The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) has awarded almost $2 million in Cultural and Historical Support Grants to 161 eligible museums and official county historical societies from 56 Pennsylvania counties.
In addition, PHMC awarded $200,000 in Historical and Archival Records Care (HARC) Grants to 37 organizations in 20 Pennsylvania counties.
The following organizations received grant funds in Berks County: Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association – $28,024, Foundation for the Reading Public Museum – $23,089, Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust – $17,000, Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles – $8,707, and Berks History Center – $7,212.
The goal of the Cultural and Historical Support Grant program is to strengthen Pennsylvania’s museum community by supporting the general operations of eligible museums and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs.
An eligible museum must have an annual operating budget exceeding $100,000 (excluding capital and in-kind services) and at least one full-time professional staff person (or approved equivalent).
Award amounts are determined using an equation based on a percentage of the eligible museum’s previous year’s operating budget. The maximum any museum can receive is $40,000. All official county historical societies receive a $4,000 minimum grant.
HARC Grants fund projects designed to improve the preservation and accessibility of historically significant records maintained by local governments, historical societies and academic institutions.
HARC grants are administered by the Pennsylvania State Archives, a bureau within PHMC. Funding for the awards spans two years. The maximum award one institution can receive is $5,000. Collaborative grants were eligible for $5,000 per institution for a maximum of $15,000.
The grants were based on a competitive review of the applications by a subcommittee of the Pennsylvania State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB).
SHRAB operates under federal regulations governing the National Historical Publications & Records Commission and serves as the central advisory body for historical records planning in the state.