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Empowered History

​Community History Micro-Grants

PSA Community History Micro-Grants

The Pennsylvania State Archives (PSA) is pleased to announce a limited-term micro-grant program, Empowered History, to inspire and enable communities in Pennsylvania to preserve and share their history (archives, texts, photos, oral histories, etc.) and engage community members with it. The goal of the grants is to help protect and share the history and stories of communities, foster more connections to local history, and support the efforts of community historians and archivists to preserve and share their community's history.

Empowered History
primarily supports communities that have been historically underrepresented in traditional archives. Funding is intended to help them gather, preserve, and share their stories. The grant program has a simplified application process. 

A community (in this context) is a group of people who share a common characteristic, attitude, interest, or goal and consider themselves to be a community.  Your community can be connected by ethnic or cultural backgrounds, sexual orientation or gender identity, religious beliefs, or any other connection.  A community can be represented by a formal organization, or a community's members can be more loosley connected. ​ 

his grant is intended to better position community-based archives to later apply for larger PA State Archives HARC grants or other external funding opportunities. Traditional historical societies, university archives, and government repositories are encouraged to seek other grant opportunities, including the PA State Archives HARC grant.


The Empowered History micro-grant program funds projects are subject to the following guidelines:

  • The micro-grants are for grants ranging from $100 to $1,000 each.
  • Funding can be used to make small, but important, purchases that capture, preserve, or disseminate your community's history, such as:
    • archival boxes, folders, or other archival supplies;  
    • equipment to improve storage and environment;
    • digital projects
    • support for community outreach intended to gather or encourage interest in a community's history;
    • educational materials;
    • artistic expressions of the community's history;
    • exhibits.
  • The Pennsylvania State Archives is using a broad definition of historical materials. A community's historical materials, whether physical or electronic, uniquely document a community's collective memory. Historical materials could include documents, photographs, texts, oral histories and other recorded materials.
  • Funding is intended for organizations and individuals that are preserving and sharing their own community's history. Applications from community-based groups and individuals will be considered more favorably than applications from archives and other repositories that hold a community's collections.
  • Capital projects, general operating support, salaries, and endowments/prizes/awards are not eligible for this grant

How it Works

Any eligible community entity with historical materials located in Pennsylvania can apply. Highest consideration is given to organizations with demonstrated financial need and historical material from communities that are underrepresented in the historical record. Applicants are encouraged to include letters that indicate broad support within the community for the grant project.

How to Apply

Complete the online application (PDF) before the deadlines listed below. 
Please email your completed application ( to the Pennsylvania State Archives.
Please send questions to 
Keep in mind that all events or activities funded by the micro-grant must be completed within six months of receiving funds, and that projects are not considered complete until the final report has been received by PSA.  

    • Application deadline: January 31, 2024
    • Application review: February 1 – March 31 
    • Disbursement of funds: April 1 – May 31
    • Project implementation: June 1 – November 30
    • All grant project activities completed: November 30, 2024
    • Final report: no later than December 31, 2024
    • Return any unspent funds: no later than December 31, 2024

What is Your Responsibility?

Upon receiving an award, your obligations include:

  • Document your activities or events (for example, by taking photos, recording audio or video, etc.)  
  • Help us to promote your work by making sure we have complete details about the project.
  • Credit the PA State Archives and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission in any publicity or announcements.
  • Help us document and evaluate your project by completing a report after your activities and events have taken place. The report will require you to answer 10 questions and take less than an hour to complete.
  • Return any unspent funds within 30 days of the end of the grant.

The Empowered History grant program is an initiative of the Pennsylvania State Archives made possible in part through a National Historical Publications and Records Commission State Board Programming Grant.

Awardees will be required to obtain a Unique Entity ID (UEI) through