Humanities Indicators
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Funding & Research
 
Humanities Funding and Research

Introduction

Scholarly research is an important—perhaps the most important—part of the humanities infrastructure not only because it is critical to the vitality of this field in both educational settings and society at large but also because scholarship in specific humanities disciplines can have significant bearing on national and international issues. Many years ago, when scholars were focusing on the languages, the societies, and the historic tensions of the Middle East, few predicted how crucial these areas of inquiry would become in the early 21st century. Humanities research that inquires into other cultures, such as those of China, for example, is equally critical in the context of a global economy and in the creation of an educated American citizenry. Meanwhile, such research and its dissemination have also always been indispensable elements in the civic culture of the United States and to the fostering of a well-informed and participatory electorate.

For all of its importance, however, scholarly research in the humanities does not usually make the front pages of newspapers, and while research in the natural and social sciences can often have direct and immediate relevance to public policy, applications for humanities research tend to be less obvious and less specific. As a result, the humanities can be overlooked in the competition for funding. Such funding as humanities research and other humanities-related activities do receive is, in turn, difficult to quantify. Equally challenging is any attempt to arrive at a comprehensive and detailed assessment of the sources of this funding, partly because they are so varied and dispersed. Government funding for humanities research and other activities flows from myriad agencies and programs at the federal, state, and local levels, while private funding is distributed by thousands of foundations and other not-for-profit organizations that play a crucial role in sustaining important areas of humanities research and ensuring the dissemination of humanities knowledge.

This part of the Humanities Indicators begins by describing public funding for humanities agencies and higher education and then goes on to estimate the extent of private investment in the humanities.[1] The final section seeks to give some indication of the funding and other resources dedicated to supporting scholarly research in the humanities, as well as providing some gauge of the extent of scholarly publication in this field.

 

Indicators

Federal Funding for the Humanities

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Funding Levels
NEH Budget Request versus Final Appropriation
IV-1a.xlsIV-1a.pptIV-1a.pdf
NEH Funding, by Purpose
IV-1b.xlsIV-1b.pptIV-1b.pdf
NEH Program Funding, by Type
IV-1c.xlsIV-1c.pptIV-1c.pdf
NEH Funding Distributed to States
IV-1d.xlsx
Distribution of NEH Program Funding
Distribution of NEH Program Funds among Activity Types
IV-1e.xlsIV-1e.pptIV-1e.pdf
Beyond NEH
Other Federal Support of Humanities Activities
IV-2.xlsx

State Funding for the Humanities

State Humanities Council Revenues
State Humanities Council Revenues, Total and Per Capita
IV-3a.xlsIV-3a.pptIV-3a.pdf
Humanities Council Revenues, by State
Sources of State Humanities Council Funding
IV-3c.xlsIV-3c.pptIV-3c.pdf
Sources of State Humanities Council Funding (State Comparison Tool)
State Library Agencies
State Library Agency Revenues, by Source
suppIV-4a.xlsIV-4a.pptIV-4a.pdf
State Library Agency Per Capita Revenues, by Source
suppIV-4b.xlsIV-4b.pptIV-4b.pdf
State Library Agencies’ Total and Per Capita Expenditures for Assistance to Libraries in Their States
suppIV-4c.xlsIV-4c.pptIV-4c.pdf
State Funding for Higher Education
State Funding for Higher Education (trend data)
IV-5a.xlsIV-5a.pptIV-5a.pdf
State Funding for Higher Education, by State
Percentage Change in State Funding for Higher Education, by State
State Arts Agencies
Total Amount Appropriated by States for Their Arts Agencies (trend data)
Amount Appropriated by Each State for Its Arts Agency, Per Capita
Percentage Change in Amount Appropriated by States for Their Arts Agencies

Private Funding

Charitable Giving for Humanities Activities
Individual, Corporate, and Foundation Giving to Arts, Culture, and Humanities Organizations
suppIV-7.xlsIV-7.pptIV-7.pdf
Foundation Funding
Distribution of Foundation Grant Monies among Humanities Activity Types
IV-8a.xlsIV-8a.pptIV-8a.pdf
Value of Foundation Grants for Humanities Activities
IV-8b.xlsIV-8b.pptIV-8b.pdf
Number of Foundation Grants for Humanities Activities
IV-8c.xlsIV-8c.pptIV-8c.pdf
Distribution of Foundation Grants among Humanities Activity Types
IV-8d.xlsIV-8d.pptIV-8d.pdf

Not-for-Profit Humanities Organizations

Not-for-Profit Humanities Organizations and Their Revenues: Overview
Numbers and Inflation-Adjusted Revenues of Not-for-Profit Humanities Organizations
IV-9a.xlsIV-9a.pptIV-9a.pdf
Range in Revenues of Not-for-Profit Humanities Organizations
IV-9b.xlsIV-9b.pptIV-9b.pdf
Not-for-Profit Humanities Organizations and Their Revenues: Trends among the Major Organization Types
Distribution of Not-for-Profit Humanities Organizations and Their Revenues across Organizational Types
IV-9c.xlsIV-9c.pptIV-9c.pdf
Number of Not-for-Profit Humanities Organizations, by Type
IV-a and b9.xlsIV-a9.pptIV-a9.pdf
Revenues of Not-for-Profit Humanities Organizations, by Organization Type
IV-a and b9_1.xlsIV-b9.pptIV-b9.pdf
Not-for-Profit Humanities Museum Organizations and Their Revenues
Numbers and Revenues of Humanities-Related Museums
IV-9d.xlsIV-9d.pptIV-9d.pdf
Not-for-Profit Library and Archives Organizations and Their Revenues
Numbers and Revenues of Not-for-Profit Library and Archives Organizations
IV-9e.xlsIV-9e.pptIV-9e.pdf
Not-for-Profit History Organizations and Their Revenues
Numbers and Revenues of Not-for-Profit History Organizations
IV-9f.xlsIV-9f.pptIV-9f.pdf
Not-for-Profit Cultural and Ethnic Awareness Organizations and Their Revenues
Numbers and Revenues of Not-for-Profit Cultural and Ethnic Awareness Organizations
IV-9g.xlsIV-9g.pptIV-9g.pdf
Not-for-Profit English Literacy Development Organizations and Their Revenues
Numbers and Revenues of Not-for-Profit English Literacy Development Organizations
IV-9h.xlsIV-9h.pptIV-9h.pdf
Not-for-Profit Writing, Book, and Literature Organizations and Their Revenues
Numbers and Revenues of Not-for-Profit Writing, Book, and Literature Organizations
IV-9i.xlsIV-9i.pptIV-9i.pdf
Other Not-for-Profit Humanities Organizations and Their Revenues
Numbers and Revenues of Other Not-for-Profit Humanities Organizations
IV-9j.xlsIV-9j.pptIV-9j.pdf

Support for Humanities Research

Research and Development Expenditures at Colleges and Universities
Academic RD Expenditures in the Humanities
IV-10a.xlsIV-10a.pptIV-10a.pdf
Academic RD Expenditures: Humanities Compared with Other Selected Fields
IV-10b.xlsIV-10b.pptIV-10b.pdf
Federally Funded Share of Expenditures for Academic RD in the Humanities and Other Selected Fields
IV-10c.xlsIV-10c.pptIV-10c.pdf
Sources of Funding for Academic RD in the Humanities and Other Selected Fields
IV-10d.xlsIV-10d.pptIV-10d.pdf
Research Libraries
Expenditures for Materials and Binding at 12 Member Institutions of the Association of Research Libraries
IV-11a.xlsIV-11a.pptIV-11a.pdf
Materials Costs, Purchases, and Expenditures for Member Institutions of the Association of Research Libraries
IV-11b.xlsIV-11b.pptIV-11b.pdf
Resources per Student at Member Institutions of the Association of Research Libraries
IV-11c.xlsIV-11c.pptIV-11c.pdf
Trends in Academic Books Published in the Humanities and Other Fields
Number of New Humanities Titles
IV-12a.xlsxIV-12a.pptIV-12a.pdf
New North American Academic Books, by Field
IV-12aa.xlsxIV-12aa.pptIV-12aa.pdf
New Titles in the Humanities, by Discipline
IV-12b.xlsxIV-12b.pptIV-12b.pdf
Trends in the Price of Academic Titles in the Humanities and Other Fields
Price of New Print Titles, by Field
IV-12c.xlsxIV-12c.pptIV-12c.pdf
Price of New Humanities Print Titles, by Discipline
IV-12d.xlsxIV-12d.pptIV-12d.pdf
Price of Academic Ebooks, by Field
IV-12e.xlsxIV-12e.pptIV-12e.pdf
Price of New Ebooks in the Humanities, by Discipline
IV-12f.xlsxIV-12f.pptIV-12f.pdf

Endnotes

[1]  Students’ subsidization—via teaching and research assistantships, employer subsidies, and their own financial resources—of the portion of their education not covered by grants from their universities or other philanthropic organizations is a substantial and largely unacknowledged form of funding for the humanities enterprise in the contemporary United States. Please see "Paying for Doctoral Studies in the Humanities" for information regarding the extent to which students rely on these different types of support and the amount of debt students accumulate over the course of their doctoral education in the humanities.