Emory Report
December 7, 2009
Volume 62, Number 13



Emory Report homepage  

December 7, 2009
Campaign Emory
Mellon grants enhance scholarship

By Maria Lameiras

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given three grants totaling $590,000 to Emory to support the Carlos Museum, Emory Libraries, and a professor in Emory’s Emeritus College.

The Carlos Museum was awarded a five-year $500,000 grant to link art conservation with the teaching of science at Emory. Carlos conservator, Renée A. Stein, collaborated with Emory’s science faculty to develop the project’s teaching and research scope connecting science disciplines with art conservation—an innovative academic initiative geared toward student enrichment and faculty distinction.

Through collaborative courses, case studies from the museum’s collection will be integrated into the teaching of science in various Emory departments, including chemistry and physics. The project will provide opportunities for student involvement in science-based research on museum art objects and will also support an annual colloquium of scientists, educators and students involved in art object-related teaching and research. In addition, the grant will create a two-year fellowship for a conservator in the Parsons Conservation Laboratory at the Carlos Museum.

“This project will create a unique collaboration that will show science students alternative applications for science teaching and research, demonstrating that it is possible to relate science to art,” Stein says.

Emory Libraries received a grant of $53,000 from the foundation to pursue further development of Emory’s Digital Scholarship Commons (DiSC). The funds will be used to explore the evolving structural role of research libraries in the digital scholarship domain.

In this new model, research libraries are the heart of digital scholarship on campus. This approach allows universities to leverage traditional library strengths in collection development, preservation, research services, software tools and pedagogical support to benefit and grow the digital scholarship community, says Rick Luce, vice provost and director of Emory Libraries.

“Today’s digital scholarship often is conducted in small, isolated silos,” Luce said. “This grant supports the exploration of a digital scholarship commons that encourages collaboration campus-wide, as well as with colleagues off campus, putting digital scholarship within the reach of all Emory scholars at a reasonable cost for the University.”

History professor emeritus William Beik has received a $37,000 emeritus fellowship from the foundation to further his study of King Louis XIV’s method of ruling France.

The award will allow Beik to spend an extended period in France working in Parisian archives and visiting selected provincial collections to assess the reception of royal decisions by the populations they affected.
Beik, who described his research at an Emeritus College reception Dec. 1, said his work will culminate in a book on French absolutism. He anticipates finishing the manuscript by summer 2011.

“The Mellon Fellowship will enable me to continue and complete work that never would have been possible otherwise,” Beik says. Many retired professors want to continue exploring their fields but don’t have the resources to travel to view archives, subscribe to journals, attend conferences, or participate in forums to discuss their work, he says, adding that “the Emeritus College and the Mellon grant both are intelligent, far-sighted responses to these problems.”

These grants are part of Campaign Emory, a $1.6 billion fund-raising endeavor that combines private support and the University’s people, places and programs to make a powerful contribution to the world.