The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences sponsors the University of Iowa's membership in the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies. The Center is an international consortium of 49 institutions with the mission of serving scholars through the use of the Newberry’s internationally renowned collections in the late medieval, Renaissance, and early modern periods.
Through the UI’s membership in the consortium, funding is available to support scholarly work at the Newberry Library (Chicago) or the Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, DC).
Each year, the College's Newberry Committee determines the Judith Popovich Aikin Award for Renaissance Studies (see below). The Committee also makes other awards to support faculty or graduate student research at the Newberry or Folger libraries. The Committee is appointed by the Dean of the College. Current Committee members are Glenn Ehrstine (German), chair, Ana Rodríguez-Rodríguez (Spanish and Portuguese), Kathy Lavezzo (English), and Daniel Maze (Art and Art History).
UI faculty, graduate students, and professional staff are eligible to apply for funding. The Committee sponsors a UI listserv for those who wish to receive announcements about funding and Newberry Consortium and Folger programs. Please contact Professor Glenn Ehrstine to be added to this list.
Highest priority is reserved for (1) UI scholars participating in a program sponsored by the Newberry Center or the Folger Institute and (2) those conducting medieval or early modern research that requires the resources of the Newberry or Folger libraries. For example, recent awards include funds for travel to a three-day workshop at the Folger Library, to attend the Newberry Milton Seminar and History of the Book Seminar, and to do research at the Newberry's Howard Mayer Brown libretto collection.
The Aikin Award
Each fall, a competition is held for UI faculty and staff for the $1500.00 Judith Popovich Aikin Award in Renaissance Studies. The application period for 2022-23 awards has now closed. Applications were solicited in December 2022. The application deadline for academic year 2023-24 is December 18, 2023. There is no special application form, but the Newberry Committee asks interested scholars to include in their application the following:
- a short CV (no more than two pages)
- a statement of purpose for the research trip, containing a brief description of the project and specifying resources to be consulted
- a budget for the proposed trip
- proposed travel dates
Complete application materials should be submitted as e-mail attachments to Professor Ehrstine by 5 p.m. on the due date.
Smaller awards are made on an ongoing basis, but the committee encourages applications at least two months in advance of the planned trip. Proposals sent by the December 16 Aikin Award deadline may remain in competition for smaller awards. Applicants for smaller awards need not submit a c.v., but should submit as e-mail attachments a brief narrative of what they intend to accomplish at the Newberry or Folger, a budget, and the dates of the trip. Incidental expenses (e.g., photocopying) are not covered. Graduate student applicants must also request that a letter of endorsement be sent by their faculty advisor.
Faculty scholars visiting the Newberry to participate in a conference or conduct research are usually reimbursed as follows. The same rates apply for the Folger, with the likelihood of a higher transportation allowance.
Faculty awards are normally capped at $350.00 for a single trip and $600.00 for two or more trips, or for an extended stay. Whenever possible, more substantial support is provided for participants in long-term Newberry and Folger seminars.
Graduate Student awards are capped at $250.00 for a single trip, or $400.00 for two or more trips, or an extended stay.
Once applicants have heard from the campus Newberry committee that their request for funding has been approved, they should follow the guidelines for reimbursement found on the Newberry Consortium Grants Overview. In general, we ask for funding recipients to apply for reimbursement after they have incurred expenses (see “Reimbursement Documentation).
If funding permits, and at the discretion of the committee, awards may be given to scholars who make a compelling case to use collections not connected with the European Middle Ages and Early Modern period, provided those collections are unique to the Newberry Library. Such grants will ordinarily be at half the rates posted above.
Funding recipients agree to e-mail a report on their use of the funds and their research trip to the committee chair. Resulting publications should acknowledge the assistance provided by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at The University of Iowa through its affiliation with the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies.