National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Archival Projects

FY 2025 Grant Announcement: (Initial)

Through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), 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 Archival Projects.

Funding Opportunity Number:   ARCHIVAL-202411

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number:   89.003

  • Draft Deadline (optional): August 15, 2024
  • Final Deadline: November 7, 2024

NHPRC support begins no earlier than July 1, 2025

Agency Contact

Before beginning the process, applicants should contact Director for Access Programs, Nancy Melley ( at the NHPRC who may:

  • Answer questions about what activities are eligible for support;
  • Supply samples of successful applications;
  • Advise the applicant about the review process;
  • Read and comment on a preliminary draft. The deadline for draft proposals is August 15, 2024.

Grant Program Description

refer to caption

An Archives Project Grant is enabling the Pittsburgh City Archives enhance discoverability and access to its archival collections, including City Council records, Board of Viewers’ case files, and City Planning Department records. Shown here is the The Sixth St. Bridge, seen at the end of Federal Street.

The NHPRC seeks archival projects that will significantly improve online public discovery and use of historical records collections. We welcome projects that engage the public, expand civic education, and promote understanding of the nation’s history, democracy, and culture from the founding era to the present day. The Commission encourages projects focused on collections of America’s early legal records, such as the records of colonial, territorial, county, and early statehood and tribal proceedings that document the evolution of the nation’s legal history. 

Collections 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 particularly 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. 

Projects may preserve and process historical records to:

  • Arrange or re-house and describe collections
  • Convert existing description for online access
  • Create new online Finding Aids to collections
  • Digitize historical records collections and make them freely available online

All types of historical records are eligible, including documents, photographs, born-digital records, and analog audio and moving images.

The successful application will:

  • demonstrate the value of the informational contents of the collections to the understanding of United States democracy, history, and culture;
  • outline a project that addresses archival best practices; 
  • be appropriately staffed with archivists; 
  • propose a budget that accomplishes the project in a cost-effective manner; and
  • will outline activities that bring researchers to the collections included in the project as well as the rest of the repository’s holdings.

For a comprehensive list of Commission limitations on funding, please see: What we do and do not fund 

Award Information

A grant is for one or two years and for up to $150,000. The Commission expects to make up to 12 grants in this category for a total of up to $1,200,000. The Commission requires that grant recipients acknowledge NHPRC grant assistance in all publicity, publications, and other products that result from its support.


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


Projects must include at least one of the eligible activities described for this program. Applications must include all required elements (SF 424, Narrative, NHPRC Budget Form, and Supplemental Materials.) Applications that do not meet both criteria will not be considered.

In order to ensure eligibility, applicants should first review the rules and regulations governing NHPRC grants under the Administering an NHPRC Grant section.


Cost Sharing

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

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.

The Commission provides no more than 75 per cent of total project costs in the  Archival Projects category. For example, a grant funds request of $150,000 will require $50,000 from the applicant institution, for a total project cost of $200,000.


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 Unique Entity ID (UEI) in their application. Details on SAM registration and requesting a UEI can be found at

Ensure your and registrations and passwords are current. It may take up to one month to register or reactive your registrations, and NHPRC will not grant deadline extensions for lack of registration.


Applicants should submit a draft proposal prior to making a formal application. Draft materials should include, at minimum, the project narrative and budget, and drafts should be sentdirectly to the  Director for Access Programs, Nancy Melley (, who will send comments on your proposal in time for you to make changes to a final application. The deadline for drafts in this program is August 15, 2024.


Application Information

You must use to submit your proposal. All information necessary to apply is included in this announcement, the Application Instructions, and the forms on If you need the information supplied in an alternative format, please email nhprc@nara,gov.

In the event that is experiencing technical difficulties that prevent submission, applicants must first attempt to resolve the issue with the Contact Center support services, including the PSC Helpdesk at If cannot solve the problem, applicants must contact Jeff de la Concepcion no later than 3:00 Eastern Time on the day of the deadline with their valid Contact Center trouble-ticket number. Applicants that fail to meet deadlines for reasons other than those noted will not be considered for funding.

Preparing Your Application

Using the Application Instructions, fill out:

  • the Standard Form 424,
  • the Standard Form 424B,
  • and the NHPRC Budget Form.

You will also prepare a Project Narrative 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 formatted for 8.5 x 11 inch paper with standard margins and page numbers.

Please organize your narrative in these sections:

