety of voices into the public dialogue. Working with media, heritage and public spaces, history museums and other institutions, and conveners of shared experiences—including the digital or ephemeral—we strive to expand the public expression of the histories that have made us and the values we hold. Our program works across and within diverse communities, encouraging bold, innovative rethinking of past practice, as well as visionary new approaches for how to collectively understand, uplift, and celebrate more complete stories about who we are.”
  • Arts and Culture: From their website: “Through our Arts and Culture program, Mellon celebrates the power of the arts to challenge, activate, and nourish the human spirit. We support exceptional creative practice, scholarship, and conservation practices while nurturing a representative and robust arts and culture ecosystem. We work with artists, curators, conservators, scholars, and organizations to ensure equitable access to excellent arts and cultural experiences and support approaches that place the arts and artists at the center of thriving, healthy communities.”
  • Higher Learning: From their website: “Working with colleges, universities, and other organizations that nurture advanced humanistic inquiry and social justice, Mellon makes grants through its Higher Learning program that broaden our understanding of American history and culture; develop the interpretive tools and methods scholars use to create meaning; support faculty and students whose work exemplifies a drive toward greater equity in their fields and institutions; and promote pathways for those seeking to exercise transformative academic leadership.”

State Grant Resources (Missouri, Illinois, and Nearby States)

  • Missouri Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) Grant Programs: Missouri State Library Digital Imaging Grant: From their website: “The Digital Imaging grant program provides funding for eligible libraries and their partners in the cultural heritage community to carry out projects involving the selection, digital capture, storage, and provision of Web access to their important historical and cultural collections. Digital Imaging grants support creation of digital collections at institutions while at the same time expanding access to those collections via the Missouri Digital Heritage database and website.”
  • Missouri Humanities: Mini and major grants up to $2,500 and $10,000 respectively.

Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board (ISHRAB)

  • Historical Records Grant Program: From their website: “The ISHRAB is pleased to offer a grant opportunity to assist Illinois archival repositories and government agencies with preserving and making accessible records of historical importance. Using funds awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the ISHRAB is offering grants of up to $5,000 to Illinois historical records keepers to develop and/or carry out projects to identify, preserve, access and use historical records in Illinois.”

The Division of Arkansas Heritage

  • Small Museums Grant Program: From their website: “The Division of Arkansas Heritage has set these goals for Small Museum Grants:
    • Promote education, awareness and enjoyment of Arkansas history
    • Increase ability of community-based small museums/organization to research, preserve, present and conserve Arkansas history”

Arkansas Humanities Council

  • Museum Collections and Resources Grant: From their website: Types of eligible projects include “digitization of documents, photographs, maps, etc. to make available to the general public, scholars, genealogists, and others.”

Indiana Historical Society

  • Heritage Support Grants: From their website: “Grants are for projects that will help Indiana’s local history organizations meet high-priority needs in areas of Collections Stewardship, Diversity, Equity, Access and Inclusion, Sustainability, and Planning.”

State Historical Society of Iowa

  • Historical Resource Development Program: From their website: “Apply for grant funding to help preserve, conserve, interpret, enhance, and educate the public about Iowa’s historical assets. The Historical Resource Development Program provides funding for documentary collections, historic preservation and museums.”

Humanities Kansas

  • Culture Preservation Grants: From their website: “Culture Preservation Grants support projects that preserve and create access to historical or cultural resources that document stories of life in Kansas.”

Kansas Historical Society

  • Kansas Digital Access to Historical Records (KDAHR) Regrant Program: From their website: “KSHRAB has established the Kansas Digital Access to Historical Records (KDAHR) Regrant Program to enhance online access to historical records and to increase digital literacy and citizen engagement with those historical records. KSHRAB is offering grants to Kansas historical records repositories that demonstrate a financial and programmatic need and a commitment to developing and/or implementing projects that will enhance online access to historical records. These projects may include digitizing collections and placing the digital content online, creating and publishing online finding aids to historical records collections, or developing/upgrading websites specifically designed to highlight the organization’s historical records and increase collections’ discoverability.”

