National Endowment For The Humanities: Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

The National Endowment for the Humanities, or the NHE, is an independent federal agency of the United States of America which work towards supporting the humanities through research, education, preservation and public programs.

In keeping with the NHE’s effort to save the humanities, they’ve already developed the Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections (SCHC) program, which aims to assist in tackling the complex challenge of preserving vast and diverse holdings of humanities materials.

The SCHC program offers two kinds of grants, the grants for planning and also the grants for implementation.

The planning grants are meant to help institutions develop and assess preventive and conservation strategies, which include site visits, risk assessments, planning sessions, monitoring, testing, modeling, project-specific research, and preliminary designs in the future implementation of approved projects.

The NHE will grant eligible parties as much as $40,000 to initially support planning projects, and the other $10,000, upon request and pending the recommendation of interdisciplinary planning teams, as a way to improve the outcomes of planning grants as well as encourage incremental improvements in collection care.

An Implementation grant, alternatively, is aimed at the implementation of preventive conservation project, having a maximum grant budget of $350,000 per grant awardee. Implementation grants consist of implementation projects that are location-sensitive and therefore are based on institution-oriented plans.

Upon the submission of their applications, which is often done online at the Grants.gov website, interested applicants will also be asked to submit project proposals describing their project and its significance.

The deadline of applications will be on December 1, 2011.

Institutions are deemed eligible as long as they are categorically a part US nonprofit organizations, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments.

According the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, the National Endowment for the Humanities is the main agency that oversees the Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections program which is aimed at the preservation, creation, and provision of intellectual access to resources located in libraries, museums, archives, historical organizations, and also other collections that are important to research, education and public programming in the area of humanities.

The NHE will also support a vast network of private and nonprofit affiliates, and even more importantly, provides generous grants for high-standard humanities projects to cultural institutions, that is; museums, libraries, colleges, universities and the like. This is why, in line with the NHE’s mission, which is to “serve and strengthen our Republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans”, they’ve constituted grants that have and will eventually continue to help institutions sustain and preserve the American heritage.