Research and other opportunities at the Newberry and Folger Libraries

Scholars in the medieval and early modern fields at OU can benefit from the university’s membership in the Center for Renaissance Studies Consortium at the Newberry Library in Chicago, which brings with it reciprocal membership in the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.
     Membership in the Consortium gives OU and CMRS scholars access to the Newberry’s and Folger’s exceptional collections, along with the opportunity to participate in a wide range of programs at graduate and post-doctoral levels. These include intensive training in the techniques essential for primary research (such as paleography, bibliography, codicology, and textual editing), interdisciplinary seminars, Consortium seminars, workshops, and conferences.
     The Newberry Library’s medieval and early modern collections comprise over 200 medieval manuscripts and over 2,000 early modern manuscripts, including classical, patristic, scientific, medical and religious texts. The Newberry’s collections also contain remarkable texts pertaining to the history of the book and printing, and over four hundred works concerning European expansion into the New World. The Folger boasts one of the world's largest and finest collections of Shakespeare materials as well as major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art.

How to apply for a Newberry Renaissance Consortium Grant

OU graduate students and faculty can apply for Newberry Renaissance Consortium Grants to consult the collections or to attend colloquia and other events at the Newberry or the Folger.
     Consortium grants are awarded by OU's Newberry Committee: Kathleen Crowther (History of Science), chair; Allison Palmer (Art History); and Jane Wickersham (History). An application consists of a letter addressed to the Committee explaining the purpose of the applicant's visit to the Newberry or Folger, and giving a projected budget.
      The Newberry Committee has approximately $2,500 to disburse each academic year. It generally funds from two to four scholars per year, depending on the length of the proposed stay and whether or not the applicant has additional sources of funding available.
     The Newberry Committee has supported faculty and graduate students who have made short research trips to the Newberry, a faculty member who gave a talk at a Newberry conference, a faculty member who participated in a Folger colloquium, and two faculty who led a graduate seminar at the Newberry.
     The Committee is particularly committed to supporting graduate students. Several OU students from different departments have taken part in the Newberry’s annual grad-student conference (held every January), in each case fully supported by Consortium grants.
     For further information, contact the Committee chair, Prof. Kathleen Crowther ( or consult
      OU’s membership in the Newberry Library’s Renaissance Studies Consortium is made possible through the generous support of President David L. Boren.