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Subject: NEH grants for sustainable preservation

NEH grants for sustainable preservation

From: Laura Word <lword<-at->
Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The National Endowment for the Humanities invites applications from
nonprofit museums, libraries, archives, and educational institutions
in the United States to its Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections
program. This grant program encourages cultural institutions to plan
and implement preventive conservation projects that pragmatically
balance preservation goals, cost, and environmental impact. Projects
should be designed to be as cost effective, energy efficient, and
environmentally sensitive as possible, and they should aim to
mitigate the greatest risks to collections rather than to meet
prescriptive targets.

Planning grants of up to $40,000 (with an option to request an
additional $10,000 to implement a recommendation made by the
planning team) are available to bring together interdisciplinary
teams that will work collaboratively to identify sustainable
preventive conservation strategies.  Planning teams should consider
the nature of the materials in a collection; the performance of the
building, its envelope, and its systems in moderating internal
environmental conditions; the capabilities of the institution; the
nature of the local climate and the effects of climate change; the
cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency of various approaches to
preventive conservation; and the project's impact on the

Implementation grants of up to $350,000 are available 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; and
upgrade lighting systems and controls to achieve levels suitable for
collections that are energy efficient.

With Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections grants, cultural
institutions are

    Reevaluating specifications for relative humidity and
    temperature and establishing realistic and achievable targets;

    Identifying passive (nonmechanical) strategies for creating more
    stable collection environments;

    Investigating how the environmental management features of
    historic buildings might be used, especially those related to
    ventilation and control of solar gain;

    Studying the natural variations in a building to identify spaces
    best suited for collections;

    Employing the concept of multiple layers of buffering to create
    more stable conditions for collections;

    Reorganizing collections by material type, locating more
    vulnerable collections in spaces that are more naturally stable;

    Considering how docent-led tours might be re-routed to minimize
    the introduction of unconditioned air;

    Repairing building envelopes and improving site drainage to
    prevent moisture infiltration;

    Evaluating mechanical systems and optimizing their performance;

    Exploring control strategies and programming of building
    automation systems for operating HVAC systems more efficiently;

    Adopting, when possible, simple and easy to maintain mechanical
    systems and controls;

    Designing mechanical systems that are "right sized;"

    Implementing managed setbacks and shutdowns of climate control
    systems in well insulated spaces; and,

    Installing energy efficient lighting and employing occupancy
    sensors for control in storage spaces and galleries.

The next grant deadline is December 3, 2013.

Guidelines, FAQs, and sample narratives from successful applications
are on the NEH Web site:


A list of previous awards can be found at


Program officers are available to discuss project ideas and read
draft proposals. Please contact the division for more information by
emailing preservation<-at->neh<.>gov or calling 202-606-8570.

Laura Word
Senior Program Officer
Division of Preservation and Access
National Endowment for the Humanities

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:14
                Distributed: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
                       Message Id: cdl-27-14-009
Received on Tuesday, 17 September, 2013

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