Documentary Heritage Program Grants Offered

The Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) is a statewide program established in 1988 under Education Law, §§ 140, 207- L. 1988, ch. 679. The DHP is administered by the New York State Archives to ensure the identification, sound administration and accessibility of New York’s historical records.

One component of the DHP is the grants program. DHP Grants are designed to encourage more comprehensive documentation of New York State’s history and culture by supporting projects that identify, survey, collect, and make available important records relating to groups and topics traditionally under-represented in the historical record. DHP is administered by the New York State Archives, a unit of the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include not-for-profit community organizations, archives, libraries, historical societies, and similar institutions within New York State and consortia or partnerships of such agencies. Also eligible are service providers such as historical service agencies, colleges and universities, professional associations, or other not-for-profit institutions or systems that provide services to historical records programs.


A total of $92,000 is expected to be available for grants projects. Grants will be available in amounts up to $25,000. Applicants may seek support for personnel- purchased services, including qualified consultants- supplies- materials and equipment costing less than $5,000- and travel as required to directly support project activities and outcomes.

Important Dates

Grants in this cycle are for up to 12-month projects, from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. Applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, February 1, 2011. Tentative date for the announcement of grant awards is June 30, 2011.

Grant Project Types

Documentation projects identify and ensure the systematic preservation of papers and records that shed light on the people, groups, events or changing political, economic or social conditions of New York State. The ultimate goal of a documentation project is to contribute to the building of a comprehensive and equitable historical record in repositories which make unique original source materials available to researchers and citizens. Typically consisting of three phases &#8211 planning, surveying, and collecting, documentation projects usually take at least two years to complete. Cost sharing of at least 20% is required.

Arrangement & Description projects &#8211 Arrangement and description are the processes used to obtain physical and intellectual control over materials held in historic records repositories. Arrangement is the process of organizing materials with respect to their provenance and original order, to protect their context and to achieve physical and/or intellectual control over the materials. Description is the creation of an accurate representation of a unit of archival material by the process of capturing, collating, analyzing, and organizing information that serves to identify archival material and explain the context and records system(s) that produced it. The objective of archival description is the creation of access tools that assist users in discovering desired records. Cost sharing of at least 50% is required.

Ineligible Projects

Several types of historical records projects are not eligible for funding under the DHP. These include:

· Projects that do not demonstrate a primary focus on New York State

· Digitization (projects to create digital records)

· Item-level description and/or indexing

· Oral history and/or video taping

· Newspaper collections (these are not considered to be historical records under the DHP law)

· Preservation (i.e., the physical work to conserve, restore, or repair records, or reproduction for preservation purposes such as microfilming)

Topical Priorities

In order to insure that the DHP addresses the New York State Historical Records Advisory Board’s mandate to identify, survey, collect, and make available historical records that relate to under-documented groups or subjects, the State Archives has identified and given priority to specific topical areas for DHP funding. These topics are listed in Priority Levels One and Two below. Although applications for projects that focus on any under-documented group or subject are eligible for funding, they will receive fewer points during grants review than those in Levels One and Two.

Priority Level One

· Population groups in the 20th and 21st centuries
· Economic change in the 20th and 21st centuries
· World Trade Center disaster, September 11, 2001
· Education policy

Priority Level Two

· Environmental affairs
· Mental health

Priority Level Three

· Other under-documented topics in New York State history

Application Process

Grant application forms may be obtained by emailing the State Archives [email protected] or by visiting the State Archives Web site and clicking on Grants and Awards.

For further information contact:

Pamela Cooley/Documentary Heritage Program
New York State Archives
Room 9C71 Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230
Telephone: 518-474-6276
Email: [email protected]

One thought on “Documentary Heritage Program Grants Offered

  • November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    We at the State Archives encourage you to apply. There’s still plenty of time before the February 1, 2011 deadline. And don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss your ideas for a project.


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