When there’s so much pressure on federal budgets, it’s exciting to see the NEH make the case for its importance, not only for scholars but also for the public more generally. Among academics, NEH Fellowships are the best known forms of support, but they’re also the most competitive. Have a look at the new site and see if your research projects might fit other funding opportunities. -CH
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
The National Endowment for the Humanities launched a comprehensive new website Monday, April 9, giving the Endowment a more user-friendly, engaging, and transparent platform for people seeking grants and for the public interested in humanities research, scholarship, and public programs. After a complete overhaul of the site, grant guidelines and grant management information is clearer and more accessible. A new EXPLORE section allows users to access information about more than 200 documentaries, radio programs, and apps produced by broadcasters and others with NEH grants. A prominent new rotator will showcase news of NEH and books, seminars, and other projects growing out of Endowment funding. As the Endowment launched the site, the rotator featured:
- A lesson from the EDSITEment educational website for teachers, students, and parents about Sor Juana, a seventeenth century nun, feminist and poet, considered the first great poet of the Americas;
- A story about a Maryland State Humanities lecturer on the Oyster Wars, when Maryland had an “Oyster Navy” in the 1890s to drive out interloping oystermen;
- A compendium of Civil War programs funded by the NEH, including reading and discussion programs being put on in 213 community and other libraries using a new anthology of important Civil War stories and documents.
- A biographical sketch of Philip Lampi, the nation’s greatest expert on the election returns from the American political campaigns of 1789-1825 and recipient of the first Chairman’s Commendation for service to the humanities;
- A story about a new NEH-funded translation of the Topography of Algiers, written by Antonio da Sosa in 1612 after he had been imprisoned for five years by the Barbary Pirates ( at the same time as Miguel da Cervantes, author of Don Quixote.)
The new NEH site showcases the award-winning HUMANITIES Magazine, now in a richly illustrated magazine format.
Each NEH division and program will have its own series of pages to feature projects, news about grants and opportunities to meet program officers in the field. The stories include:
- How a small grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council led to a traveling exhibition on the murder of 14 year old Emmett Till, the creation of the Mississippi Civil Rights Trail, and NEH-funded summer sessions on the Mississippi Delta.
- How Helen Clay Frick’s vision of documenting every work of art in the western world echos in the New York Art Resources Consortium online catalog, Arcade.
- How Digital Humanities scholars who received “Start Up” grants to break new ground in the humanities describe their research in “Lightning Round” on the site.
- How knowledge, gleaned through NEH research grants, is freely available and shared through white papers on the site.
NEH.gov will highlight information about projects funded through collaboration with state humanities councils. Links to all 56 state and territorial humanities councils and their calendars of activities will be offered at a single location.
EDSITEment, the Endowment’s prize winning K-12 educational site funded by a partnership between NEH and the Verizon Foundation, will offer high quality internet resources in the subject areas of literature and language arts, foreign languages, art and culture, and history and social studies.
Users can link directly to Chronicling America, the joint project of the NEH and the Library of Congress to digitize historic American newspapers. They can also access information directly on NEH’s funded projects sorted by topics of interest, state by state and at particular universities.
The NEH.gov redesign is part of an administration effort to modernize and streamline web operations, to consolidate websites for ease of maintenance, clarity and cost savings over time, and to make the work of government more accessible to all Americans.
The new neh.gov was built in-house using Drupal, an open source content management system. It is hosted on cloud infrastructure. It replaces an 11 year old interim site that had become outmoded. The new back-end architecture makes it possible to alter and enlarge the website’s capabilities without costly new redesigns.