Grants and Acquisitions

Ann-Christe Galloway

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Meadville Lombard Theological School has received a $37,456 grant from the Illinois State Library to digitize archival materials so that researchers can easily access primary sources concerning the social and political activism that grew out of liberal religion in Illinois. Illinois in Transition: Liberal Religious Activism, 1890–1983 will digitize material relating to Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Preston Bradley, and Lombard College. Jenkin Lloyd Jones (1843–1918), a Chicago-area Unitarian minister, was the general secretary of the World Parliament of Religions during the 1893 World’s Fair and carried the mission of the Parliament into the 20th century. Lombard College, founded in 1853 in Galesburg, Illinois, was a coeducational Universalist college whose students have had an outsized influence on Illinois history. Preston Bradley (1888–1983), a Unitarian minister, was a leading religious leader in Chicago whose sermons were broadcast across the country.

George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida were recently awarded supplemental funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize more than 100,000 additional pages of historic newspapers. The $288,000 NEH grant will provide funding support for the Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project, which is part of the state’s and territory’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program. The award supplements a $325,000 grant the libraries received in 2013, making the total award $613,000, the single largest direct award ever received by the libraries. Led by project director Patrick Reakes and project manager Melissa Espino, the project is a collaboration between the University of Florida Libraries and the library at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. It will provide a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1836 and 1922 from Florida and Puerto Rico. The project provides free, Internet-based access to newspapers that are currently available only on microfilm. The digitized papers will be available through the Library of Congress Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/), the University of Florida Libraries Florida Digital Newspaper Library (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/fdnl1), and the Biblioteca Digital Puertorriqueña at the University of Puerto Rico (http://bibliotecadigital.uprrp.edu/cdm/).

Acquisitions

The official congregation files of the Unitarian Universalist Association have been acquired by Meadville Lombard Theological School. This archival collection stretches over 300 linear feet and records the activities of more than 1,000 Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist congregations and fellowships during the 20th century. These files provide valuable insight into the growth of liberal religion in the 20th century.

The papers of Paul Espinosa, an award-winning independent filmmaker, have been acquired by University of California-San Diego. Espinosa is known for his documentary and dramatic films focused on the U.S.-Mexican border region, which helped to increase awareness about a host of immigration and cross-cultural issues. Espinosa, who has been the recipient of eight Emmy Awards for his films, recently retired from Arizona State University, where he was on the faculty at the School of Transborder Studies. He continues to make films through his company, Espinosa Productions, now located in San Diego. The materials include approximately 200 linear feet (200 boxes) documenting Espinosa’s more than 35 years of filmmaking, including interviews, research materials, photos, and correspondence, as well as films scripts, DVDs, and video.

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