NEH Challenge Grant Awarded for HS–SS Library Structural Improvement Project

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced a $750,000 matching grant for the Institute for Advanced Study’s Historical Studies – Social Science Library that will be dedicated to infrastructure improvements of the library, which represents the heart of humanities studies at the IAS.

The NEH grant is part of $30.9 million in funding that will go to support humanities projects nationwide.

“The Historical Studies – Social Science Library is central to scholarship in the humanities at the Institute in part because it houses exceptional research and reference materials, rare books, and archival collections,” wrote Robbert Dijkgraaf, IAS Director and Leon Levy Professor and Charles Simonyi, Chair of the IAS Board of Trustees, in a joint letter expressing support for the grant.

The library contains more than 125,000 volumes and has subscriptions to approximately 1,000 journals. The collection’s strengths are reflected by its holdings related to classical studies, ancient history, and archaeology. The library hosts more than 40 events per year within its space, from informal colloquia and book talks to conferences uniting scholars from the IAS, international peers, and members of the public.

“Over the past 55 years, the facility has also provided a uniquely serene and supportive environment for thousands of scholars to read, write, think, and collaborate,” Dijkgraaf and Simonyi added. “This is perhaps the purest form of fulfillment of the IAS mission, and there is no question that the building’s chronic structural problems must be solved in a manner that preserves the unparalleled quality of the space as well as the library’s holdings.”

Wallace K. Harrison designed the building at the invitation of J. Robert Oppenheimer. It was completed in 1965 and is home to rare book collections and the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center.

Read more at NEH.


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