Keepers Preservation Education Fund

Award Size: Varies
Application Deadline: Rolling
Keepers Preservation Fund Application: See below for application instructions


William J. Murtagh, Ph.D., established the Keepers Preservation Education Fund in 1988. Originally a charitable trust, the trustees voted to place the fund with the Maine Community Foundation in 2008.

According to an abstract at the University of Maryland entitled Papers of William J. Murtagh, “William J. Murtagh is one the world’s leading historic preservationists. As an administrator, educator, speaker and writer he has helped shape the historic preservation movement for more than 50 years. Murtagh was the first Keeper of the National Register and was also an executive at the National Trust for a number of years. He is the author of Keeping Time, a text on the development of the historic preservation movement. Murtagh held several teaching positions through his career at institutions such as Columbia University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Florida, and the University of Maryland.”


The Keepers Preservation Education Fund provides financial support to aspiring or established preservation professionals in the United States to increase or share their professional knowledge or enhance their career potential in historic preservation-related subjects. Awards may be used for tuition, professional meeting attendance, special book or other types of media purchases, domestic and foreign study travel, and other purposes as deemed appropriate.

Eligibility Requirements 

Individuals eligible for awards include:

  • Students enrolled full or part time in institutions of higher learning with majors in historic preservation or allied fields including American studies, anthropology, archaeology, architecture, landscape architecture, art history, architectural history, history, planning, law, economics, or building conservation
  • Volunteer or paid staff of organizations or entities involved in historic preservation
  • Practicing professionals in historic preservation-related fields.

Eligibility is not limited to Maine residents. Applicants may be from anywhere in the United States.

Applicants may not be members of the awards committee or the immediate family of a committee member.

Preference will be given to applicants who have not received an award in the past 24 months.

The Keepers Preservation Education Fund also awards two fellowships:

  • The H. Ward Jandl Fellowship supports the study of 20th century building technology and related areas in honor of the late H. Ward Jandl, former deputy chief of the Preservation Assistance Division at the National Park Service. Preference is for students and young professionals.
  • The Rhoad Family Fellowship supports volunteer or paid staff of house museums and similar preservation organizations in honor of the late members of the Rhoad family including Maude, Helen, Gladys, Rodney, Merritt, Albert, and Alice Rhoad, who were descendants of émigrés to the Pennsylvania Colony in the 1740s. House museums and allied museum-oriented organizations from throughout the United States are eligible.

How to Apply

Individuals must apply through a sponsoring institution or organization, which reviews and forwards the application to the Maine Community Foundation. The community foundation does not accept applications directly from individuals seeking financial assistance. For example, an individual may seek institutional sponsorship from a college or university in which s/he is enrolled, from a preservation institution at which s/he is an employee, or from a preservation organization in which s/he is a member.

Sponsoring institutions must agree to screen the applicant and administer the grant through an existing selection system such as an awards or scholarship committee. The institution assesses the applicant’s qualifications and need and forwards the recommended application to the community foundation for funding consideration.

Applications must include the following:

  • A one-page statement explaining why funds are needed. As part of this statement, please include:
    • Your name, address, e-mail address, and phone number
    • An explanation of your relationship to the sponsoring organization
    • Statement of total funds needed in support of the project/activity, itemized by budget category (registration, transportation, lodging, etc.).
  • Resume:
    • Focusing on your education and work in the historic preservation field.
  • The sponsoring institution must submit a short statement explaining how the application was reviewed and how many individuals participated in the screening or selection process. Please include:
    • The institution’s name, address, and phone number
    • The name of the contact person coordinating the institution’s sponsorship of the application with his/her address, e-mail address, and phone number
    • The purpose of the institution
    • Number of faculty/staff affiliated with the institution
    • The approximate operating budget of the sponsoring institution, organization, department, or program as applicable.

The sponsoring institution should mail all supporting documents to or send them to:

Keepers Preservation Education Fund
Maine Community Foundation
245 Main Street
Ellsworth, ME 04605

When to Apply

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The community foundation prefers to receive applications at least three months in advance of actual need. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision within two months of receipt of the application.


For more information about the Keepers Preservation Education Fund, please contact Liz Fickett  via e-mail or by phone, toll-free, at (877) 700-6800, ext. 2015, or directly at (207) 412-2015.