Publishing Historical Records in Documentary Editions on American Democracy, History and Culture Grants 2017


April 01, 2017

Opportunity Cover Image - Publishing Historical Records in Documentary Editions on American Democracy, History and Culture Grants 2017

FY 2018 Grant Announcement (Initial)

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) of the National Archives supports projects that promote access to America's historical records to encourage understanding of our democracy, history, and culture.

The following grant application information is for Publishing Historical Records in Documentary Editions.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number:   89.003

There are two deadlines for this opportunity. New projects and projects currently receiving funds from the NHPRC may apply at either deadline.

First Deadline 

Funding Opportunity Number:   EDITIONS-20170

  • Draft (optional):   April 7, 2017
  • Final Deadline:   June 14, 2017

NHPRC support begins no earlier than January 1, 2018.

Second Deadline

Funding Opportunity Number:   EDITIONS-201710

  • Draft (optional):   August 4, 2017
  • Final Deadline:   October 5, 2017

NHPRC support begins no earlier than July 1, 2018.

Grant Program Description

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks proposals to publish documentary editions of historical records. Projects may focus on the papers of major figures from American history or cover broad historical movements in politics, military, business, social reform, the arts, and other aspects of the national experience. The historical value of the records and their expected usefulness to broad audiences must justify the costs of the project.

The goal of this program is to provide access to, and editorial context for, the historical documents and records that tell the American story. The NHPRC encourages projects, whenever possible and appropriate, to provide free access to these materials in an open online environment, without precluding other forms of publication. Applicants should demonstrate familiarity with the best practices recommended by the  Association for Documentary Editing  or the Modern Language Association Committee on Scholarly Editions .

Projects may also prepare print editions as part of their overall publishing plan.  However, projects that do not have definitive plans for digital dissemination and preservation in place at the time of application will not be considered. It is also expected that the contents of any print volumes produced will be made available online within a reasonable period of time following print publication.

Grants are awarded for collecting, describing, preserving, compiling, transcribing, annotating, editing, encoding, and publishing documentary source materials online and in print.  Because of the focus on documentary sources, grants do not support preparation of critical editions of published works unless such works are just a small portion of the larger project. All applicants should be aware that the application process is highly competitive.

Ongoing projects: Applicants from ongoing projects must demonstrate that they have successfully achieved the performance objectives associated with previous NHPRC awards; provide updated, current information, including a description of the new activities; describe the content and historical significance of the specific materials to be edited during the proposed grant period; show progress towards completing the edition; and justify costs in a new budget.

Award Information

A grant is for one year and for up to $200,000. The Commission expects to make up to 25 grants in this category for a total of up to $2,500,000. Grants begin no earlier than January 1, 2018.

The Commission requires that grant recipients acknowledge NHPRC grant assistance in all publications and other products that result from its support.


  • U.S. nonprofit organizations or institutions
  • U.S. colleges, universities, and other academic institutions
  • State or local government agencies
  • Federally-acknowledged or state-recognized Native American tribes or groups

Cost Sharing

The total costs of a project are shared between the NHPRC and the applicant organization.

The Commission provides no more than 50 per cent of total direct project costs in the Publishing Historical Records in Documentary Editions category. NHPRC grant recipients are not permitted to use grant funds for indirect costs (as indicated in 2 CFR 2600.101).

Cost sharing is required. The applicant’s financial contribution may include both direct and indirect expenses, in-kind contributions, non-Federal third-party contributions, and any income earned directly by the project. Indirect costs must be listed under the applicant’s cost sharing contribution. 

Other Requirements

Applicant organizations must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application, maintain SAM registration throughout the application and award process, and include a valid DUNS number in their application. Details on SAM registration and requesting a DUNS number can be found at the System for Award Management website.

Ineligible applications will not be reviewed.

Application Information

You must use out online aplication portal to submit your Proposal. If you need the information supplied in an alternative format, please call the NHPRC at 202-357-5010.

