Local History Grants for Collections Care and Management: Mini-Grant Funding

Wisconsin Historical Society

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Grant amount: Up to US $700

Next anticipated deadline: May 1, 2020 (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: May 17, 2020 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Nonprofit Museum/Library/Zoo

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building, General Operating Expense, Exhibitions, Project / Program

Membership: Applicants must be a member of this organization to apply. Become a member.

Location of project: Wisconsin

Location of residency: Wisconsin

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NOTE:  First time applicants must contact Field Services Staff for advice by the 'letter of inquiry' deadline and before drafting their applications.


The Mini-grant program supports projects to improve the care, management and access to local history collections.


Mini-grants categories are listed below. A project may fit within more than one category, but the application may be more convincing if focused on a single project: 

  • Archival Supplies
  • Past Perfect software
  • Storage & Shelving
  • Digitization Equipment
  • Climate Control
  • Computer Hardware
  • Conservation Supplies
  • Training

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • All organizations formally affiliated with the Wisconsin Historical Society, regardless of location, membership levels, or budget size, are invited to apply.
  • Applicants must be tax exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, be listed on the IRS web site as a Public Charity (PC), be current in filing of federal tax and information returns (e.g., Forms 990 or 990N), and be current in the filing of Annual Reports with the Wisconsin Historical Society.
  • It is not necessary for an applicant to be registered as a charitable entity with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, although such registration is required for some private non-profits.
  • If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact Field Services Staff before completing your application. 
  • Grant awards must be matched on a 1:1, dollar for dollar basis.
  • Examples of ELIGIBLE project activities/expenses include:
    • Past Perfect software, associated add-ons, upgrades, and technical assistance
    • Fees and/or travel expenses to attend workshops specific to collections care/management, training for Past Perfect, or purchase of training guides from Past Perfect (fees/travel for general conferences not eligible)
    • Hardware to improve collections management: scanner, digital camera, laptop/computer, external hard drive. (must be for collections-specific activities, not general office use)
    • Purchase of acid-free boxes and folders to house archival materials
    • Purchase of supplies to create appropriate museum-quality storage for textiles
    • Acquisition of a dehumidifier or air conditioner for improved climate control
    • Acquisition of HEPA vacuum to appropriately clean artifacts and exhibits
    • Monitoring equipment for collections storage areas, including water detectors and light meters
    • Equipment for collections storage such as map cases or powder coated, metal shelving 

You must be a member of this organization to apply for this award - become a member. Only historical organizations that are affiliates of the Wisconsin Historical Society are eligible to apply.


  • Preference may be given to affiliates who have not previously or  recently received a mini-grant.


  • Examples of ineligible project activities/expenses:  
    • Projects with no connection to the care and management of museum/archival collections 
    • Capital (building) projects – construction of storage areas, ramps, building repairs or improvements 
    • Publications/books
    • Exhibit or display materials, cases or fabrication (unless the project directly addresses some type of collections care problem like lighting or textile care within an exhibit, exhibit projects are not considered.)
    • Security cameras or security-related materials in museum and exhibit areas
    • Previously purchased supplies, equipment, or other expenses already incurred
    • Staff or contract employee salary/fringe benefits
    • Value of services provided in-kind