FSU, Newberry Center Alliance Strengthens Research Opportunities

The start of Florida State University’s 2018-19 academic year also begins a new alliance between FSU and the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies. The Newberry Center, an independent research library in Chicago since 1887, works with an international consortium of universities in North America and the United Kingdom.

FSU is the only university in Florida with a connection to Newberry, joining 53 other higher education institutions currently listed as members of the consortium. The university affiliates in the U.S. include Cornell, Indiana, Notre Dame, and Texas, while the U.K. group includes Aberdeen, Warwick, and Queen Mary, London.

gtaylor_0.jpg“This new connection to one of the world's great research libraries strengthens our graduate program and our international research profile,” says Gary Taylor, chair of the Department of English and Dahl and Lottie Pryor Professor of Shakespearean Literature. “This will also link us to humanities scholars elsewhere on campus.”

Indeed, the Newberry Center offers an array of benefits to its members. The center collaborates with the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. As part of the agreement between the two, Folger Institute seminar fees are waived for faculty and graduate students at Newberry.

Faculty and graduate students of Newberry-related institutions can apply for Newberry Renaissance Consortium Grants to participate in programs or to do research at the Newberry Library or the Folger Shakespeare Library. In addition, consortium scholars can propose graduate programs to be hosted at the center in Chicago.jfumo_1.jpg

“FSU’s membership in the Newberry Library Consortium will be highly valuable not only for Renaissance scholars but also for those who specialize in the medieval period,” says English Professor Jamie Fumo, who also is the department’s associate chair for graduate studies. “Graduate students and faculty are eligible to apply for funding to support their participation in programs and events at the Newberry Library, on topics including ‘Decoding the Materiality of Medieval Books’ and ‘Unlocking Medieval Primary Sources.’ This will be an excellent professional resource for medievalists in English and other departments.”

Taylor points out that Newberry has an especially strong collection in non-dramatic literature, and says the center’s collection of rare books is particularly important to experts in bibliography and the history of the book.

acoldiron (1).jpg“FSU’s membership in the Newberry Consortium opens new doors for our faculty and students, particularly in interdisciplinary research,” says George Matthews Edgar Professor of English Anne Coldiron. “I look forward to participating in the exciting, international, intellectual community that has developed around the Newberry Library's collections and programs.”

Stephanie Leitch, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Art History, initiated the proposal to align FSU with the Newberry. College of Arts and Sciences Dean Sam Huckaba and Associate Dean Laurel Fulkerson, who also is a professor of classics, have secured FSU’s financial support for the membership.

“Their efforts demonstrate that the university knows how important the humanities are to FSU's research mission and its reputation," Taylor says.