Chicago History Museum Awarded Prestigious Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

$350,000 Grant Will be Used to Upgrade HVAC System to Preserve Museum Collections 

The Chicago History Museum (CHM) this month received a grant award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of its support for humanities projects nationwide. The $350,000 award will be used to upgrade CHM’s aging HVAC system to achieve more efficient climate control, ultimately benefiting the preservation of the Museum’s renowned collection.

“The National Endowment for the Humanities provides much needed funding to organizations nationwide, and I am thrilled that this award will allow us to maintain the conditions necessary to sustain our collection for future generations to enjoy and learn from,” said Gary T. Johnson, President of the Chicago History Museum.  “We are honored to be among the 18 recipients nation-wide of a Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections grant this year, and we look forward to our continued partnership with NEH.”

Beyond just a monetary award, support from the NEH distinguishes CHM as a valued leader in the national cultural sector. The grant will make it possible for CHM to better maintain sustainable preservation conditions at the Museum and is of critical importance in protecting a nationally renowned collection with unquestionable value to humanities pursuits. Made up of nearly 30 million items, CHM’s full collection encompasses the rise of America from colonial possession to independent nation to divided country engulfed in civil war, as well as the evolution of one of the nation’s most significant cities from fur trading outpost to modern metropolis. The collection is an extremely rich and diverse body of evidence about all aspects of life in Chicago and selected facets of American history. Objects in the collection cross ethnic, gender, political, racial, and class categories and provide a foundation of diverse materials to explore a broad range of humanities themes.

To learn more about the collection and items on display, visit


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