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Phillips Library Director Chosen for Competitive Rare Books Fellowship

Katherine Stohlman Pieters, C'19

Director of Phillips Library Jessica Boyer, Ph.D., C’16, has been awarded the M.C. Lang Fellowship in Book History, Bibliography, and Humanities Teaching with Historical Sources, a two-year fellowship program of the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School.

headshot-jessica-boyer-in-text.jpgThe M.C. Lang Fellowship, which is only open to librarians and faculty members at small, liberal arts universities in the U.S., equips educators to bring rare books at their universities alive for students and community members, and successfully include these rare books in students’ learning.

 The fellowship covers the cost of two courses at the Rare Book School, plus travel costs and housing, and up to $1,000 per year in matching funds for participants to use for rare book-related programming at their universities. The first course Boyer will take, which will be held in June, is titled, “Book History, Bibliography, and Humanities Teaching.”

“As an M.C. Lang Fellow, I will be able to enhance my knowledge and expertise in rare books, enabling me to provide a more enriching and immersive learning experience for students.

 I bring numerous undergraduate courses in to work with our Rare Books Collection each year, and the fellowships will have a direct impact on those efforts,” shared Boyer, who has been director of the library since 2017.

Her reception of the fellowship builds on a $10,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Preservation Assistance Grant that Phillips Library was awarded last August. The NEH grant enabled the university to invest in custom-made storage to better preserve the Mount’s extensive Rare Books Collection, an invaluable resource educationally, culturally and historically.

“After taking several steps to preserve the collection [through the NEH grant], I can now focus more specifically on my professional development in the areas of teaching and programming,” noted Boyer. “They hold immense value in preserving our intellectual and cultural heritage.”

Katherine Stohlman Pieters, C'19