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We regret that the approved 2023–24 budget for the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) was not sufficient to fund the Historical and Archival Records Care (HARC) Grants, so the program has been cancelled. We hope to restore HARC grants in future years.

Historical & Archival Records Care Grant (HARC)

The 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;
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)).