Grants and Acquisitions

Ann-Christe Galloway

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The College of New Rochelle (CNR) has received a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), First in the World (FITW) program. As the only private college in New York State to receive funding, the College of New Rochelle will use the grant to pilot test Mentoring, Undergraduate Research, and Augmented Libraries (MURAL), which aims to create a set of model interventions to improve adult students’ grades, retention, and four-year graduation rates in a variety of settings and collect data on successful practices to share with institutions who serve similar student populations. Led by Ana Fontoura, dean of CNR’s Libraries, MURAL will create librarian-faculty-writing specialist-student services/case manager teams that undertake professional development, produce curriculum and provide services. MURAL also includes enhanced services for the college’s six campuses: greater access to librarians and the creation of a learning commons (an open space that provides electronic library resources, information technology, intensive writing assistance, support for online education, in-person and online tutoring, and collaborative group work).

The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries has received a National Endowment (NEH) for the Humanities Challenge Grant of $500,000 to build an endowment fund that will broaden access to humanities resources relating to the Jewish experience in Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The matching award provides a $1 match for every $3 raised. The NEH Challenge Grant project, “Repositioning Florida’s Judaica Library,” will raise $1.5 million in matching funds to enable the creation of the Endowment for Resources on Jewish Heritage in Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean in support of strategic acquisitions, digital collection building, outreach programs, and research. Judith Russell, dean of University Libraries, and Rebecca Jefferson, head of the Price Library of Judaica, are leading the effort.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Illinois has received a $498,942 Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant will support the project “Cataloging Cavagna: Italian Imprints from the Sixteenth through the Nineteenth Century.” With this funding, the project—one of only 19 selected from a total of 92 applications in 2014—will catalog more than 20,000 rare Italian imprints from the 16th through 19th centuries in the library’s historically significant Cavagna Collection. The collection was purchased by the university in 1921 from the family of Count Antonio Cavagna Sangiuliani di Gualdana (1843–1913), a recognized authority on the local history of Northern Italy. Most of Count Cavagna’s library of printed and manuscript documents are in Italian, but the collection also contains French, Latin, and German publications. A significant number of works written in various disappearing Italian dialects will be increasingly valuable to linguists. The collection also contains many unica (the only known copy), as well as items that are the only copies in North America. Cataloging this collection over the course of the next three years will make it newly accessible to scholars in multiple fields, including Italian history, literature, art, theater, law, economics, and religion. When the items are fully cataloged, they will also be digitized to enhance accessibility.


The Donald M. Payne papers are now open for research at Seton Hall University’s Archives and Special Collections Center. This collection of 53 linear feet is the collected congressional papers of Donald M. Payne Sr., who was New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District Representative to the U.S. Congress from 1989 to 2012. Payne was New Jersey’s first African American congressional representative, and served 11 consecutive terms, passing away in 2012 during his 12th term. Payne was a native of Newark, New Jersey, and attended Seton Hall in the 1950s. A Democrat and a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Payne was a leading advocate of education and human rights. He was especially active in supporting increased funding for higher education and in supporting democratic efforts in Africa, particularly in Sudan. He was a member and former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and won a number of awards for his work on behalf of education, democracy, and human rights. The Donald M. Payne papers chronicle Payne’s work during his 23 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Included are notes and drafts of legislation with which Payne was heavily involved, papers and photographs from his travels to Africa, research materials related to his areas of interest, and many other materials documenting his work in Congress. The collection is primarily paper documents and photographs, which are available to researchers in the Archives and Special Collections Center reading room.

The literary archive of dramatist Paula Vogel, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a celebrated teacher who has mentored a generation of playwrights, has been acquired by The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. Vogel is the first American female playwright to have her archive included in the Yale Collection of American Literature. Vogel has authored more than a dozen plays, including the 1992 Obie Award-winning Baltimore Waltz; How I Learned to Drive (1997), which won her second Obie, the Pulitzer Prize, the Lortel Prize, the Drama Desk Award, and the Outer Critics Circle Award; Desdemona, A Play About a Handkerchief (1979); The Mineola Twins (1996); and The Long Christmas Ride Home (2003). The Paula Vogel Papers include drafts of most of Vogel’s plays, teaching files, and drafts of work by students from her many years teaching; also included are about 200 computer disks and five computers. These digital files include photographs, documents, and email correspondence with theater critics and practitioners, including Sarah Ruhl, Bert States, David Savran, and Amy Bloom, as well as numerous theater companies who have produced Vogel’s works. Researchers will be able to access Vogel’s papers beginning in spring 2015. As director of playwriting for Brown University for 24 years, Vogel mentored numerous playwrights who have gone on to great acclaim, including Sarah Ruhl, Nilo Cruz, Lynn Nottage, and Quiara Alegría Hudes. In 2008, Vogel joined the faculty of Yale School of Drama as chair of the playwriting program, a post she held until 2012. She is currently playwright in residence at Yale Repertory Theatre, and she continues to teach at Yale.

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