I have a couple of ideas for an upcoming Research and Creative Projects Award. One is research oriented and the other is purely materially motivated.
1. Travel to conduct research at The Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia. This institution holds collections of rare books and ephemera.
– A major manuscript of the Canterbury Tales and a noble fragment of another illustrated version.
– Books of the pre-Elizabethan and Elizabethan period, complemented by a collection of commonplace books. Commonplace books, which combine journaling with the collection of ephemera, have been compared to modern blogs.
– Major British authors from the 18th and 19th century—the most extensive collection of Robert Burns manuscripts in existence. There are manuscripts of Walter Scott, William Wordsworth, Charles Lamb, Shelley and Keats (including a celebrated love letter to Fanny Brawne) and the only surviving fragment of Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
– An excellent Dickens collection, extending from the earliest extant manuscript to a carte-de-viste photo signed on the day before his death, also includes Dickens’ manuscripts of Nicholas Nickleby and the Pickwick Papers.
– Lewis Carroll—over six hundred letters, early drawings, presentation books, photographs and his own first-edition copy of Alice in Wonderland.
– The handwritten manuscript of James Joyce’s Ulysses.
– The three earliest existing books printed in the western hemisphere —Mexico 1543-44, Lima 1584-85, and the legendary Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in what is now the United States (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1661).
– The American Revolution is documented with over one hundred letters written by George Washington, the original manuscript resolution of the Continental Congress, a superb collection of documents by signers of the Declaration of Independence, Commodore Barry’s ship papers, which outline the beginnings of the American navy, and a set of Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanacs, including the only known surviving copy of the 1733 first edition, first printing.
– Early diaries and traveler’s accounts, printed pocket guides and histories, including diaries of the Oregon pioneers and the document signed by Andrew Johnson authorizing Seward to negotiate for the purchase of Alaska.
2. Supplies —namely super standard porcelain.
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