Public Engagement with Historical Records

Funding Agency:
National Archives & Records Administration

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks projects that encourage public engagement with historical records. The idea behind this program is to form collaborations among archivists, educators, historians (including documentary editors) and people working in community-based archives to involve the public in discovering and using historical records. The NHPRC is looking for collaborative projects that create models, tools, and technologies that other institutions can freely adopt to serve other communities.

Projects that center the voices and document the history of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are especially welcome. In addition, with the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence approaching, the Commission is interested in projects that promote discovery and access to collections that explore the ideals behind our nation’s founding and the continuous debate over those ideals to the present day. 

We are seeking projects that will engage people in the study and use of historical records for institutional, educational, or personal reasons. For example, an applicant can:

  • Enlist volunteer “citizen archivists” in projects to accelerate access to historical records, especially those online. This may include, but is not limited to, efforts to identify, tag, transcribe, annotate, or otherwise enhance digitized historical records.
  • Develop educational or creative programs for K-12 students, undergraduate classes, or community members that encourage them to discover and use historical records already in repositories or that are collected as part of the project.
  • Collect primary source material from people through public gatherings and sponsor discussions or websites about the results.
  • Use historical records in artistic endeavors. This could include K-12 students, undergraduate classes, or community members. Examples include projects that encourage researching and writing life stories for performance; using record facsimiles in painting, sculpture, or audiovisual collages; or using text as lyrics for music or as music


  • Draft Deadline (optional):   August 15, 2023
  • Final Deadline: November 2, 2023

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants:

  • Nonprofit organizations or institutions
  • Colleges, universities, and other academic institutions
  • State or local government agencies
  • Federally-acknowledged or state-recognized Native American tribes or groups



Amount Description

A grant normally is for one to three years. The Commission expects to make up to five grants of between $50,000 and $150,000. The total amount allocated for this program is up to $600,000. Grants begin no earlier than July 1, 2024.

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

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. NHPRC grant recipients are not permitted to use grant funds for indirect costs (as indicated in 2 CFR 2600.101). Indirect costs must be listed under the applicant’s cost sharing contribution if they are included in the budget.

The Commission provides no more than 75 per cent of total project costs in the Public Engagement with Historical Records category. For example, a total project cost of $100,000 means the applicant institution can request up to $75,000 in NHPRC grant funds and must provide at least $25,000 in cost share.

Funding Type





Arts & Humanities
Community Outreach and Engagement

External Deadline

November 2, 2023