March 24, 2015

NEH Awards $300,000 Grant to AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced yesterday $22.8 million in grants for 232 humanities projects, the second round of NEH grant awards this fiscal year. Named as one of the recipients, the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library was awarded $300,000 in grant funding for a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources implementation of a project entitled Spreading the Word: Expanding Access to African American Religious Archival Collections at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library.

The Library’s Archives Research Center and Digital Services Unit will organize, describe, digitize, and prepare for research access fourteen collections of rare materials on African-American religion spanning from the late 19th century to early 20th century, and from the 1950s to 2000s. The project entails the arrangement and description of 126 linear feet of archival records and personal papers and the digitization of 2,139 photos and 1,163 video and audio recordings from these collections.

“We’re excited to be awarded a grant for the Spreading the Word project which will increase accessibility and use of collections containing significant – yet currently underutilized – documentation of African Americans and religion. Through this invaluable funding from NEH, we aim to enhance humanities scholarship by connecting researchers throughout the world to many audio and visual holdings previously unheard and unseen,” said Andrea Jackson, head of the Archives Research Center.

NEH grants announced for other recipients will support a reading and discussion program for at-risk teens in 200 communities, the creation of a crowd-sourced database of runaway slave advertisements drawn from pre-1865 U.S. newspapers, and the digitization of a collection of over 2,700 early twentieth-century wax cylinder recordings of Native American speech and song. Additional grant funding will enable scholars to conduct research on the first documented student loan program —in 13th century Oxford—and support the digitization Eleanor Roosevelt’s radio and television broadcast recordings.

“In the 50 years since NEH’s founding, the Endowment has supported excellence in the humanities by funding far-reaching research, preservation projects and public programs,” said NEH Chairman William Adams. “The grants announced continue that tradition, making valuable humanities collections, exhibitions, documentaries, and educational resources available to communities across the country.”   

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: