Grants For Digitization Projects: Common Heritage, NEH

This grant program from the National Endowment for the Humanities supports day-long events organized by community cultural institutions, which members of the public are invited to attend. At these events, experienced staff will digitize the community historical materials brought in by the public. Project staff will also record descriptive information provided by community attendees about the historical materials. Contributors will be given a free digital copy of their items to take home, along with the original materials.

Projects must also present public programming that would expand knowledge of the community’s heritage. Public programs could include lectures, panels, reading and discussion, special gallery tours, screening and discussion of relevant films, presentations by a historian, special initiatives for families and children, or comments by curators about items brought in by the public, workshops on preserving heritage materials, or other activities that bring humanities perspectives on heritage materials to wide public audiences. These public programs should provide a framework for a deeper understanding of the community members’ shared or divergent heritage.

Deadline: May 12, 2016

Maximum amount: $12,000

Match required: No

Further information:

Primary webpage:

Previously funded projects:

Useful things to know:

  • Applicants are encouraged to contribute digitized resources to regional or national digital collections (such as Recollection Wisconsin and the Digital Public Library of America).
  • Allowable expenses include the cost of flatbed and overhead scanners, digital cameras, preservation supplies for protecting cultural heritage items, and computers to assist the digitization and creation of metadata. Preservation enclosures may be purchased and given to members of the public to help them protect photographs and documents. Grant funds will also cover fees for the staff of libraries, museums, and other collecting institutions to conduct the digitization.
  • Although NEH program staff are not able to review draft applications, they will provide consultation by phone and e-mail. You may send questions regarding prospective applications to the Division of Preservation and Access, at 202-606-8570 or
  • Applications for this program must be submitted via This is a fairly complex process and it can be tricky to navigate the red tape. It is strongly recommended that you complete or verify your registration at least two weeks before the application deadline.

Sample application: Mead Public Library, 2015