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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.

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.)

Save America's Treasures

Deadline: December 10, 2019
Grant Amounts: $25,000 to $500,000 with a 1:1 match


  • Preservation and/or conservation of collections of national significance

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IMLS Museums for America Grant

Deadline: November 15, 2019
Grant amount: $5,000 - $250,000

ELIGIBLE GRANT ACTIVITIES in the Collections Stewardship category Include:

  • Planning for collections management, care, and conservation;
  • Surveys and Assessments;
  • Conservation Treatment;
  • Digitization activities including creating digital tools, training, and platforms that allow access;
  • Rehousing collections;
  • Planning and implementing environmental improvements.
  • See guidelines for other activities.

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IMLS Museum Grants for African American History and Culture

Deadline: November 15, 2019
Grant Amounts: Two levels - $5,000 to $25,000, or $25,001 to $150,000


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

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IMLS Native American Library Services (NALS) Enhancement Grants

Deadline:  May 1
Grant Amount:  $10,000 to $150,000 for two years


  • Project personnel staff time;
  • Program development;
  • Project consultants;
  • Purchase of equipment, materials, supplies.

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

Deadline: November 15, 2019 
Grant Amount: $5,000 - $100,000 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 Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries

NEW - Now in its second year!

Deadline: December 2, 2019
Award Amounts: $10,000 to $50,000

Project Categories:

  • Transforming School Library Practice
  • Community Memory
  • Digital Inclusion

ELIGIBLE GRANT ACTIVITIES (Community Memory Category)

  • Engaging local communities in the collection, documentation, and preservation of their local histories, experiences, and identities.
  • Planning and implementing events and programs to engage community members with
    collections documenting local histories and experiences;
  • Using methods such as web archiving or oral history to engage community members in the
    documentation and preservation of local histories;
  • Supporting events and programs to digitize or describe materials related to community
    histories, including photographs, artifacts, texts, and other materials;
  • Creating events and programs in support of community dialogues related to the collection
    and preservation of local histories;
  • Developing crowdsourcing projects to engage community members in the description or
    contextualization of collections;
  • Supporting community cohesion by documenting important local issues or events and
    engaging community members with related collections; and
  • Engaging with specific communities in activities related to capturing and preserving their
    personal or family collections or histories and supporting development of sustainable and
    accessible stewardship models

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IMLS / AAM Museum Assessment Program (MAP)

Deadline: December 1, 2019
Application:  Please contact MAP staff  to be added to the application notification e-mail list.



  • Organizational Assessments;
  • Collection Stewardship Assessments;
  • Education Assessments
  • Community Engagement Assessments.
  • Board Leadership Assessments

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Foundation for the American Institute for Conservation and
Institute for Museum and Library Services

Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) Program

Application deadline: February 


  • 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 Public Humanities Projects

Deadline: January 15, 2020

Grant Amounts: Planning grants (up to $75,000), Implementation grants (up to $400,000)



  • Creation of permanent exhibits  and single temporary exhibitions, as well as traveling exhibitions available to public audiences in at least two venues in the US.
    • Conservation treatment is supported if the item in question will be used in public programming and the total amount of conservation is no more that 15% of the total award amount.

Historic Places

Humanities Discussions

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NEH Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants

Deadline: May 15, 2020
Grant Amount: Up to $750,000 with Match  (Challenge Grant match ratio varies by award amount)


Capital expenditures to support: 

  • the design, purchase, construction, restoration, renovation of facilities and historic landscapes;
  • the purchase of equipment and software for humanities facilities, including storage systems, heating, ventilation, and AC equipment, climate control, lighting, security & fire prevention systems.

Investment in a restricted, short-term endowment or other investment fund (or spend-down fund) that will generate income to support the following activities:

  • The preservation and conservation of collections
    Funds may be used for long-term (five- to ten-year) preservation and conservation projects and programs centered on humanities materials. Activities may include:
    • examination and treatment of collections
    • preventative conservation treatment
    • the hiring of preservation and conservation staff to conduct project activities. Applicants must explain how the proposed preservation and/or conservation activities align with their institution's existing preservation and/or collection management plans and long-term strategic plans
  • Sustaining digital infrastructure for the humanities
    Funds may be used for long-term (five- to ten-year) support for ongoing costs for existing digital infrastructure projects and programs for the humanities, including:
    • integrating digital resources for improved long-term preservation and access
    • developing sustainable repository infrastructures
    • extending the functionality of existing digital platforms to improve sustainability
    • creating mechanisms for ensuring the long-term functioning of digital resources
    • (start-up or initial digitization projects are not supported)

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NEH Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions (PAG)

Deadline: January 15, 2020
Grant amount: up to $10,000 (Up to $15,000 for activities related to American history collections as part of the United States 250th anniversary coming up in 2026)

ELIGIBLE GRANT ACTIVITIES for 2020 NEH PAG Grants (Up to $10,000)

  • Education and Training
  • General Preservation Assessments
  • Digital Preservation Assessments
  • Collection-level Assessments
  • Consultations
  • Purchase of: Preservation Supplies, Storage Furniture, or Environmental Monitoring Equipment

ELIGIBLE GRANT ACTIVITIES for 2020 NEH PAG Grants for Federally Designated Disaster Areas (Up to $10,000)

  • Disaster response, recovery, and mitigation
  • Conservation treatment
  • Temporary storage and relocation 
  • The purchase of cleaning supplies and equipment, which may include vacuums, dehumidifiers, and other disaster remediation supplies
  • The reformatting of collections when appropriate as a preservation methodology

ELIGIBLE GRANT ACTIVITIES FOR "A More Perfect Union": NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Commemorating the Nation's 250th Anniversary. (Up to $15,000)

  • Consultations, planning, and pilot work with humanities professionals that would position smaller institutions to preserve and create enhanced access to their humanities collections for use in activities that would address the themes of "A More Perfect Union."
  • Consultants who would offer education and training in staff professional development geared to capacity-building and leadership that would help the institution improve its care of American history collections. 

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NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grants (HCRR)

Deadline: July 15, 2020
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 Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

Deadline: January 15, 2020 (Optional draft due Dec 4, 2019)
Grant amount (planning grants): up to $50,000 for a two-year period
Grant amount (implementation grants): up to $350,000 for a five-year period


  • See Guidelines for a complete list of eligible project activities. Watch for updated guidelines.

    Applicants should have completed the process of basic preservation planning and environmental monitoring, which might include a general preservation plan, collection inventory, emergency plan, and/or basic assessments of building and storage environments. 

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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: February and July    (Note two-step deadline process )
Grant amount: $10,000 to $100,000 


  • Exhibition-related activities, including conservation
  • Digitization
  • See guidelines for other activities. (Updated guidelines to be released in December)

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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: Major Initiatives FY2021
Preliminary Proposals Due: January 16, 2020
Final deadline: July 9, 2020

Grant Amount: Between $100,000 and $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 preserve and process historical records to:

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

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