Applications have opened for the 1804 Special Library Endowment Fund and the Arts and Humanities Junior Faculty Endowment Fund that allow students, staff and faculty to request materials for the Libraries to acquire to enhance teaching and learning experiences, as well as research opportunities.
The application for the Junior Faculty Endowment Fund is available for tenure-track faculty, and the 1804 Endowment Fund is open to all students, staff and faculty. The application deadline for this year is March 11.
“The proposals should include support from colleagues and departments where it’s applicable… We’d like to see that the material [being requested] has potential for further use,” said Janet Hulm, interim dean of the Libraries and assistant dean for collections and digitization strategies.
According to Hulm, the Junior Faculty Endowment Fund and the 1804 Endowment Fund are designed for the Libraries to purchase materials that would not otherwise be purchased with annual acquisitions funds. These are often rare items of extraordinary value.
“They [the endowments] do allow us to buy materials that we wouldn’t normally be able to purchase. They fill a specific need… The fact that it requires a formal process and a committee review…ensures that all of Ohio University has the opportunity to learn about the endowments, and everyone has the opportunity to apply and be reviewed under the same process, which I think is a very good thing,” Hulm stated.
Hulm added that these funds allow for collaboration between faculty and the Libraries, and gives students access to resources they wouldn’t have had before.
Last year, the Libraries awarded three 1804 Endowment Fund awards and one Junior Faculty Endowment Fund award.
John Brobst, associate professor of history, was approved for his request for the Libraries to acquire the British Foreign Office Files for India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan between the years of 1947 and 1980. Brobst, who was an 1804 Endowment Fund award recipient in 2017, is a specialist on the British Empire in the 20th century, and is completing a book about naval strategy in the Indian Ocean during the Cold War.
He said that the acquisition of this collection will give him easy access to primary records that he would otherwise have to travel to England to see. Brobst believes that this collection will be beneficial to student research as well.
“It [the collection] certainly helps our Library to stand out from the others in the area. It gives us something unique. I suppose the main importance is simply the utility for faculty and students,” Brobst said.
Like Brobst, Paul Milazzo, an associate professor of history, requested that the Library purchase a collection that could be used for his students’ research endeavors, as well as his own.
“I’m writing an intellectual biography of an influential Libertarian journalist named Henry Hazlitt, who had a long career in very mainstream publications, and wrote a very influential book called, ‘Economics in One Lesson.’ He is kind of an interesting and important figure in understanding how conservative, libertarian economic ideas were transmitted to mainstream audiences, and he was also an important figure in the development of post-World War ll conservatism in general. So, that’s the crux of it. Just understanding his thought, and his influence and place in that context better,” Milazzo explained.
With the help of the 1804 Endowment Fund, Milazzo was able to access the full archival content of the National Review and Commentary Magazine to aid in his research and teaching. According to Milazzo, the National Review (1955-present) is one of the most important conservative journals from the post-World War II era and is important for understanding how economics were discussed during this time. Commentary Magazine (1945-present), which got its start as a liberal publication, is considered to be one of the most important neo-conservative journals in the post-war era.
In addition to being an esteemed faculty member, Milazzo is also a member of the University Library Committee under the president’s office, and commented on the importance of these funds for student and faculty research.
“The fact that you can purchase large collections…can be a make or break in terms of finishing a research project…just your ability to get this for your own work, but also for course development, it ensures that the Library is a dynamic institution. It’s not static, it grows and its collections grow,” he stated.
The final 1804 Endowment Fund recipient, Assan Sarr, associate professor of history and director of graduate studies, is also a recipient of a Junior Faculty Endowment award. Sarr proposed that the Libraries obtain the World Newspaper Archive-African Newspapers, Series 2 (1835-1925). Sarr also requested that the Libraries purchase the Ghana and Togo under Colonial Rule in Government reports (1843-1957) from the British Online Archives and the Ghana and Sierra Leone in colonial and missionary records (1700-1850).
“For my research, I would love to learn more about the politics and societies of former British colonies in West Africa. This collection will help me get a better sense of the context, but I see this collection [being] more important for my teaching than my research, but they all go hand in hand,” he said.
The 1804 Endowment Fund and Junior Faculty Endowment Fund awardees will be announced by July 1. According to Hulm, these funds fill a specific need. Everything from journal back-files, to facsimiles, to manuscripts and artists books, have been purchased using these endowment awards, and have enriched faculty and student research endeavors. Hulm encourages anyone to apply who may be seeking expensive or limited materials for their research, courses or curriculum.
All photos by Stephen Zenner/Ohio University Libraries