Mellon Foundation Awards $896,000 to University of Virginia Rare Book School

The University of Virginia has announced a $896,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to its Rare Book School for fellowships in its critical bibliography program.

The Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography program aims to encourage scholars to view books — beyond the text on their pages — as physical artifacts that contribute to the study of specific historical periods. Three-year fellowships will be awarded to twenty junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, or doctoral students in the humanities, each of whom will receive hands-on training at RBS, attend bibliographical field schools, and host symposia designed to foster discussion about bibliographical studies at their home institutions. Applications for the fellowship are due December 1.

The program will enable a new generation of humanities researchers to evaluate the wealth of scholarly information provided by a book's physical form, including understanding the materials and methods that went into a book's production or interpreting its intended audience or cultural significance, said RBS director Michael Suarez. "Our aim isn't to convert a musicologist, French literary historian, or science historian into a bibliographer," he added, "but rather to empower them with greater interpretive capabilities by encouraging a more thorough understanding of textual artifacts."