Kentucky Genealogical Society

  • Digitization Grant: From their website: “Collection must relate to Kentucky records of genealogical significance. Applicants commit to digitizing the records and making a digital copy available to the Kentucky Genealogical Society website for member access.”

Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives

  • Local Records Program Grants: From their website: “The Local Records Program distributes grant funds to local government agencies to assist them with records management, which includes digitization, security microfilming, supplies/equipment, salary support, and records conservation.”

Kentucky Historical Society

  • Local History Trust Fund Grants: From their website: “The Kentucky Local History Trust Fund is designed to build stronger museums and local history organizations across the Commonwealth. Grants provided by the Kentucky Local History Trust Fund will assist museums and history-related organizations with their long-term growth, development, and sustainability.”

Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants: From their website: “Program goals [are] to preserve and enhance access to Minnesota’s cultural and historical resources and to support projects of enduring value for the cause of history and historic preservation across the state.”

Mississippi Humanities Council: From their website: “The MHC grants program seeks to fund projects that stimulate meaningful community dialogue, attract diverse audiences, are participatory and engaging, and apply the humanities to our everyday lives. Grants may be used to support public humanities programs, exhibits, the planning of larger projects, and the development of original productions in film, television, radio or online resources.”

Humanities Nebraska: From their website: “Because Humanities Nebraska (HN) exists to help people explore what connects us and makes us human, we offer grants to nonprofit organizations and government entities to support projects related to the public humanities.”

Ohio History Fund Grant

  • Programs & Collections Grants: From their website: “Programs & Collections encompass a variety of projects that further the study, recordation, interpretation, publication and dissemination of historical information, engagement of communities in history, or conservation of historical collections and archives.”

Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program: From their website: “The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS), a state agency and private membership organization, may set aside funds each year to assist organizations that collect, preserve, and share collections associated with Oklahoma history. The objectives of the program include:

  • Encourage improvement in the care of collections, a higher quality of exhibits, and the expansion of Oklahoma history programs at the local level where a sense of community and the spirit of volunteerism are assets that can be tapped for historical purposes.
  • Foster a learning process that brings together trained, experienced museum and archival professionals with avocational volunteers and part-time employees who want to improve care of collections, learn techniques of preservation, and expand educational programs.”

Oklahoma Humanities

  • Grants for Preservation or Digitization of Collections: From their website: “Outright funding up to $10,000 for the digitization, maintenance, modernization, and sustainability of existing humanities collections. […] This funding category provides resources for projects that focus on ensuring the long-term and wide availability of primary resources in the humanities. Projects preserve and create access to collections and cultural heritage resources of importance for research, education, and public programming in the humanities.”
  • Grants for Language Preservation: From their website: “Outright funding up to $10,000 for projects that preserve endangered human languages. […] This funding category provides resources for projects that focus on ensuring the long-term and wide availability of primary resources in the humanities. Projects preserve and create access to collections and cultural heritage resources of importance for research, education, and public programming in the humanities.”

Tennessee State Library and Archives

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

  • TexTreasures Grant: From their website: “TexTreasures are grants designed to help libraries make their special collections more accessible for the people of Texas and beyond. Activities considered for possible funding include: digitization, microfilming, [and] cataloging”
  • Texas Historical Foundation Grants: “Eligible recipients are 501(c)(3) organizations with a current project related to Texas history. Proposals for the following types of projects are considered quarterly for micro-grants and annually for grants over $5,000:
    • Historic property preservation
    • Events or programs promoting state history to the public
    • Preservation of artifacts, archival materials, collections, or legal documents
    • Texas history curriculum in classrooms
    • Museum programming
    • Publications and scholarly research in Texas history
    • Archeology
    • Cultural heritage and the arts

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