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Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and
Tribes to Preserve Audio and Video Media

Recordings at Risk Program

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

12/16/21 11:59 PM EST


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Grants of up to $50,000 to USA and Territories nonprofit cultural, academic, and research institutions, government agencies, and Indian Tribes to preserve significant audio and video media resources. Funding is intended to support the digital reformatting of media that is fragile, obsolete, time-based, and of scholarly value. Preservation services must be performed by qualified external service providers.

Recordings at Risk is a national regranting program administered by CLIR to support the preservation of rare and unique audio, audiovisual, and other time-based media of high scholarly value through digital reformatting. Eligible media may include, but are not necessarily limited to, magnetic audio and video tape, grooved discs, wax cylinders, wire recordings, and film (with or without sound). 

Recordings at Risk encourages professionals who may be constrained by limited resources and/or technical expertise to take action against the threats of degradation and obsolescence. The program aims to help institutions identify priorities and develop practical strategies for digital reformatting, build relationships with partners, and raise awareness of best practices.

Proposals nominating content likely to have national or international import are generally more competitive than projects with narrow local or regional relevance, except in cases where content is culturally sensitive and narrow access is appropriate.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187337

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Awards range from $10,000 to $50,000.

The grant may fund up to 100% of the direct costs of audio or audiovisual digital reformatting services.

Term of Contract:

- Projects must be between 3 and 12 months in length.
- Projects may begin as early as May 1, 2022 and as late as February 1, 2023.
- All projects must conclude by April 30, 2023.

All projects should start on the first of the given month (e.g. 05/01/2022), and end on the last day of the given month (e.g., 04/30/2023) when the project closes.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be U.S. nonprofit academic, research, or cultural heritage organizations. Please note that:

- Both the applicant institution and its collections must be located in the United States or an associated entity, e.g. the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or American Samoa.

- Grants may be made to government units and their agencies or instrumentalities, provided that cultural heritage is the primary function of the unit and grant funds will be used for charitable purposes within the scope of the Recordings at Risk program. It is recommended that government units wishing to apply for a Recordings at Risk grant contact the CLIR Grants Team to ascertain their eligibility.

- Indian tribes, Alaska native villages, regional corporations, and village corporations are eligible to apply for funding. For more information, see page 6 of the Guidelines in Supporting Documents below.

Universities with multiple campuses may count Individual campuses as discrete entities for the purposes of this program. It is safe to consider institutions with their own granting offices as separate. (Only one project can be submitted per campus in a single cycle.)

Generally speaking, to be eligible for this program applicants must be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt under one of the following: IRS Code Section 501(c)3, IRS Code Section 115, or IRS Code Section 170(c)1. Grants may be made to government units and their agencies or instrumentalities not organized under IRS Section 501(c)3, provided that collecting and disseminating scholarly and cultural resources are among the primary functions of the unit and grant funds will be used for charitable purposes within the scope of the Recordings at Risk program.

In-house digitization projects are not eligible for this program.

An individual may not be Principal Investigator (PI) on overlapping or concurrent Recordings at Risk projects.

For a list of disallowed costs, see page 34 of the Guidelines in Supporting Documents below.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Attend an Information Session

Time: Oct. 6, 2021, 2:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Learn about the currently open Recordings at Risk grant opportunity and application process. The session will be captioned and a transcript will be made available after the event. A recording will be made available to registrants and will be posted to the program's "Apply for an Award" page for future reference. For registration:

Tuesday, October 26 - Applicant Q&A - 2:00-3:00pm EST

Register for Q&A:

Pre-Application Information:

All proposals must be submitted through the online application form by December 15, 2021 at 11:59 pm Eastern.

Timeline for Ninth Call:
- Application opens: September 27, 2021
- Application webinar: October 6, 2021
- Application deadline: December 15, 2021
- April 4, 2022: Recipients announced

CLIR recommends that government units and tribal entities wishing to apply for a Recordings at Risk grant contact the CLIR Grants Team to discuss eligibility.

Applicants must agree to create appropriate descriptive and technical metadata for all content digitized through grant funds and to dedicate this metadata to the public domain. CLIR will make exceptions for culturally sensitive metadata. Please contact the CLIR Grants Team with any questions regarding exceptions to this requirement.

Applicants must explain the legal justification for their proposed activities and all legal and ethical constraints affecting potential access to and reuse of digitized content, and they must detail the terms and conditions under which access will be provided for the purposes of research.

Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to the long-term preservation of the digital files created through the project.

Applicant organizations may submit only one application per cycle.

Applicant resources and FAQs:

Watch the webinar:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply online:

For questions, please contact:

Council on Library and Information Resources
211 North Union Street, Suite 100-PMB 1027,
Alexandria, VA 22314

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

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