Bridging National Borders in North America: Borderlands Research at the Newberry

The Newberry, founded in 1887, is an independent research library dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, especially in the humanities. The Newberry acquires and preserves a broad array of special collections research materials relating to the civilizations of Europe and the Americas. The Library is renowned for its holdings in early modern history, literature, American Indian history, genealogy, geography, cartography, travel, the exploration and settlement of the American Midwest and West, visual and material culture, and the history of printing and publishing.

The Newberry is an ideal home for this seminar. In the last decade, numerous individual research grants have been awarded to scholars working on borderlands projects at the Newberry. In 2006 the Newberry inaugurated a seminar in borderlands and Latino Studies. This NEH seminar intersects with the ongoing work of three of the Newberry’s research centers—the Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History, the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, and the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies—and participants will have regular access to the scholarly staff of these centers for research assistance and advice.

The Newberry’s collection includes unique materials related to the continent’s borders and borderlands. Seminar participant research projects will benefit from the use of the library’s maps, books, manuscripts and archives, periodical literature, and family histories. The Graff (http://www.newberry.org/westward-expansion-graff-collection) and Ayer (http://www.newberry.org/american-indian-and-indigenous-studies) Collections are especially particularly useful for borderlands-related research. As a whole, the Newberry’s collection provides rich material for research into North America from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries, and includes extensive secondary holdings that will support seminar participants’ research and writing.

NEH Summer scholars will be given special privileges during the institute at the Newberry, including a research carrel, extended reading hours, and the ability to page items on reserve for the length of the seminar.

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