Grants and Acquisitions

Ann-Christe Galloway

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Penn Libraries has received two National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) awards amounting to $530,000 to fund Humanities Collections and Reference Resources projects in the libraries’ Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts. An award of $300,000 will support a three-year project, “The New Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts: A Research Tool for Tracking the Current and Historic Locations of Manuscripts,” directed by Lynn Ransom, project manager for the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts (SDBM), who wrote and submitted the grant. SDBM is the largest repository of data on medieval and early modern manuscripts for the study of the provenance history of manuscript books produced before 1600. The grant will support the redevelopment of SDBM to improve the free exchange of information. A grant of $230,000 will support a project directed by Nancy Shawcross, “Providing Global Access to Penn’s Indic Manuscripts, circa 1527–1930.” Shawcross wrote and submitted the grant and is the curator of manuscripts in Penn Libraries’ Rare Book & Manuscripts Library. With the largest collection of Indic manuscripts in North America—Penn’s collection comprises 3,050 discrete items and is considered the most substantial in the U.S. for studying the history of ancient and medieval scribal and literary traditions of South and Southeast Asia—the grant will enable Penn Libraries to catalog and create digital facsimiles for all of its holdings. The images will be available to view, download, and harvest free of charge via the website Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts at, a discovery engine developed by the Penn Libraries for its digital collections.


A digital archive documenting the United Farmworkers’ (UFW) Movement in Central California from 1962 to 1993 has been acquired by the University of California-San Diego Library. The archive, which was developed by LeRoy Chatfield, includes a wide variety of information on the activities, accomplishments, challenges, and work of Cesar Chavez and the farmworkers who participated in the farmworker movement. The Farmworker Movement Documentation Archive, which can now be accessed on the library’s website, comprises thousands of items documenting the UFW history and related events, including a timeline of significant milestones, oral histories, and manuscripts, as well as essays, and poetry penned by volunteers. Also included are 13,000 photographs, videos—including a short video on the farmworker union (NFWA/UFW) historic march to Sacramento in 1966—and a variety of art and images of cultural artifacts such as stamps, posters, paintings, and illustrations.

The extensive collection of astrology journals and books belonging to Michael Erlewine, an American musician, astrologer, photographer, television host, and Internet entrepreneur. The collection includes many videos, calendars, kits, and tarot card decks, and more than 16,000 books and periodicals—4,000 of which no other library appears to hold. Part of the Erlewine collection includes papers from Gary Duncan (Neil Llewellyn Bloch), an important research astrologer. The collection resided for many years in Heart Center Astrological Library in Big Rapids, Michigan. According to Erlewine, the Library of Congress was interested in the journals within his collection; however, he opted to donate them to Illinois to keep all of the materials together.

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