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Historical & Archival Records Care Grant (HARC)

The application for the sixth funding cycle runs from May 1 to August 1, 2023
Register for the HARC grant webinar: May 25, 2023 registration

e Historical & Archival Records Care grant program was established by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) and the State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) to assist non-profits and local governments with the preservation of historically valuable original archival records. The grants are administered on a competitive basis.  Funding for the award is for two years.  Grants will be awarded based on review of the application by a sub-committee(s) of SHRAB.  Please note that works-of-art, textiles, artifacts, and museum objects are not eligible.


To apply for a Historical & Archival Records Care Grant, an organization must meet the following criteria:
be a nonprofit (must have tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service) or local government entity located in Pennsylvania;
be incorporated and in existence for two years prior to the submission of a grant application;
submit the grant application through DCED’s Electronic Single Application for Assistance;
is encouraged to be registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations, as required.  
Examples of eligible (PDF) and ineligible (PDF) organizations and projects.

Levels of Funding

There are two levels of funding for the Historical & Archival Records Care Grants:
Single organization grants in amounts up to and including $5,000. No match required.
Collaborative grants, where organizations can apply jointly for up to $15,000. This would include two organizations applying jointly for up to $10,000 or three organizations applying collaboratively for up to $15,000. No match required. 

General Conditions for Projects

All projects must relate directly to some aspect of Pennsylvania history.
An organization must be engaged in the preservation of original historical records for public access.
Proposals must adhere to professional archival standards for the care, preparation, and storage of materials.  For further information see the Pennsylvania State Archives’ “Archives Without Tears” (AWOT) online modules and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Archival Basics resource page.
Digitization projects must follow the Pennsylvania State Archives’ Digitization Guidelines (PDF).
It is the grantee’s responsibility to determine if aspects of their project may be subject to the Enhanced Minimum Wage Provision (PDF). 
Work cannot begin until the successful applicant has received a fully executed Grant Agreement.  Work commencing prior to disbursement of funds cannot be reimbursed.
Funding may be requested for surveying, inventorying, preserving, arranging, and describing historical records relevant to Pennsylvania.
Funding may also be requested for reformatting or the purchase of supplies and equipment.  
Examples of successful records care projects for historical repositories (PDF).
Examples of successful local government projects (PDF). 

Examples of Ineligible Project Activities

endowments, prizes, or awards   
general operating support   
capital improvement projects   
lobbying-related expenses or expenses for entertainment   
existing part-time or full-time staff positions (this includes hiring part-time staff during their nonworking hours)   
projects that have been initiated prior to the date of the award   
projects that serve a religious purpose or promote religious dogma   
any project whose results are not publicly available, except where prohibited by law   
projects involving widely published or non-original materials, such as newspapers, published maps and ephemera, except in cases where those materials: 1. are unlikely to exist elsewhere e.g.: a small community newspaper of historical significance with no other known existing copies; 2. uniquely document a community, organization, or business, e.g.: newsletters or concert programs; or 3. provide distinct context based on the creator’s organization, e.g.: news clippings and ephemera assembled in such a way as to offer additional insight in to a business, community, or event
projects dealing with works-of-art, published books, textiles, artifacts, or museum objects 
records or office management projects that do not relate to normal archival functions or goals, such as projects for the creation of a new filing, storage, or retrieval system for active non-permanent office files. 

Selection Process and Criteria

The panel of grant reviewers will be using this criteria (PDF) to score all applications.
Please note that providing only the required information in the grant system and skipping other sections of the application may result in lower scores.  The grant applications will be scored on by the panel on how well they meet this criteria.  (Sample HARC evaluation scoring sheet (PDF)). 

Application Process

Grants may only be submitted through the online system from May 1 to August 1. 
Your organization may need to register as a First Time User. 

Once you register and login to the system, this is the easiest way to begin a new PHMC Cultural and Historical Support grant application:

  • Create a Project Name such as "My PHMC Archival Grant." 
  • Select "YES" for "help selecting your program"
  • Click "Create a new application"
  • Select "PHMC" under the Agencies heading and click SEARCH
  • Click "Apply" next to the Historical and Archival Records Care Grants
  • It is critical that grantees retain login and password information throughout the lifecycle of their grant term. Please be sure to update contact information as necessary.

For assistance with the Electronic Single Application for Assistance system, please contact DCED's Customer Service at: (800) 379-7448,

Grant Application Timeline 

May 1 of Application Year                          Application opens

May/June/July of Application Year            Two HARC Grant webinars

August 1 of Application Year                      Application deadline

December of Application Year                    Recipients announced

January of Grant Cycle 1st Year                Award/rejection letters mailed to applicants

Grant Timeline (2yr Cycle)

February-April of Grant Cycle 1st Year     Grant agreements mailed to applicants

May 1 of Grant Cycle 1st Year                     Grant recipients will begin their projects

November 1 of Grant Cycle 1st Year           First six-month Interim Report due

May 1 of Grant Cycle 2nd Year                    Second six-month Interim Report due

November 1 of Grant Cycle 2nd Year         Third six-month Interim Report due

May 30 of Grant Cycle 2nd Year                  Grant project end date

June 31 of Grant Cycle 2nd Year                 Final Reports due

State Archives staff is available to assist in answering your questions.  Contact Grant Manager Natasha Margulis,  or 717-705-1676 with program related queries.

Additional resources (PDF)
Sample Grant Application (PDF)
HARC Grant Fact Sheet (PDF)