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Marriott Library’s Special Collections Awarded NEH Grant

Marnie Powers-Torrey, Director of the Book Arts Program & Red Butte Press, and Allison McCormack, Original Cataloger for Special Collections, are co-Principal Investigators for the three-year project.

Special Collections at the J. Willard Marriott Library has been awarded a Humanities Collections & Reference Resources grant of over $280,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

The project, entitled “Expanding Access to Visual Books through Metadata Enhancement,” promises innovative ways to increase access to artists’ books and illustrated books. The funding will allow the library to hire a project assistant to enhance the catalog records for 1,800 artists’ books and 660 fine press books in the Rare Books Collection at the University of Utah, as well as for 240 artists’ books from the Katherine W. Dumke Fine Arts and Architecture Library.

(left) from the Marriott Library’s Rare Books Collections: StreetView II by Kerri Cushman and Anna Cox, Smoke by Amy Pirkle, and Local Conditions: One Hundred Views of Mount Ranier, atleast by Chandler O’Leary.
(right) from the Marriott Library’s Rare Books Collections: Martha on Copper Mountain by Joe D’Ambrosio, Nautilus by Lisa Rappoport, and Frankenspine by Robert Rowe.

“This project will provide students and researchers studying historical illustration techniques, bookbinding structures, and other physical features of artist’s books to identify pertinent volumes in the Marriott Library’s Special Collections,” explains Associate Dean for Special Collections Todd Samuelson. “And since this information will be included in international databases, researchers the world over will be able to utilize this tool to discover physical characteristics which had previously been absent from library catalogs.”

NEH received 171 eligible applications; the budget allowed for 36 awards. More information about the program and other awardees can be found on this NEH site.

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