Grant Highlight: Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

NEW DEADLINE: December 12, 2013 (for projects beginning October 2014)

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections (SCHC) helps cultural institutions meet the complex challenge of preserving large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations by supporting preventive conservation measures that mitigate deterioration and prolong the useful life of collections.

This program helps cultural repositories plan and implement preservation strategies that pragmatically balance effectiveness, cost, and environmental impact. Doing so can: -contribute to an institution’s financial health; -reduce its use of fossil fuels and carbon footprint; -benefit other green initiatives; -ensure that significant collections are well cared for; and -ensure that collections remain available for use in humanities programming, education, and research.

PAST WINNER: The Folger Shakespeare Library The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, received a planning grant to work with facilities, energy management, and preservation experts to document, analyze, and optimize the performance of several air handling units that serve collection spaces. If optimization proves effective, the library can apply this process to the building’s HVAC system more generally. The goal is to understand the capabilities of the library’s mechanical systems and provide a better preservation environment for collections by enhancing the performance of the existing system.

Click here to see the most relevant excerpts from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s winning grant application. Excerpts from other successful applications, along with more information about the grant and application process, can be found here.

Please contact the NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access at or 202-606-8570 with any questions.