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Federal Grants


Federal granting agencies support preservation, conservation, digitization, and audio preservation initiatives to preserve and provide access to cultural collections held by America's libraries, archives, museums, historical organizations, and other nonprofits.

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Washington, DC
IMLS supports all types of museums, from art and history to science and zoos, and all types of libraries and archives, from public and academic to research and schools.

(View the IMLS handy search template for available grants by name, institution type, or grant activity.)

IMLS Museums for America Grant

Deadline: December 1
Grant amount: $5,000 - $250,000

[Cost Share Requirement: For applications requesting Museums for America funding of more than $25,000, you must provide funds from non-federal sources in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount of the request. No cost sharing is permitted for applications requesting amounts of $5,000-$25,000.]


Planning for collections management, care, and conservation; Surveys; Conservation Treatment; Digitization, Training. See guidelines for other activities.


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IMLS Museum Grants for African American History and Culture

Deadline: December 1
Grant Amounts: Two levels - $5,000 to $25,000, or $25,001 to $150,000


Digitization; Training; and Developing Collection Plans. See guidelines for other eligible activities.

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IMLS Native American Library Services (NALS) Enhancement Grants

Deadline:  May 17, 2017 (Deadline passed - watch for new deadline)
Grant Amount:  $10,000 to $150,000 for two years


Project personnel staff time; Program development; Project consultants; Puchase of equipment, materials, supplies. See guidelines for a full list.

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IMLS Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services (NAHN) Grants

Deadline: Dec 1, annually
Grant Amount: $5,000 - $75,000 for up to two years


  • Training for staff, volunteers, interns, and community members in museum practice and digital literacy
  • Developing collection plans, interpretive plans, or strategic plans using consultants
  • Collections management, care, and conservation
  • Cataloging, inventorying, documentation, and registration of collections
  • Needs assessments
  • Rehousing collections
  • Digitization of collections for access

See guidelines for complete list.

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IMLS / AAM Museum Assessment Program (MAP)

Deadline: July 1 and December 1
Application:  Please contact MAP staff  to be added to the application notification e-mail list.


Organizational Assessments; Collection Stewardship Assessments; Community Engagement Assessments. See guidelines for complete information.

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FAIC/IMLS  Conservation Assessment Program (CAP)

The CAP program is supported through a cooperative agreement between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation.    


The Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program provides small and mid-sized museums with partial funding toward a general conservation assessment. The assessment is a study of all of the institution's collections, buildings, and building systems, as well as its policies and procedures relating to collections care. Participants who complete the program receive an assessment report with prioritized recommendations to improve collections care. CAP is often a first step for small institutions that wish to improve the condition of their collections.


Collections Assessments

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National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Division of Preservation and Access
Washington, DC
The NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government, dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. 

NOTE:  "Match Your Project to a Grant Program," a convenient index of NEH grants by type of project.

NEH Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions (PAG)

Deadline: May 1, 2018  
Grant amount: up to $6,000


Preservation Needs Assessments; Consultations; Training; Purchase of storage or environmental monitoring equipment.

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FREE 1-hour Webinar Recording on Writing Your NEH Preservation Assistance Grant.
Tips on preparing a successful application.Worth a listen, even though the 2017 deadline has passed. Excellent advice on applying for grants in general, and to start planning for next year.

View the Webinar Recording Here

NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grants (HCRR)

Deadline: July 20, 2017
Grant amount: up to $350,000 for Implementation Grants; $50,000 for Foundation Grants


Planning; Assessments; Digitization; Rehousing; Conservation treatment leading to enhanced access.

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NEH Common Heritage

Deadline: May 31, 2018
Grant amount: Up to $12,000


Organization and presentation of digitization events for the community.

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NEH Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

Deadline: December 5, 2017  
Grant amount (planning grants): up to $40,000
Grant amount (implementation grants): up to $350,000


Planning for examination of low-energy alternatives for managing collection environments; Implementation of energy efficient HVAC systems; Storage and rehousing; Improving security and fire protection; Upgrading lighting systems. Implementing preventive conservation measures in sustainable ways.

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National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Washington, DC
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent agency of the federal government. It awards grants that support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.  Grants for conservation and digitization are available through the Art Works program.

NEA Art Works - Museums

Deadlines: March 2 and July 27, 2017 (Note two-step deadline process )
Grant amount: $10,000 to $100,000 
(You must be registered with prior to submission. See dates.


Exhibition-related activities, including conservation; digitization; See guidelines for other activities.

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National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)

College Park, MD
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) of the National Archives supports projects that promote access to America’s historical records to encourage understanding of our democracy, history, and culture.

NHPRC Access to Historical Records Grants: Archival Projects
Draft deadline, August 8, 2017 (optional) 
Final deadline, October 5, 2017

Grant Amount: Up to $100,000 for one or two-year projects


All types of historical records are eligible, including documents, photographs, born-digital records, and analog audio and moving images. Projects may preserve and process historical records to:

  • Create new online Finding Aids to collections
  • Digitize historical records collections and make them freely available online

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NHPRC Access to Historical Records Grants: Major Initiatives - Preliminary Proposals
(Successful preliminary proposal applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal for the July 12, 2017 deadline.)

Preliminary Proposal Deadline passed: (January 19, 2017)

Grant Amount: Up to $350,000 for one to three-year projects


All types of historical records are eligible, including documents, photographs, born-digital records, and analog audio and moving images. Projects may:

  • Digitize historical records collections, or related collections, held by a single institution and make them freely available online
  • Provide access to born-digital records
  • Create new freely-available virtual collections drawn from historical records held by multiple institutions
  • Create new tools and methods for users to access records

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