Get $350K for Cultural Preservation from National Endowment for the Humanities

National Endowment for the Humanities is offering local governments and partners grants for museums, libraries and archives preserving cultural heritage.

Local governments and non-profit partners pressed to preserve cultural holdings by supporting sustainable conservation measures that mitigate deterioration and prolong the useful life of collections can apply for funding through the National Endowment for the Humanities. Museums, libraries, archives and other collecting institutions may lead efforts to sustain cultural heritage that would begin in October 2018 by leveraging planning or implementation grants offered by the Division of Preservation and Access.

Planning Grants

National Endowment for the Humanities planning grants can help institutions explore sustainable preventive conservation strategies. Grants of up to $40,000 must be used to support planning projects, which may encompass such activities as site visits, risk assessments, planning sessions, monitoring, testing, modeling, project-specific research and preliminary designs for implementation projects. exploring sustainable preventive conservation strategies.

Applications require an interdisciplinary team, which could include consultants, staff members, architects, building engineers, conservation scientists, conservators, curators, facilities managers and others, and must include a preservation/conservation professional who works with collections.

Possible projects include but are not limited to:

  • Reevaluate environmental parameters for collections
  • Study performance characteristics of buildings and building envelopes to understand how they might be used to moderate collection environments
  • Examine nonmechanical and low-energy alternatives to conventional energy sources and energy-intensive mechanized systems for managing environmental conditions
  • Analyze and optimize existing climate control systems
  • Explore actively managed mechanical systems to achieve desired conditions and energy and cost savings
  • Conduct a risk assessment
  • Weigh options and develop strategies for lighting collection spaces in ways that protect collections while achieving improved energy efficiency
  • Evaluate preventive conservation strategies previously implemented

Implementation Grants

Implementation grants of up to $350,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities can help implement preventive conservation projects. Projects must focus on sustainable preservation strategies and should be based on prior planning, though a previous NEH planning grant award is not required.

Possible projects include but are not limited to:

  • Manage interior relative humidity and temperature by passive methods
  • Upgrade a building automation system to enable more active management of a heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Recommission or install HVAC systems
  • Reorganize to locate more vulnerable collections in spaces that are more naturally stable
  • Install storage systems and rehouse collections
  • Improve security and the protection of collections from fire, flood and other disasters
  • Install lighting systems and controls that achieve greater energy efficiency and better conditions for collections

Applications are due December 5, 2017.

Learn more about the opportunity on the National Endowment for the Humanities website.

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