As part of the Initiative for Humanities and Culture, the Academy has worked with
a consortium of humanities organizations to compile and analyze existing data on
the state of the humanities. Patterned after the influential Science and Engineering
Indicators (published every other year by the National Science Board), a prototype
set of Humanities Indicators is organized into five categories: 1) primary and secondary
education; 2) undergraduate and graduate education; 3) humanities research and funding;
4) the humanities workforce; and 5) the humanities in American life.
THE HUMANITIES INDICATORS
equip researchers and policymakers at universities, foundations, public humanities
institutions, and government agencies with better statistical tools for answering
basic questions about undergraduate and graduate degrees in the humanities, employment
of humanities graduates, levels of program funding, public understanding of the
humanities, and other areas of concern in the humanities. The initial set of Indicators
respond to the most immediate needs of national humanities organizations and will
be expanded over time to provide useful information to a wide range of users. Interpretive
essays will accompany the model indicators.
The Humanities Indicators Leadership Group advises the Academy on this project.
The group is comprised of senior figures in both the humanities and the social sciences
and includes representatives from professional associations in the humanities, such
as the Modern Language Association, the American Historical Association, the College
Art Association, the National Humanities Alliance, and the American Council of Learned
Societies, among others.
The prototype set of Humanities Indicators is posted on the Academy’s HUMANITIES
RESOURCE CENTER ONLINE at www.HumanitiesIndicators.org.
The website contains 74 indicators and more than 200 tables and charts, providing
broad-based quantitative information on the state of the humanities in the United
States. The site also includes statistical data and commentaries, a directory of
humanities organizations and state councils, and a list of publications about the
Another Academy project, the Humanities Departmental
Survey, is generating new data from a sample of approximately 1,500 college
and university humanities departments: history, English, foreign languages and literatures,
art history, linguistics, and religion. That information, which was collected on
a pilot basis during the 2007-2008 academic year, will be analyzed and made available
The Humanities Indicators project has released three reports reviewing statistical
data and funding trends in the humanities:
The Academy has received funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the Humanities Indicators project. Read the
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