Preparing Your Application

A complete application includes the Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424), Assurances -- Non-Construction Programs (Standard Form 424B), a Project Narrative, Summary, Supplementary Materials, and Budget. Applications lacking these items will not be considered.

Using the Application Instructions, fill out the Standard Form 424, the SF 424B, and the NHPRC Budget Form. You will also prepare a Project Narrative, a Project Summary, and Supplementary Materials to attach to your Application Package.

Project Narrative

The Project Narrative is a description of the proposal. It should be no more than 20 double-spaced pages in 12-pt type on 8.5 x 11 inch paper with standard margins.

Please organize your narrative in the following sections: 

Overview: Begin with a brief overview of your editorial project’s goals and previous accomplishments. Explain when you began your editorial project and when you expect the historical documentary edition to be completed.

Historical Overview: Provide an overview of the historical importance of the individuals, events, developments, organizations, and places whose history is documented by the project in general. Then, you must also describe the significance of the specific documents and/or other materials to be edited during the proposed grant period. Explain how increased access to these latter documentary source materials will increase public understanding of U.S. history, society and culture.

Project Methods: Outline your editorial procedures. Specify the methods you use for document collection, selection and arrangement, transcription, annotation, encoding and metadata creation, and indexing. Indicate what you have done to secure the necessary permission for publication of materials from holders of literary rights or copyrights. 

Publishing Methods: Explain the method(s) by which you will provide online access to the materials and work results (for example, free database-based websites, free online PDFs and/or subscription websites, ebooks, editions, etc.). Describe plans for (if applicable) retrospective digital conversion of previously published print volumes. For online publication, please also identify the technical standards you will use in digitizing, controlling, encoding, and linking materials. If you are also producing a print edition, describe plans for simultaneous or subsequent online publication of the material (A growing number of projects now prepare digital files that can serve both print and digital publication simultaneously.)

Preservation Standards: The Commission expects the final products of documentary publishing projects, including electronic versions, to be maintained in their entirety for long-term access. For print publication, indicate your publishing standards. For online publication, describe your digital preservation plans that will preserve the digital information and provide continued access. If available, please provide a link to your institution’s digital preservation plan.

Plan of work: Outline each stage of the planned work within the grant period, identifying which staff members are responsible for which tasks. You may clarify complex work plans with a more detailed work plan in the supplemental materials. Describe the total number of documents you expect to work on at each stage, the number of volumes you expect to publish, and/or other products you plan to produce during the grant period, including how many transcribed and annotated documents will be published online, and when. In addition, specify how much more work is necessary to complete the project after this grant period.

Ongoing projects Explain how any performance shortfalls during the past two grant cycles have been addressed in terms of management changes or staffing reallocations. In addition, the proposal must detail any changes from previous projections of the scope of work and anticipated completion date for the entire project since your previous grant award from the NHPRC (supplemental materials may be used for charts if more appropriate).

Impact of Project: For ongoing projects, demonstrate the impact of the project’s efforts to make these historical records accessible. This might include reviews; citations in other media such as books, film or television programs, and websites; or use in exhibits, classrooms, textbooks, or curricula. If your project makes use of student workers, indicate how this work is advancing their professional development and enhancing the educational goals of your institution. All projects, especially new ones, should describe how they plan to track impact. 

Qualifications of Staff: Describe the qualifications of the project's principal staff members. In the supplementary materials, provide a résumé of not more than two pages per person for all staff named in the project budget. For those staff members to be hired for the project, provide job descriptions, specify the qualifications that will be sought in candidates for vacant positions, and describe the roles to be played by all project staff, consultants, and contractors. 

Some projects benefit from advisory boards that provide special expertise. If you have an advisory board, identify the members and their area(s) of specialization.

Performance Objectives: List six to eight objectives by which we can measure your performance. For example, the number of images to be acquired during the grant period, the number of documents you plan to transcribe and/or annotate during the grant period; the number of volumes completed; the number of documents added to a website, etc. You should focus on quantifying what you intend to accomplish and complete.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

Eligible Countries
Publish Date
December 22, 2016