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University Libraries’ 2024 endowment fund applications now open

Ohio University Libraries’ applications for the 2024 1804 Special Library Endowment Fund and the Arts and Humanities Junior Faculty Endowment Fund are now open.

The 1804 Special Library Endowment, which began in 1979 to assist in curating the Libraries’ distinctive collections, is open to all students, faculty and staff. The Junior Faculty Endowment is intended to attract outstanding faculty candidates to Ohio University and support the success of early career faculty in their research and teaching with specialized library resources.

All eligible applicants for the 1804 Special Library Endowment Fund and the Arts and Humanities Junior Faculty Endowment Fund are encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is March 18, 2024.  The awards will be announced July 1, 2024.

In addition to building distinctive collections, the endowment funds enhance the teaching, learning and research needs of the students, faculty and staff. The endowment funds can be used for valuable or rare materials or items that may not be normally purchased with the Libraries annual acquisition funds.

2023 Awardees

The 2023 recipients of the 1804 Special Library Endowment were Charles S. Buchanan, associate professor of art and architectural history, Joe McLaughlin, associate professor of English, Elizabeth Delaney, professor of nursing, lorraine wochna, subject librarian for the performing arts and Garett Field, associate professor of ethnomusicology and musicology.

Charles S. Buchanan
Charles S. Buchanan

After teaching at Ohio University for 25 years, this is Buchanan’s third time receiving the endowment. His proposal was to purchase illuminated manuscript facsimiles from the Carolingian era, which much of his research and teaching is concentrated on. In his proposal, Buchanan mentioned that his material choices were designed to enhance the Libraries’ collection of medieval manuscript facsimiles and to get people interested in the topic.

“Overall, the acquisition of these facsimiles will excite students, readers and viewers in perpetuity,” Buchanan wrote. “Such books are not only of importance to art historians, like myself, but also to historians, literary scholars, codicologists, paleographers and anyone wishing to access the brilliance of medieval illuminated manuscripts.”

Similar to Buchanan, McLaughlin has been a faculty member at OHIO for 27 years, and this is also his third time receiving the endowment funds. His award purchased the first edition of “Kew Gardens,” which was published by the Hogarth Press in 1927. Only about 500 copies were printed, and the copy obtained is signed by both the author, Virginia Woolf, and her prominent Modernist artist sister, Vanessa Bell.

“In this age of digitization, there is still absolutely no substitute for looking at and touching the actual book,” McLaughlin wrote. “Only a very tiny fraction of Ohio University students or faculty ever make their way to Special Collections.  There are treasures there, people! You can't even begin to imagine what they have [University Libraries’ Mahn Center].”

Elizabeth Delaney
Elizabeth Delaney

Delaney first learned about the endowment through the Libraries’ website, and she has been working with Hanna Schmillen, head of research services and subject librarian for health sciences, throughout the process. Delaney wrote in her proposal that the materials she was wanting to purchase would be a part of transgender medical surgical nursing resources.

“This proposal will contribute to my own effectiveness and the effectiveness of my nursing colleagues in providing LGBTQ+ medical surgical content through the development of an evidence-based resource toolkit to assist with providing transgender medical surgical care,” Delaney wrote.

Schmillen added in an email that the two of them planned to purchase up-to-date books that will provide foundational information on nursing.

“The materials purchased with this grant will support the curriculum, research and learning for a new focus within the nursing program and beyond,” Schmillen wrote. “We ensured that all of the purchased materials are electronic and accessible to all campuses. We see the materials supporting not only the nursing program, but courses and research that focus on health, health inequity and DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion] within health.”

lorraine wochna
lorraine wochna

wochna is one of the librarians in University Libraries and having assisted faculty with proposals in the past, she was excited for the opportunity to apply for the endowment. Her award funds were used to buy about 100 Appalshop films representing Appalachia culture. Some of those films specifically focus on coal mining, music, activism, folk art, demonstrations and strikes, and will serve as an opportunity for many people to learn about Appalachia from a different perspective. 

In support of wochna’s Appalshop acquisition, Tiffany Arnold, assistant professor of instruction, wrote about this complex region as it relates to the Appalachian Studies certificate program at Ohio University. 

“Typically, the media has portrayed the region in stereotypical and harmful ways that have formed a misleading narrative about Appalachia. Having access to Appalshop films is critical to changing this narrative and showing students the true experiences of Appalachian people, told BY Appalachian people,” Arnold wrote.

“Kehkun: Karuna aai nulai” by Mohamed Amin Didi
“Kehkun: Karuna aai nulai” by Mohamed Amin Didi

Field’s award purchased books written in the Dhivehi language, which is the official language of the Republic of the Maldives. Some of the topics of the books include Dhivehi song, poetry, fiction as well as Maldivian history.

Field ordered one set of books from the Novelty Bookshop catalogue, located in Malé, the capital of the Maldives, and it’s known to print Dhivehi books that would have fallen out of print.

The other books were ordered from the catalogue of the Dhivehi Language Academy, which is a national institution that conducts research into the history of the Maldives as well as the Dhivehi language and its literature. These publications will help Field complete his book manuscript, “Cultivating Erudition: Dhivehi Aesthetic Forms in the Maldives.”

In Field’s proposal, he mentioned one of the librarians at the Libraries who is willing to help enhance the cataloguing of those books.


Garrett Field and Damon DeBorde
Garrett Field, associate professor of ethnomusicology and musicology, and Damon DeBorde, head of metadata services, pose for a portrait with a publication written in the Dhivehi language purchased through the 1804 Endowment Fund.

“I am grateful to Damon DeBorde, head of metadata services,” Field wrote. “He has generously agreed to collaboratively catalog with me to streamline the record creation [process].”

The only recipient for the 2023 Junior Faculty Endowment was Edmond Y. Chang, associate professor of English.  Chang, who learned about the opportunity from his colleague, McLaughlin, chose to have his award go to purchasing books and documentaries on video game studies, digital rhetoric and digital cultures. Because he teaches those topics and the University is wanting to develop programs in game design, play and esports, he thought the materials would be useful to a number of departments and disciplines.

“I think this [the endowment] is a wonderful honor, and I appreciate any opportunity to support faculty research, student research and the livelihood of the University's Libraries and [its] collection,” Chang wrote.

In previous years, recipients of both endowments have purchased items like facsimiles of medieval books, collections to contribute to DEI and materials on law and colonialism.

For more information about the endowments, contact Miriam Nelson, interim assistant dean for collections and digitization strategies.

January 26, 2024
Mimi Calhoun