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Harvard College Library News: News from around the libraries

Houghton Visiting Fellowships Awarded

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Houghton Library


May 4, 2010 – Lured by Houghton Library’s rare book and manuscript collections, scholars from across the globe apply each year for a Houghton Library Visiting Fellowship. For the 26 who will receive one of this year’s coveted fellowships, the program represents an opportunity to study Houghton’s materials for an extended period on topics as diverse as German opera and the bookbindings of incunables.

“It’s very competitive,” Horrocks said, of the fellowship application process. “We receive applications from a wide range of scholars. For post-doctoral scholars who are early in their careers, a Houghton fellowship – and the research they conduct here – might be the difference that helps get their dissertation published. Other scholars who come to study might be working on dissertations, or conducting research for a book, a chapter in a book, or preparing articles for publication in journals in a particular field.”

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For Vassar College English Professor Robert DeMaria Jr., receiving a fellowship last year allowed him to continue his research, entitled “A History of Editions of the Works of Samuel Johnson,” by studying the Donald and Mary Hyde Collection of Samuel Johnson. Among the items DeMaria was able to consult at Houghton was the heavily annotated Oxford Ph.D. thesis of Johnson biographer David Fleeman.

“I had used these materials before, but it was wonderful to have unrestricted access to the collection day after day in the comfortable surroundings of Houghton,” DeMaria said. “There is timelessness to the period one spends in a great library. I could not have completed this project without either the remarkably helpful and kind librarians at Houghton, or the well-organized Donald and Mary Hyde Collection.”

Paul M. Wright, retired editor of the University Press at the University of Massachusetts Boston, last year received a fellowship to study former Harvard University President Charles William Eliot’s papers, as well as the papers of other Harvard faculty and associates, such as William James.

“In many ways, the time I spent under this fellowship has been the most satisfying of my scholarly career,” Wright said recently. “It should go without saying that the collections are among the best in the world, but they have turned out to be a richer and more productive resource than I thought they would be.”

To apply for the Houghton fellowships, scholars must submit a written statement of up to three pages describing their project and the importance of Houghton’s collections to their work. Applicants must also submit a CV and two letters of recommendation. For the coming year, Horrocks added, recipients will also be asked to submit a one- to two-page report detailing the value of the fellowship to their research. Applications are reviewed by a committee made up of Houghton curators before being reviewed by all Houghton staff.

In addition to the fellowships awarded by Houghton, the library is also a member of the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, a group of 18 cultural institutions that pool their funds and give out 10 fellowships each year. To receive a fellowship from the consortium, scholars’ research must use collections held by at least three of the group’s members. This year, Horrocks said, two researchers who received fellowships through the consortium will make use of Houghton’s collections.

The 2010 – 2011 Houghton Library Visiting Fellows, listed by fellowship received, are:

Katharine F. Pantzer Jr. Fellowship in Descriptive Bibliography
Julia Boffey, Professor of Medieval Studies, School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London
"Written and in print: books in London, c. 1475-1530"

Ilias Chrissochoidis, Research Associate, ESRC Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution, Department of Economics, University College London; Early Career Fellow, Institute of Musical Research, University of London
"Supporting bibliographically the Handel Reference Database (HRD)"

Derval Conroy, Assistant Professor, School of Languages & Literatures, University College Dublin
"Strategies of the Image: Rhetoric, Gender and Iconography in the French Early Modern Book (1620-1660)"

Cecil Patrick Courtney, Emeritus Reader in French intellectual history and bibliography, University of Cambridge; Fellow of Christ’s College
"Raynal: an edition of the Histoire philosophique des deux Indes and a historical bibliography"

Scott Husby, Independent Scholar
"Recording and Identifying Bookbindings of Houghton Library Incunables"

Sidney F. Huttner, Head, Special Collections & University Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries
"Liberating Lucile in the Houghton Mifflin Archive"

Katherine Isard, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Art History, Columbia University
"Architectural Commonplaces: Books, Reading and Building Practice in the Early Modern Period"

Robert W. Jones, Senior Lecturer in 18th-Century Literature, University of Leeds
"The Theatre of Richard Brinsley Sheridan"

Alessandra Mulas, Ph.D. Candidate, Linguistic and Literary Studies, University of Rome
"For a Critical Edition of Felice Feliciano’s Poetry"

Corinne Noirot-Maguire, Assistant Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Virginia Tech
"Jean de la Taille’s Dramatic Quill: Conflicted Works Examined in their Original Editions (1562-1574)"

Richard Oosterhoff, Ph.D. Candidate, Program in History & Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame
"Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples, His Pupils and the Ends of Number: Teaching Mathematics and Philosophy in the Northern Renaissance"

Stephen Partridge, Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of British Columbia
"Harvard MS Eng 530 and Production of the ‘Shirleian’ Manuscripts"

Diego Pirillo, Researcher, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
"Humanism and the Geographical Discoveries: A Bibliographical Study of the Editions, Translations, Plagiarism and Reprints of Johannes Boemus’s Omnium Gentium Mores held at the Houghton Library"

Adrian Poole, Professor of English Literature, University of Cambridge; Fellow of Trinity College
"Edition of Henry James’s The Princess Casamassima"

Alison Searle, AHRC Postdoctoral Research Associate, Anglia Ruskin University
"Bibliographical, Textual & Manuscript Research on the Writings of James Shirley"

Joan Nordell Fellowship
Ryszard Zajaczkowski, Associate Professor, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
"Józef Wittlin and his epoch"

Mario Kessler, Associate Professor, Center for Contemporary History and University of Potsdam
"Ruth Fischer: A Life for and against Communism (1895-1961)"

Timothy Roberts, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Western Illinois University
"Perceptions Among the Leadership of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions of the American Trade in the Middle East,1810-1860"

Rodney G. Dennis Fellowship in the Study of Manuscripts
Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge
"When the Subconscious came to America: Pierre Janet and the ‘Boston School of Psychopathology’"

Karin Roffman, Assistant Professor, Department of English, United States Military Academy at West Point
"‘So Much Debris of Living’: Nineteenth-Century Collections in John Ashbery’s Poetry"

Howard D. Rothschild Fellowship in Dance
Karen Eliot, Professor, Department of Dance, Ohio State University
"Reassessing the role of Mona Inglesby and the International Ballet in the history of British Ballet"

Beatrice, Benjamin and Richard Bader Fellowship in the Visual Arts of the Theatre
Mari Yoko Hara, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Art & Architectural History, University of Virginia
"Rusticana Senese: Baldassare Peruzzi and the Playwrights of Sixteenth-Century Siena"

Houghton Mifflin Fellowship in Publishing History
Melissa J. Homestead, Associate Professor of English, University of Nebraska
"The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis"

John M. Ward Fellowship in Dance and Music for the Theatre
Estelle Joubert, Assistant Professor, Department of Music, Dalhousie University
"German Opera and Politics: Images of Public Life from the Enlightenment to Napoleon"

Eleanor M. Garvey Fellowship in Printing and Graphic Arts
Robert McCracken Peck, Curator of Art and Artifacts and Senior Fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences
"Preparing an exhibition for the Houghton Library and an essay for the Harvard Library Bulletin on the natural history paintings of Edward Lear"

W. Jackson Bate/Douglas W. Bryant, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) Mark Somos, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Sussex
"American States of Nature: From Rightless Savage, through Chosen Nation, to Liberty For All"