$300,000 Mellon Foundation Grant to Enhance UO Libraries/Jordan Schnitzer Museum Collaborations

New faculty fellowships will support the use of library/museum assets in research, teaching, and learning

We are pleased to announce that the University of Oregon recently was awarded a $300,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support enhanced collaboration among campus libraries and museums, and to encourage increased use of library/museum assets in research, teaching, and learning. The award funds a new program led by the UO Libraries and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA) that 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 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.”

The program will use Mellon funding to provide incentives and direct support for UO faculty members who want to collaborate with the JSMA and the Libraries to incorporate library/museum assets into their teaching and research. Projects may include but are not limited to the development and use of new learning objects, exhibitions, research publications, and digital scholarship projects, focusing on collections, relevant expertise, and strategic priorities that span both organizations.  Three Mellon Fellows will be chosen for 2018-2019 and three for 2019-2020.

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 would 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.”

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at mellon.org.