Current Programs in American History and Culture

World's Parliament of Religions, 1893
World's Parliament of Religions, 1893. John Henry Barrows, Proceedings of the Parliament (Chicago, 1893). B8.057

In addition to its annual seminar series, the Scholl Center’s projects are:

Bridging National Borders in North America

The Newberry Library’s Dr. William Scholl Center for American History and Culture hosted a four-week summer 2014 NEH seminar for college and university faculty exploring the history of North America’s border and borderlands. The seminar’s format, readings, and guest scholars were selected with the goal of bringing together participants with diverse scholarly agendas into a common conversation. It thus provided participants with deep engagement with leading scholars and recent scholarship as well as with the key sources and unique Newberry materials necessary to advance their own research.

Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North

The Scholl Center staff created an exhibition in partnership with, and with major funding from, the Terra Foundation for American Art. The exhibition, which opened at the Newberry in autumn 2013, explored the ways that lives on the home front were altered by the Civil War. It juxtaposed an outstanding group of paintings from the Terra Foundation for American Art collections with a wealth of material drawn from the Newberry collections, including popular prints, illustrated newspapers, photographs, maps, magazines, sheet music, fashion plates, letters, diaries, advertisements, and other ephemera. The exhibition was accompanied by a book published by the University of Chicago Press and lives on as a digital exhibit.

Out of Many: Religious Pluralism in America
In December 2011, the Scholl Center was one of five recipients of a National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges grant to provide research opportunities for community college faculty. The Scholl Center’s program involved teams of faculty and sponsoring administrators in a multiyear effort to develop new curriculum that integrates the study of America’s religious diversity into humanities courses at community colleges. Participating faculty conducted research in the Newberry’s collections, participated in seminars and public lectures with prominent scholars of American religion, and contributed to a forthcoming digital resource on teaching religious pluralism.

Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Twentieth-Century Chicago, 1893-1955
In conjunction with our recent National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute “Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Twentieth-Century Chicago, 1893-1955,” the Scholl Center launched a web-based exhibition on literary modernism in Chicago. This Omeka-powered exhibition features items from the Newberry’s collections, including unpublished manuscripts, photographs, and correspondence from the library’s rich holdings in midwestern literature and journalism. In addition to images of the materials and contextualizing essays, the site includes resources for instructors, the Summer Institute syllabus with recommended readings, and additional XML files for text materials.