National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) - Office of Digital Humanities (ODH) and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
09/26/18 Receipt (5:00 PM ET Recommended Submission)
Grants starting at $50,000 to USA nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and IHEs for the digitization of out-of-print humanities literature. Applicants are advised to ensure the required registrations are complete well in advance of the deadline date. This program enables scholars, students, teachers, and the public to access humanities books through low-cost ebook technology.
Traditionally, printed books have been the primary medium for expressing, communicating, and debating humanistic ideas. However, the vast majority of humanities books sell a small number of copies and then quickly go out of print. Most scholarly books printed since 1923 are not in the public domain and are not easily available to the general public. As a result, there is a huge, mostly untapped resource of remarkable scholarship going back decades that is largely unused by today’s scholars, teachers, students, and members of the public, many of whom turn first to the Internet when looking for information. Modern ebook technology can make these books far more accessible than they are today.
NEH and Mellon are soliciting proposals from academic presses, scholarly societies, museums, and other institutions that publish books in the humanities to participate in the Humanities Open Book Program. Applicants will provide a list of previously published humanities books along with brief descriptions of the books and their intellectual significance. Depending on the length and topics of the books, the number to be digitized may vary. However, NEH and Mellon anticipate that applicants may propose to digitize a total that ranges from less than fifty to more than one hundred books. Awards will be given to digitize these books and make them available as Creative Commons-licensed “ebooks” that can be read by the public at no charge on computers, mobile devices, and ebook readers. The final ebook files must be in EPUB version 3.0.1 (or later) format, to ensure that the text is fully searchable and reflowable and that fonts are resizable on any e-reading device.
Applicants are encouraged to form partnerships, if appropriate, when applying. For example, two or more presses could collaborate to bring together books published by their respective institutions on similar themes and topics.
Applicants are required to create an advisory board composed of scholars, librarians, publishers, and other experts to help select the books to digitize. This advisory board should include at least two members from outside the applicant institution.
Applicants are also required to describe a marketing plan designed to spark interest in the newly digitized books. This would likely take the form of new supplementary content about each book to help introduce it to readers today. For example, a press might commission new introductions to a selection of books as a way to engage today’s readers. Alternatively, a press might produce videos or a series of blog entries to help contextualize a group of books that it is proposing to digitize. The marketing plan might include the involvement of original authors or editors, if appropriate.
The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square:
NEH invites proposals to digitize books on topics related to its initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. This initiative seeks to connect the study of the humanities to the current conditions of national life. Many of today’s challenges require more than ever the forms of understanding and knowledge represented by the humanities. They require the broadest possible engagement of scholars and the public with the resources of the humanities, including but not limited to the study of language, literature, history, philosophy, comparative religion, and ethics. The study of the humanities can help illuminate the complexity of many contemporary challenges while enriching understanding of the common good.
Note that the Common Good initiative incorporates the Standing Together initiative, which encourages projects related to the experience of war and military service, as well as projects that serve military veterans.
All applications will be given equal consideration in accordance with the program’s evaluation criteria, whether or not they respond to the Common Good initiative or the Standing Together initiative.
What's new for 2018:
Proposed books can be on any topic relevant to any humanities discipline. However, in recognition of two important upcoming anniversaries, NEH and Mellon encourage applicants to consider digitizing books related to the following:
a. The 250th anniversary of the United States, coming in 2020. Applicants may wish to include important books relevant to the founding of the United States.
b. The hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, coming in 2020. Applicants may wish to include important books relevant to the Nineteenth Amendment and women's suffrage.
GrantWatch ID#: 164804
Awards range from $50,000 to $250,000.
Awards are for one to three years. Projects may begin May 1, 2019.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Contact the NEH Office of Digital Humanities (ODH) via e mail at email@example.com.
Applicants wishing to speak to a staff member by telephone should provide in an e-mail message a telephone number and a preferred time to call.
Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact NEH via Federal Relay (TTY users) at 800-877-8399.
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