January 20, 2022

Humanities Indicators From AAAS Releases Updated Public Humanities Funding Data (Including Public Libraries)

From HumanitiesIndicators.org (American Association of Arts and Sciences):

[Late last week, Humanities] Indicators released several updates about the public humanities which show that funding for some types of humanities-related institutions has risen in recent years, but remains below prerecession levels.

Key findings include:

In 2014, the 50 state humanities councils and the council for the District of Columbia reported a total of $73.6 million in revenues, which, once inflation is taken into account, represents a 4.7% decrease from the 2013 level.

After rising from the mid-1990s through 2001 (to a high of $1.51 billion), revenues for state library agencies fell to $1.02 billion in 2012 before rebounding modestly (to $1.07 billion) in 2014. State funding for library agencies—which represents the bulk of their revenue—fell from 86% of agency revenues in 2001 to 82% in 2014.

n 2015, state legislatures appropriated $333.6 million for their arts agencies, which represents an increase from the postrecession low of $256.9 million in 2012, but still well below the peak in state appropriation ($577.8 million in 2001).

From a spending peak in 2002 of $94.1 billion, state spending for higher education fell to $76 billion in 2012, before recovering slightly (to $81.8 billion in 2015).

In a related update on a key institution for the humanities—public libraries—the project reports that after increasing almost every year from 1995 to 2008, library holdings of print items fell, while audio, visual, and electronic book collections grew dramatically.

Direct to Updated Data and Visualizations

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.