Funding Available for Sustainable Preservation

National Endowment for the HumanitiesConsider applying to the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections program for funding to plan and implement sustainable preservation strategies and practices.  
NEH is looking for projects which incorporate preservation strategies that balance effectiveness, cost, and environmental impact. The application deadline is December 4, 2012.

Planning grant activities should bring together interdisciplinary teams that might reevaluate environmental parameters for collections and examine passive (non-mechanical) and low-energy alternatives to conventional energy sources and energy-intensive mechanized systems for managing collection environments. You can apply for up to $40,000, with an option of up to $50,000 (applicants may request up to an additional $10,000 to carry out one or more recommendations made by the interdisciplinary planning team during the course of the project).

Implementation grants of up to $350,000 can be used to manage interior relative humidity and temperature by passive methods; install heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems; install storage systems and rehouse collections; improve security and the protection of collections from fire, flood, and other disasters; or to upgrade lighting systems and controls to achieve levels suitable for collections that are energy efficient. Projects that seek to implement preventive conservation measures in sustainable ways are especially encouraged.

Guidelines are available at


IPI is uniquely qualified to work with your institution on sustainability projects. We have worked with several institutions to develop successful grants including the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, the Harvard Divinity School Library in MA, Northern Kentucky University Archives, Stanford University Archive of Recorded Sound in CA, Swarthmore College Library in PA, and Winterthur Museum in Delaware.

IPI can provide consultation and advice on environmental monitoring project design, defining realistic parameters for temperature and relative humidity settings, and balancing the need to achieve both preservation quality and sustainable practices. We can provide on-site evaluation as well as hardware and software for monitoring and analyzing the storage environment. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you with an NEH SCHC planning or implementation grant.