Library buildings that have historical significance may be eligible for a number of grant programs. The Montana State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), maintains a list of historic sites and historic districts. Generally a site is eligible for grants if one of the below criteria is met:
- Structure or site is listed on National, State, or Local Historic Registry
- Structure or site contributes to a historic district
- A structure more than 50 years old and has documented significance to the history of a Montana community or region
Potential grant programs that may help with historic preservation efforts include the following:
Montana Historic Preservation Grant Program
The biennial application cycle for the Montana Historic Preservation Grant (MHPG) Program is now open! The deadline to apply is February 28, 2022. To support applicants, Commerce hosted a MHPG Application Workshop. To access the application and recording of the workshop. Note that an architectural study is generally required. Other grant programs can provide funding for these planning studies.
Main Street Program Grants
If your community participates in the Montana Main Street Program and the library is within a downtown district, it may qualify for a Main Street grant. The program helps local governments and Main Street partners by offering technical assistance and expertise to member communities as well as competitive grant funding to communities. Grants focus on planning and projects directly related to downtown revitalization, economic development, and historic preservation. Grants deadline is typically in the fall.
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) – Planning
CDBG planning grants may be used for the preparation of plans or studies related to historic preservation or the architectural studies related to historic buildings. Grants are now awarded on a quarterly basis and may cover the following projects related to library historic preservation efforts.
- Downtown Revitalization or Master Plans
- Historic and Architectural Preservation Studies
- ADA Self-Assessment Plans
- Brownfield Redevelopment Plans (If library has asbestos or other soil contamination)
- Preliminary Architectural Reports (PAR)
- Preliminary Engineering Reports (PER)
National Endowment for Humanities – Preservation Grants for Smaller Institutions
Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions — such as libraries— improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. These may include special collections of books and journals, archives, and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine art objects, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, historical objects, and digital materials.