Washington, DC–Dr. Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Dr. Bruce Cole, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, announced today that they will dedicate $1.5 million to Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership. Through this new partnership, IMLS and NEH are joining together to help teachers, scholars, museums and libraries take advantage of developing technology. These new digital tools will aid in the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge about our past and our culture. The announcement was made at the ninth meeting of the National Museum and Library Services Board.

The NEH and IMLS partnership creates a new funding opportunity-Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership. These grants will bring together museum, library, archives, and IT professionals with humanities scholars to spur innovative projects. In addition, IMLS and NEH will work together to encourage libraries, museums and cultural institutions to take part in NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants.

Dr. Radice noted that, “We are eager to get this partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities underway. Libraries and museums connect people to information and ideas. These grants will be a catalyst for innovation and new collaborations.”

Dr. Cole said, “Our partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services will combine our agencies’ talents to find new ways for digital technology to advance humanities scholarship and education. The ultimate goal is to make more resources more broadly available to more people.”

They noted that digital technology developments to support science research are outpacing the development of such advances for the humanities. Collaborative work of the two federal agencies can help turn that around. Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership will encourage digital scholarship, develop and maintain open standards and robust tools, and create extensive and reusable digital collections.

IMLS and NEH staff will jointly develop and distribute the grant guidelines for the new Advancing Knowledge: The IMLS/NEH Digital Partnership. The release of the guidelines is scheduled for early 2007. Applicants will use Grants.gov to apply electronically to the grant program.

NEH’s Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants are intended to encourage scholars with new ideas that incorporate new ways of using technology in the humanities. The Start-Up Grants with applications deadlines in 2006 and 2007 will support the planning or initial stages of digital humanities in research, publication, preservation, access, teacher training, and dissemination in informal or formal educational settings.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities. NEH grants enrich classroom learning, create and preserve knowledge, and bring ideas to life through public television, radio, new technologies, museum exhibitions, and programs in libraries and other community places. To learn more about NEH, please visit: www.neh.gov.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to grow and sustain a “Nation of Learners” because lifelong learning is essential to a democratic society and individual success. Through its grant making, convenings, research and publications, the Institute empowers museums and libraries nationwide to provide leadership and services to enhance learning in families and communities, sustain cultural heritage, build twenty-first-century skills, and increase civic participation. To learn more about the Institute, please visit: www.imls.gov.

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