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Federal Grant Opportunities

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.

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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.


Grant amount: $5,000 - $250,000, for up to three years
Eligible Activities:
  • Collections management
  • Surveys and Assessments
  • Conservation Treatment
  • Digitization, digital asset management, database management
  • Environmental improvements and/or rehousing collections

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Grant amount: For $5,000 to $25,000 level, no cost sharing permitted
For $25,001 to $150,000 level, 1:1 match
Eligible Activities:
  • Digitization
  • Training
  • Developing Collections Plans
  • Digitization, digital asset management, database management
  • Environmental improvements and/or rehousing collections

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Grant amount: $5,000 - $100,000 for up to three years
 Eligible Activities:
  • Consulting on the development of preservation plans and policies, programs for environmental monitoring and integrated pest management, exhibition practices, and collections management and care;
  • Collection assessments (surveys) for both physical and digital collections;
  • Conservation treatment;
  • Digitization of paper-based and photographic collections—including fragile and oversize items, bound and unbound formats —for access and preservation;
  • Audio reformatting of tape, disc and cylinder formats – including fragile or damaged items – for access and preservation; and
  • Guidance and feedback during the grant writing process.

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Grant amount: $5,000 - $50,000, for up to two years
Eligible Activities:
  • Cataloging, inventorying, collections information management, and collections planning
  • Conducting conservation surveys
  • Performing conservation treatments
  • Environmental improvements and/or rehousing collections
  • Digitization, digital asset management, and database management

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NOTE: Your museum’s MAP participation is IMLS funded but is not a grant. AAM does not disperse any money to your museum. AAM receives grant funding from IMLS to deliver this comprehensive program and service to your museum.

Application information here

Eligible Activities:
  • Organizational Assessments
  • Collection Stewardship Assessments
  • Education Assessments
  • Community & Audience Engagement Assessments
  • Board Leadership Assessments

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Grant amount: $6,000-$10,000
Eligible Activities:
  • Training, workshop, and/or conference registration fees
  • Travel expenses for staff to attend library-related continuing education courses or workshops
  • Contract services - library-related consultants
  • Supplies, materials, software and equipment related directly to library services

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Grant amount: $10,000-$150,000 for up to two years
Eligible Activities:
  • Project personnel staff time
  • Program development
  • Project consultants
  • Purchase of equipment, materials, supplies

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Grant amount: $25,000 to $500,000 with a 1:1 match

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Foundation for the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and
Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS)


Grant amount: Partial funding toward a general conservation assessment
Eligible Activities:
  • Study of all of the institution's collections, buildings, and building systems
  • Review of policies and procedures relating to collections care
  • Receive an assessment report with prioritized recommendations to improve collections care

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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.


Grant amount: Planning grants (up to $75,000), Implementation grants (up to $400,000)
Eligible Activities:
  • Exhibitions - (permanent, temporary, or traveling)
  • Historic Places
  • Humanities Discussions
  • Digitization, digital asset management, database management
  • Environmental improvements and/or rehousing collections

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Grant amount: Up to $750,000 with Match  (Challenge Grant match ratio varies by award amount)
Eligible Activities:
  • Capital expenditures
  • Investment in a restricted, short-term endowment or other investment fund (or spend-down fund) that will generate income to support the preservation and conservation of collections, sustaining digital infrastructure for the humanities

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Grant amount: up to $10,000 (Up to $15,000 for activities related to "A More Perfect Union: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Commemorating the Nation's 250th Anniversary)
Eligible Activities:
  • Preservation Education and Training
  • General Preservation Assessments
  • Digital Preservation Assessments
  • Collection-level Assessments
  • Consultations
  • Purchases rated to preservation supplies, storage furniture, or environmental monitoring equipment

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Grant amount: Up to $350,000 for Implementation Grants; $50,000 for Foundation Grants
Eligible Activities:
  • Planning, assessments, digitization, rehousing, and conservation treatment leading to enhanced access.

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Grant amount: (Planning grants): up to $50,000 for a two-year period
(Implementation grants): up to $350,000 for a five-year period
Eligible Activities: See guidelines for complete list.

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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.


Grant amount: $10,000 to $100,000
Eligible Activities:
  • Access
  • Exhibitions and related activities
  • Collections management
Guidelines: 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.

Grant amount: $150,000 - $350,000 - for 1 to 3 years
Eligible Activities:

Major Collaborative Archival Initiatives projects 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

Complete information and guidelines

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Grant amount:

Planning grants up to $25,000

Implementation grants up to $100,000

Eligible Activities:

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. 

Archives Collaboratives must consist of three or more organizations. They may:

  • be located in the same community, state, or geographic region
  • be "virtual" or online collaboratives
  • share affinities among the scope and subject matter of their collections
  • have similar organizational missions
  • serve similar types of user communities

The grant program will fund Archives Collaboratives to:

  • share best practices, tools and techniques
  • assess institutional strengths and opportunities
  • create replicable and sustainable digital platforms for historical collections
  • virtually unify records from multiple repositories
  • promote management structures for long-term sustainability and growth

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Grant amount: Up to $100,000 for one to three year projects
Eligible Activities:

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
Guidelines: Guidelines and contact information

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