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Historical Records Collections Grants - Basic Projects

Grants to Maine Nonprofits and Agencies
for the Preservation of Historic Archives

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Maine State Archives, Maine Historical Records Advisory Board

Deadline Date:

06/01/18 Postmarked


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Grants of up to $1,000 to Maine nonprofit organizations and government agencies to preserve historical archive collections and improve public access to archival resources. Projects may involve basic preservation, archival inventory and organization, preservation, and digitization.

Projects dealing with Bicentennial collections and Civil War collections are especially encouraged because Maine has a rich heritage. Collecting, cataloging, and digitizing collections of Maine, especially in the 200 years of statehood, will help ensure that the records of our heritage do not disappear. There remains heightened interest in Civil War records because of the recent sesquicentennial commemoration, which provided opportunities to highlight those collections.

It is important that they be properly housed, organized, and made known to researchers to use them without harming the collections.

Guiding concepts:

In general, the Board favors:

-Basic preservation steps, rather than item-level conservation work.
-Describing archival collection should be a logical process: A basic inventory of the entire collection, followed by a basic level of organization (description at the collection or series level; housed appropriately) before doing folder or item-level description. This program does not normally fund item-level description, except for photographs, which may be described individually at a basic level.
-Preservation of original information over preservation of the object.
-Cost effective approaches to the preservation of information.
-Digitization can be an effective method for improving access to a collection, but for most media, it is not a preservation method. Digitization projects should also ensure that the originals are archivally housed.

Preference is given to projects that:

-Use cost-effective approaches to preserving original information and making it available to researchers,
-Are part of a plan to place an entire collection under intellectual control as opposed to doing detailed work on a small portion of a collection.

Projects are also preferred that:

-Deal with historically significant collections,
-Address threats to collections from environmental conditions and anticipated overuse,
-Demonstrate organizational ability to sustain a commitment to its collections and facilities maintenance,
-Preserve collections relating to Maine’s Bicentennial or the Civil War

Eligible materials include original historical records (usually unpublished) including:

-Manuscripts (diaries, letters, whether hand-or type-written or in electronic form)
-Accounting records (bound ledgers, account books, computer spreadsheets)
-Photographic prints and negatives (slides are not eligible)
-Architectural/ engineering drawings and blueprints
-Audio tape recordings, existing oral histories
-Motion picture films and video tapes
-Local government records scheduled to be retained permanently
-Materials that may have been published but had limited distribution (such as postcards, stereo views, and maps)
-Paper-based ephemera (documents with one time use: posters, invitations)
-Scrapbooks containing original historical records.

Examples of Projects:

-Purchase storage materials (acid-free folders and boxes, photo sleeves, etc.) and archival quality shelving to rehouse a collection
-Hire an archivist to create a finding aid for a large collection
-Hire an archivist to make recommendations for organizing and storing your collections
-Make archival copies of a photograph collection
-Microfilm unique important records, including town records
-Digitizing to provide or improve access to a collection.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179589

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $1,000

Term of Contract:

All regrant projects must be completed by May 15, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:

-Local governments that comply with the Rules for Disposition of Local Government Records;
-Nonprofit organizations that are: collecting organizations (historical societies, libraries, museums) that have a mission statement and a collections policy, or organizations preserving institutional records (e.g., a grange) that have a mission statement; and
-State agencies whose responsibilities include caring for a historic collection.

In addition:

-A designated staff person or volunteer who cares for the collection is required,
-At least one person engaged in the project must have had relevant archival training (workshops or other formal education,)
-Collections must be available to the public by the end of the project, either by scheduled hours or appointment.


All purchases made with grant funds and all matching contributions are to be made during the grant period and be directly associated with the project. Grant funds may not be used to pay for existing supplies or previous work. Grant funds may not be used to pay existing staff salaries, but may be used to pay someone who usually volunteers, or who is working beyond regular hours.

Ineligible Projects:

-Major capital equipment or computers, cameras, software. However, minor capital equipment which furthers the preservation of collections, such as environmental monitors, archival-quality shelving, flat files, and map cases, is eligible.
-Building, architectural or landscape restoration
-Exhibitions or publishing projects, whether traditional or Web-based
-Complete restoration (unbinding, de-acidifying, and rebinding) of bound manuscripts
-Photographic slides
-Museum objects or most published materials.

With the exception of photograph collections, item-level cataloging is not normally supported by this program. If you propose to catalog at the item level, you must justify that approach.

Pre-Application Information:

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2018

The applicant must supply a 1:1 in-kind or cash match. For every $1 of grant money, the applicant supplies $1 of in-kind or cash match. Ineligible items may demonstrate commitment to the project, but may not be included as match in the budget. Although not required, the Board would prefer to see some of the match as cash for organizations with at least one full-time paid staff person.

Contact Information:

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

Dave Cheever, Maine State Archivist
P: 207-287-5790
F: 207- 287-5517

Maine State Archives
84 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0084

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maine