NEH announces $40 million in awards and offers for 249 humanities projects

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced $40 million in grants for 249 humanities projects.

These grants will support a wide array of projects, including collaborative research, the digitization of historic newspapers, professional development for teachers and community college faculty, scholarly editions and translations, the creation of new digital tools, the production and development of radio and television programs, and conservation programs at museums and archives.

This funding cycle marks the first grant awards offered through a new NEH special initiative: Challenge Grants for Two-Year Colleges, which aim to strengthen humanities programs at community colleges, encourage the development of model humanities programs and curricula, and broaden the base of financial support for humanities on two-year college campuses. Capacity-building humanities grants under this new initiative must be matched 2-1 by nonfederal funds. These grants will help raise an endowment to support interdisciplinary colloquia at the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center at Queensborough Community College, support the creation of an Intercultural Center at Northwest College in Wyoming, and assist the construction of a new library to house an archive of Ojibwe cultural artifacts at Leech Lake Tribal College.

Also among the new grants are those that will bring a traveling exhibition on the creation and influence of the King James Bible to forty public libraries, enable the compilation of volumes of letters by Henry David Thoreau, provide for the digitization of historic North Dakota newspapers dating from 1864 to 1922, and support the development of an online database of records from the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank showing the savings accounts of immigrants in 19th-century New York.

NEH funding will also support the production of a documentary on the influence of American rock and roll music on the collapse of the Soviet Union, help preserve archival collections related to Texas history at the University of Texas at Arlington, and allow the Milwaukee Public Museum to create a 3-D holograph exhibit demonstrating the ancient Egyptian process of mummification.

In addition, NEH announced five new recipients of digital humanities grants jointly funded by NEH and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). These NEH/DFG Bi-lateral Digital Humanities Program grants support collaborations between U.S. and German researchers on international digitization projects and digital humanities workshops. Projects supported through this grant program include a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania and the Free University of Berlin to develop a digitized corpus of cuneiform tablets from ancient Mesopotamia inscribed with bilingual myths, incantations, and liturgies in Sumerian and Akkadian, and a collaboration between the Center for Jewish History in New York and the Senckenberg Library at the University of Frankfurt am Main to digitize 1,000 volumes of the Wissenschaft des Judentums, the library of Jewish scholarship that was dispersed and destroyed during World War II.

This award cycle, institutions and independent scholars in 45 states and the District of Columbia will receive NEH support. Complete state-by-state listings of grants are available here (49-page PDF).