Upcoming Deadlines for Digital Humanities Grants

We share useful links and upcoming major deadlines so you can start thinking about and strategizing for your next digital humanities grant proposal.

We all know that writing grants is not easy and can take a lot of time. You need to start thinking and strategizing for your grant proposal months in advance of the targeted grant’s submission deadline, give your ideas time to mature, find the right partners to help you make it happen, and establish a relationship with the funding agency’s program officers to guide you through the process. There is a lot of work to be done to go from the initial idea (“it is such a great idea, everybody would support this!”) to a solid and well argumented proposal (many months and hundreds of calls and emails later…). Putting together the right team, making sure all staff members and partners know their roles and are aware of deadlines, and having an effective project management strategy and matrix in place… All these things need to happen before writing begins.

We recommend you start by spending time watching the video series: Applicant Tools and Tips on grants.gov which includes very useful tips and tools for grant writers. Whether you need an introduction to the Grants.gov application process, or you are looking for a step-by-step explanation of the process of writing grants in general, this is a good place to start. Successful grant writing strategies are not the focus of this post, there are plenty of resources on the web that can help with that, we will post about some later in this series and add some of our thoughts based on CoDA’s successes, failures, and lessons learned. For now here is a short list of major federal programs for Digital Humanities and Cultural Preservation.



Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions
Deadline May 3, 2016 for Projects Beginning January 2017
Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections.

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Deadline July 19, 2016 for Projects Beginning May 2017
The Humanities Collections and Reference Resources (HCRR) program supports projects that provide an essential underpinning for scholarship, education, and public programming in the humanities. Thousands of libraries, archives, museums, and historical organizations across the country maintain important collections…. Funding from this program strengthens efforts to extend the life of such materials and make their intellectual content widely accessible, often through the use of digital technology.

Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants
Deadline August 10, 2016 for Projects Beginning April 2017
This grant program supports projects for general audiences that encourage active engagement with humanities ideas in creative and appealing ways. Many different formats are supported, including permanent and traveling exhibitions, book or film discussion programs, historic site or district interpretations, living history presentations, and other face-to-face programs in public venues.

Common Heritage
Deadline May 12, 2016 for Projects Beginning January 2017
America’s cultural heritage is preserved not only in libraries, museums, archives, and other community organizations, but also in all of our homes, family histories, and life stories. The Common Heritage program aims to capture this vitally important part of our country’s heritage and preserve it for future generations. Common Heritage will support both the digitization of cultural heritage materials and the organization of public programming at community events that explore these materials as a window on a community’s history and culture.

Documenting Endangered Languages
Deadline September 15, 2016 for Projects Beginning May 2017
The Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) program is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop and advance knowledge concerning endangered human languages. Made urgent by the imminent death of an estimated half of the 6000-7000 currently used languages, this effort aims also to exploit advances in information technology.



STEM Expert facilitation of Family Learning in Libraries and Museums (STEMEX)
Deadline May 01, 2016
National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG-Libraries) and National Leadership Grants for Museums (NLG-Museums), under which this special initiative falls, support projects that address challenges faced by the library and museum fields and that have the potential to advance practice in those fields. Successful projects will generate results such as new tools, research findings, models, services, practices, or alliances that can be widely used, adapted, scaled, or replicated to extend the benefits of federal investment.

Museum Assessment Program
Deadline July 01, 2016
The Museum Assessment Program (MAP) is supported through a cooperative agreement between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the American Alliance of Museums. It is designed to help museums assess their strengths and weaknesses, and plan for the future.



Our friends at the Sustainable Heritage Network have also gathered some information and in-depth tutorials about upcoming grants and strategies for grant submissions in their collection: Funding Sources and Grant Writing. Check it out for more information!