Mellon grant to enhance UO Libraries/JSMA collaborations

Split screen image of library and art museum

Thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, University of Oregon faculty members soon will have access to six new fellowships that support the use of library and museum assets in research, teaching and learning.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently announced that UO has been awarded $300,000 to support enhanced collaboration among campus libraries and museums. The award funds a new program to be led by the UO Libraries and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. The program will issue six Mellon fellowship grants to UO faculty throughout the initiative’s three-year duration and will provide integrated library/museum education and support services to help develop and realize the fellows’ projects.

"We are honored and excited to receive this award,” said Adriene Lim, dean of libraries and Philip H. Knight Chair. “By partnering with UO faculty to complete innovative curricular and research projects, we will increase the use of our jointly held collections and raise awareness of the vital role of libraries and museums in preserving cultural heritage and of our roles in teaching, research and service.”

Jill Hartz, executive director of the art museum, added, “This new model will allow the university to leverage the unique contributions and expertise offered by the JSMA and the libraries. It also reinforces the importance of the arts and humanities in the university’s research and teaching activities. We are thrilled to have the Mellon Foundation’s support of this initiative. We look forward to building this innovative collaboration between our units and partnering with faculty to do more than we can do on our own.”

Three Mellon fellows will be selected for the 2018-19 academic year and three for 2019-20. UO faculty members interested in collaborating with the art museum and the libraries to incorporate library and museum assets into their teaching and research should watch for a call for proposals later in the term.

One particular innovative aspect of the grant is the creation of the first joint library/museum position for a post-doctoral fellow and two graduate employees, who will help carry out the program’s activities while gaining valuable experience in interdisciplinary academic and cultural heritage settings. An added benefit of the grant is testing a new graduate learning model that may contribute to the professional training of emerging library and museum professionals.

“This opportunity aligns with the university’s mission on multiple levels and advances the university’s goals of increasing research activity as well as institutional capacity,” said Jayanth Banavar, senior vice president and provost. “I am grateful for the Mellon Foundation’s support and recognition of the JSMA’s and the libraries’ collaborative approach, expertise and distinctive collections.”