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National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, Tribes, and IHEs
to Create a Digital Database of Historic Newspapers

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) - Division of Preservation and Access and Library of Congress (LC)

Deadline Date:

01/15/20 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, government agencies, tribal governments, and institutions of higher education to create a nation-wide searchable database of historical newspapers. Applicants are advised to create or verify the required registrations before applying. Newspapers must be published between 1690 and 1963. Funding is intended to support collaborative projects such as staff training and workshops, creation and delivery of digital files, and consultation on project management.

The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress to create a national digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1690 and 1963, from all the states and U.S. territories. This searchable database will be permanently maintained at the Library of Congress (LC) and will be freely accessible online. 

Over a period of two years, successful applicants will select newspapers—published in their state or territory between 1690 and 1963—and convert approximately 100,000 pages into digital files (preferably from microfilm), according to the technical guidelines outlined by the Library of Congress.

NEH is especially interested in supporting projects that advance humanities-related work in the following areas.

“A More Perfect Union”: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Commemorating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary As our nation approaches its 250th anniversary in 2026, NEH encourages projects that promote a deeper understanding of American history and culture and that advance civic education and knowledge of our core principles of government.

NEH welcomes consideration of diverse topics in American history, from Native American culture to rural life to the rise of the industrial city, from the Civil War to the Cold War to the Civil Rights movement, etc. Projects that examine foundational documents in U.S. history, as well as projects that examine historical objects, places, traditions, events, and individuals who collectively shaped the states and nation are encouraged. Applications about the contributions of underrepresented communities are highly encouraged. In addition, NEH especially encourages projects that include Native American organizations and communities as lead applicants and project partners.

NEH will provide funding in the form of cooperative agreements. A cooperative agreement is a financial assistance mechanism where substantial programmatic involvement is anticipated between NEH and the recipient during performance of the contemplated project.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177357

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

NEH expects to award cooperative agreements of up to $325,000 each.

Term of Contract:

The performance period is two years with a start date of September 1, 2020.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, accredited public and 501(c)(3) institutions of higher education, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments. Individuals and foreign and for-profit entities are not eligible to apply.

NEH intends to support projects in all states and U.S. territories.

NEH generally does not make awards to other federal entities or to applicants whose projects are so closely intertwined with a federal entity that the project takes on characteristics of the federal entity’s own authorized activities. This does not preclude applicants from using grant funds from, or sites and materials controlled by, other federal entities in their projects.

The National Digital Newspaper Program will not support:
- The digitization of serials that do not fit the definition of “newspaper” used by the Library of Congress (“A newspaper is a serial publication, appearing usually at least weekly, which serves as a primary source of information on current events of general interest.”), and of serials that are not described as newspapers in associated CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials) bibliographic records
- The digitization of newspapers that fall outside the 1690-1963 chronological span
- The digitization of newspapers that are not confirmed to be in the public domain
- The costs of repurposing the newspapers created through NDNP, including enhancement of the files, creation of an interface, and preservation of the digital assets
- Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view
- Advocacy of a particular program of social or political action
- Support of specific public policies or legislation
- Lobbying
- Projects that fall outside of the humanities (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and empirically-based social science research or policy studies)

Pre-Application Information:

Program officers will review draft proposals submitted by December 4, 2019.

The due date for applications under this announcement is January, 15, 2020. at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by e-mail in August 2020.

You are required to apply online through

The registration process requires completing information in three separate systems:
1. Dun and Bradstreet (
2. System for Award Management (SAM) (
3. (

Organizations must obtain a Unique Entity Identifier, currently a valid Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S®) number. Organizations must also register with the System for Award Management (SAM) and continue to maintain active SAM registration with current information at all times during which you have an active federal award or an application or plan under consideration by an agency (unless the applicant is an individual or federal agency that is exempted from those requirements under 2 CFR §25.110(b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the agency under 2 CFR §25.110(d)).

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For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

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

If you have questions about the program, contact:

National Digital Newspaper Program Division of Preservation and Access
National Endowment for the Humanities
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20506


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Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)