  1. Statement of Purpose: In one or two sentences, please state the project’s purpose, the quantity and format type of materials involved, and how they will be accessed. For example: The [institution] will process and describe [# of linear or cubic feet or # of  minutes of recordings or # of MB of born-digital materials] or The [institution] will digitize [# of
    pages/minutes] from XX collections.
  2. Overview: Begin with a short description of the project's purpose and goals. Describe the collections and show how the records broaden public understanding of our democracy, history, and culture. Characterize the project's intended audience.
  3. Archives Program Description: Briefly summarize your organization's archival program, describing the nature and scope of your holdings and your access policies for public use of your holdings, including days and hours of operation. Briefly discuss the repository's environmental and security controls.
  4. Description of Collections: Describe the materials involved in the project, including the quantity in cubic or linear feet for analog materials, in files and bytes for born-digital materials, and an estimate of the number of hours for audio and moving image materials. Detail the topical matters, formats, dates, and their relationship to United States democracy, history, or culture. Provide evidence of the current research demand and explain how you expect this project to change usage levels.
  5. Archival Methodologies: Describe your processing and digitization methodologies. Provide descriptions of your equipment and resources, metadata standards, and professional scanning practices. Specify cost estimates for digitized items. Detail the specific methods used for any preservation reformatting of audio or moving image materials. Outline your institution's long-term digital preservation plan (or provide a link to it online).
  6. Project Products: Describe and quantify the products you plan to produce for the completed project. This includes collections, catalog records, finding aids, digitized items, electronic files, and related materials. This also includes new tools and methods to be developed to enhance access to archival materials.
  7. Project Publicity: Describe how you will publicize the project and how you will share any new tools and methods with other institutions to encourage replication and adoption.
  8. Plan of Work: Provide evidence of planning and a realistic scope of work for the project. Describe each stage of the work plan and provide a time chart identifying the personnel required for each activity (in the supplemental materials).
  9. Staff Qualifications: Provide a narrative explanation of the qualifications of the staff who will contribute to the success of this project. Demonstrate that the project staff has the skills, educational background, and experience appropriate to the project. Explain the roles of all staff named in the project budget, both for those already on staff and for those to be hired. List the Names, Titles, Institutions, Phone Numbers, and E-Mail Addresses of the Project Director and Key Personnel. Please ensure that the project director listed on this summary is the same person listed in Section 8 (f), of the SF 424. If your institution requires a different contact person on the SF 424, please explain in one sentence. 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 or consultants to be hired for the project, provide position descriptions or call for consultants
  10. Performance Objectives: List six to eight quantifiable performance objectives that will allow you and the Commission to evaluate the project as you submit interim and final reports. Performance objectives might include the number or volume of collections processed or described, the number of items digitized, or types of new procedures put in place to expedite access to collections. These should allow you and the Commission staff to evaluate your progress as you submit interim and final reports.

Supplementary Materials

Prepare up to 20 pages of Supplementary Materials to your Narrative, including:

  • Brief résumés of all named staff members (use only institutional addresses and phone numbers. No more than two pages per staff member (required)
  • Position descriptions for staff to be hired with grant funds
  • Detailed work plan charts that supplement the Narrative
  • Institution's preservation plan for digital materials
  • Samples from existing finding aid(s) or indexes for selected materials (if applicable)
  • Letters of support
  • Statements of commitment to the project by partners (if applicable)

If these materials are available on a web site, please provide the URL(s). Reviewers appreciate application with fewer supplemental pages.


Project Budget

You must submit a budget on the NHPRC Budget Form available on the Application Instructions page. Note that the form itself contains additional instructions. You may include with your application a narrative budget supplement for budget categories that require further detail. 


Submission Dates and Times

  • Draft (optional) Deadline: August 15, 2024
  • Final Deadline: Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time November 7, 2024.

NHPRC support begins no earlier than July 1, 2025.

Proposal Review

The NHPRC staff will acknowledge receipt of the application soon after we receive it. The following evaluation criteria and weights will be used by NHPRC staff and other reviewers to form recommendations:

  1. The potential of the historical records collections to broaden understanding of our democracy, history, and culture. (30 percent)
  2. The project's strategies and techniques to enhance public access. (30 percent)
  3. The qualifications of the staff, the inclusion of appropriate work plans including professional development and citizen engagement, and the reasonableness of the budget (including cost share). (25 percent)
  4. The dissemination plans for the project's results. (15 percent)


Application Review Process

After submitting a proposal, do not discuss the pending application to the NHPRC with any Commission member. Commission members must ensure fair and equitable treatment of all applications and do not discuss proposals with individual applicants.

Your proposal will be reviewed by:

  • Peer Reviewer Panel
    We will ask a panel of up to 7 peer reviewers to evaluate and score the proposal.
  • The Commission
    Based on reviews and staff evaluations, the Commission members will deliberate and make funding recommendations to the Archivist of the United States, who has final statutory authority and selects award recipients. Throughout this process, all members of the Commission and its staff follow conflict-of-interest rules.

Award Administration Information



Grants are contingent upon available appropriated funds. In some cases, the Commission will adjust grant amounts depending upon the number of recommended proposals and total budget. The Commission may recommend that the Archivist approve the proposal and extend an offer of a grant with applicable terms and conditions, or it may recommend rejection of the proposal.

Commission staff will notify applicants of the Archivist's decision within two weeks following the meeting and will provide anonymous copies of the reviewer comments to all applicants.

Successful applicants will receive an informal offer of award outlining the steps that must be accomplished to qualify for funding. Those steps include verification of their acceptance of general terms and conditions, completion of a survey on their Financial Capability and Accounting Systems, and finalization of performance objectives for their project. 

For awards that meet or exceed the Federal government's simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000), NHPRC staff will first review and consider any information about the applicant that appears in the designated integrity and performance system. This information is accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313). After this review, NHPRC staff will follow the procedures in 2 CFR 200, subpart F, Appendix I, part e.3.

Once all requested documentation is received, reviewed and accepted, the NHPRC will issue an official award notice.


Administrative Requirements

In order to ensure that you can manage a grant, applicants should review the Federal grant administration rules and regulations governing grants from the NHPRC listed in the Administering an NHPRC Grant section.



In most cases, award recipients will report on their performance in narrative reports every six months and submit financial reports once a year.