of Virginia Library Receives $500,000 Grant From The Andrew W. Mellon
23, 1999 -- The
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given the University
of Virginia Library a $500,000 grant to fund Phase II of the
Early American Fiction digitization project.
I, a Mellon-funded World Wide Web archive of more than 560 volumes
of American prose fiction from 1789-1850, is near completion after
three years of work in the library's Special
Collections Department and the Electronic Text Center. Phase
II will carry the digital archive into the years 1851-1875, creating
preservation-quality images and fully searchable texts, as well
as supporting materials for scholarship and teaching. The books
being digitized come from the Special Collections held in Alderman
Library, primarily from the Clifton Waller Barrett Library, one
of the world's most complete collections of American literature.
to University Librarian Karin Wittenborg, "this new grant by
the Mellon Foundation allows us to build on the experience of the
Early American Fiction Phase I project to make an increasingly useful
literary archive. We are gratified by this recognition of our technical
expertise and the enduring value of the Barrett Collection."
II will make available online texts from such writers as Louisa
May Alcott, Samuel Clemens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville,
Harriet Beecher Stowe and some 90 other 19th century
novelists. Students and scholars from around the world will be able
to view rare first editions of American classics such as "Moby Dick"
and "The Scarlet Letter" on their home or office computers. Digital
access to every page of a book, including covers and endsheets,
can replace a visit to Special Collections to examine rare editions,
thus aiding in the preservation of these valuable resources.
other advantages of the Early American Fiction digitization project
is the creation of teaching guides, with links to digital biographies,
maps, photographs, manuscripts, and other materials for use in instruction
and faculty projects. The Mellon grant will support two graduate
fellows to coordinate this work.
grant will also support a conference in the summer of 2001 to bring
key American literary scholars together to explore the usage of
rare book digital texts and archives.
more information about the Early American Fiction digitization project,
contact David Seaman at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at (804) 924-3230.
Melissa Norris, (804) 924-4254.