The Packard Humanities Institute

The Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) was established in 1987 to create tools for basic research in the Humanities and to foster public interest in the history, literature, and music of the past. Before PHI existed, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation made grants to support some of these same activities.

Since its founding, PHI has been an operating rather than a grant-making foundation. Our mode of operation has differed significantly from that of the Packard Foundation in that PHI has undertaken a small number of projects, all of which have involved long-term financial commitments and professional partnerships with teams of scholars at major universities (including Yale, Princeton, Duke, Cornell, and Michigan). Most PHI projects have been expected to last for a decade or more. Our professional staff participates directly as an active partner in these projects and does not spend its time evaluating a constant stream of outside proposals. In fact, PHI has never accepted outside proposals.

In its first decade, PHI devoted most of its attention to creating electronic databases in three areas: (1) Latin literature, (2) Ancient Greek papyri and inscriptions, (3) Founding Fathers of American democracy (Benjamin Franklin and others). More than 3000 PHI CD ROMs are currently licensed to scholars and institutions in over 50 countries.

More recently, PHI has initiated a small number of long-term projects in archaeology (in Greece and Albania), film preservation (at the Library of Congress and the UCLA Film Archive), restoration of historic theatres (including the San Jose Fox as a new home for Opera San Jose), music publishing (including a complete edition of C.P.E. Bach), education (especially the teaching of reading in the early grades), and human rights in emerging democracies.

Despite our recently broadened areas of interest, PHI does not expect to modify its historical pattern of concentrating on a small number of long-term projects.

The Packard Humanities Institute does not accept unsolicited proposals.