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Oral History Grant

Grants to Utah Nonprofits, IHEs, Agencies,
and Groups to Collect Oral Histories

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Utah Humanities (UH), Utah Division of State History (UDSH)

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Grants of up to $2,000 to Utah nonprofits, IHEs, government agencies, and groups to collect and transcribe oral history. Mandatory application drafts are due March 1. Funding may be used for costs associated with oral history transcription and research. Requests will be considered for one-time projects that benefit Utah communities.

Transcripts and recordings are deposited at the Utah State Historical Society Library and other deposition sites (such as local libraries), and the content of the collected oral histories is made available to the general public through a live public program. Funding is made possible through the Utah Division of State History and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

An Ongoing Collaboration:

For several years, both the Utah Division of State History (UDSH) and Utah Humanities (UH) offered grants to educational institutions and nonprofit organizations for oral history projects. During this time, some projects received funding from both organizations, while other worthy projects were not funded at all. Applicants also had to figure out two different sets of guidelines and application procedures and two separate administrative and reporting processes. UDSH and UH simplified the process for applicants and worked together to ensure that the limited funds available will be used to best advantage.


The primary purpose of the collaborative UH/UDSH Oral History Program is to collect and transcribe oral histories, deposit transcripts and tapes or CDs with the Utah State Historical Society Library and other public deposition sites (such as local libraries), and make the content of the collected oral histories available to the general public through a live public program.

While the program's primary purpose is not to provide research material for scholarly publication, exhibits, or similar projects, scholars involved in an oral history project who wish to delay depositing the material collected as part of a UH/UDSH grant in order to publish it must provide—as part of the grant application—a reasonable timetable for collecting and depositing the material. Such information will be considered when the application is reviewed.

Any arrangements for restricted deposition of oral history tapes, CDs and transcripts must be made at the outset of a funded oral history project. Final grant payment will be withheld until transcripts and tapes have been mailed to UH and they have been reviewed by UH and UDSH staff. Deposition of the tapes and transcripts in the Utah State Historical Society Library will be done by UH and UDSH staff.

Project Criteria:
-Grants are intended to fund one-time projects that are innovative, focused, well-defined, and of benefit to the local community.
-Products of projects supported by Oral History Grant funds must be made available to the public. An easy way to do this is to deposit a copy of the transcribed oral history interview and any other written products from the interview in a local public library. Applicants are required to designate a primary repository open to the public to receive and house materials generated from awarded grants. The Utah State Historical Society Library elects to accept only those materials for which it has been designated as the primary repository, though it reserves the option to be the secondary repository for materials that complement its scope of collection.
-Successful applicants must host at least one live public program that showcases the stories collected as part of an Oral History Grant and allows for public discussion about those stories.
-Copies of all tapes and transcripts of interviews must also be delivered to UH. The grant file for an oral history project that receives UH/UDSH funds will not be closed, and final payment will not be made, until tapes or CDs and transcripts have received by UH and UH/UDSH staff have reviewed and deposited them in the Utah State Historical Society Library, or until a restricted deposition has been made to UDSH.

Oral History Standards:

All oral history projects funded through this collaboration must conform to the principles and standards outlined by the national Oral History Association (OHA). These principles and standards can be found on the internet.

Some of these principles and standards are:
-Interviewees must be informed of the purposes and procedures of oral history, as well as the aims and anticipated uses of the projects to which they are contributing (including how the information will be edited and disseminated).
-Interviewees must be informed that they will be asked to sign a legal release and their interviews must remain confidential until they have given permission for their use.
-Interviewers should guard against making promises to interviewees that the interviewers may not be able to fulfill, such as guarantees of publication and control over the use of interviews after they have been made public.
-Interviewers should guard against possible exploitation of interviewees and be sensitive to the ways in which their interviews might be used.
-Interviewers must respect the rights of interviewees to refuse to discuss certain subjects, to restrict access to the interview, or, under extreme circumstances, even to choose anonymity.
-Interviewers should work to achieve a balance between the objectives of the project and the perspectives of the interviewees, and should be sensitive to the diversity of social and cultural experiences and to the implications of race, gender, class, ethnicity, age, religion, and sexual orientation.
-Interviewers should encourage interviewees to respond in their own style and language and to address issues that reflect their concerns.
-Oral historians have a responsibility to maintain the highest professional standards in the conduct of their work and to uphold the standards of the various disciplines and professions with which they are affiliated.
-In recognition of the importance of oral history to an understanding of the past and of the cost and effort involved, interviewers and interviewees should mutually strive to record candid information of lasting value and to make that information accessible..

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177848

Estimated Size of Grant:

Oral History Grants are awarded up to $2,000.

Term of Contract:

Projects must be completed within a twelve month period. Extensions may be requested in writing.

Projects may start on or after May 1 (April 1 application deadline); on or after August 1 (April 1 application deadline); on or after November 1 (October 1 application deadline); or on or after February 1 (January 1 application deadline).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Oral History Grants are open to organizations, including, but not limited to:
-Historical societies
-Government agencies
-Colleges and universities
-Statewide heritage organizations
-Other nonprofit and ad hoc organizations engaged in oral history research

Oral History Grants are not made to individuals or for-profit entities.

Pre-Application Information:

An Oral History Grant may provide no more than 50% of a project’s total cost. Each applicant must be able to show at least one dollar in in-kind contributions or cash to match each Oral History Grant dollar requested. Applicants are encouraged to cover as many administrative costs (personnel, space, etc.) as possible with matching contributions. Although cash match is encouraged, it is not required. The required match may be entirely in-kind.

UH grants are made up of federal funds and as of November 1, 2010, an entity applying for a UH grant must have a DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System). DUNS numbers are free and easily obtained from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Your organization may already have a DUNS number; please verify with your administrative office before contacting D&B. You can be assigned a DUNS number immediately by phone or within a day by web.

Draft applications are due on March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1. UH staff will provide technical assistance and the review committee will meet to review final applications in April, July, October, and January.

Applicants are encouraged to contact UH in the early stages of project planning in order to discuss project ideas with UH and UDSH staff. Staff advice is also available as you complete the Oral History Grant application. Applicants should anticipate potential revisions to a draft proposal as part of the review process.

Oral History Grants are reviewed by UH and UDSH staff on a quarterly basis with the following application deadlines:

-March 1 (mandatory draft) / April 1 (final) for projects starting on or after May 1
-June 1 (mandatory draft) / July 1 (final) for projects starting on or after August 1
-September 1 (mandatory draft) / October 1 (final) for projects starting on or after November 1
-December 1 (mandatory draft) / January 1 (final) for projects starting on or after February 1

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:,302/view,selection/

Jodi Graham, Grants and Outreach Program Officer
801.359.9670 x105

Utah Humanities
202 West 300 North
Salt Lake City, UT 84103

Jedediah Rogers, Senior State Historian

Utah Division of State History
300 S. Rio Grande
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Utah