The year 1996 will be remembered in University history for two very significant events. The University of Scranton was awarded a prestigious $300,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for expansion of the humanities collection in its Weinberg Memorial Library. The grant is one of only 10 awarded to colleges and universities throughout the United States, and one of only three received by colleges and universities in Pennsylvania. It is the second such grant the University has received from NEH.
The announcement of the grant lends momentum to the largest capital fund-raising effort in University history, the Campaign for Scranton: Shaping the Future of a Jesuit University, which was publicly announced in April of 1996. The majority of the funds raised in the campaign will go toward endowment, particularly for scholarships and program development. Expansion of the Library collection in the humanities is the major focus of the program development component.
NEH challenge grants provide humanities institutions with.seed money to create endowments for their programs. Each institution receiving a NEH grant must raise either .3 or 1 dollars from nonfederal sources for every dollar of the grant. The University must raise 4 dollars for every dollar of its $300,000 award.
From the Library Director
This grant provides a unique partnership between the University and NEH to strengthen library holdings in our core humanities collection and to provide a secure source of income in the future that will sustain the humanities at the University as it moves into the 21st century.
As the Weinberg Library secures its future in the 21st century, we also celebrate and embrace the past. A very special friend of the Library has helped the Weinberg Library celebrate the art of illuminated manuscripts. The Book of Kells is among the world's greatest works of art. It was created by Irish monks sometime (luring the late eighth century, when the art of the early Middle Ages was at its zenith. In Latin script and superb illustrations, the hook's 680 pages depict the life of Christ as narrated in the four Gospels of the New Testament. The first known record of the book's existence is an account of its theft from the great stone church of Kells, Ireland, in the year 1006. Around 1661 it was entrusted to Trinity College, Dublin, where it is preserved as Ireland's greatest national treasure.
To share this magnificent manuscript with the rest of the world, Trinity College commissioned the production of a limited number of facsimile editions, The Weinberg Memorial Library has obtained one of these amazing reproductions as a gift through the estate of Charles J. Buckley, a dean emeritus who served the University of Scranton in a variety of academic and administrative positions for 46 years. He died Feb. 24,1996. Through the generosity of the Buckley family, visitors to the Weinberg Memorial Library can experience one of the world's most precious illuminated manuscripts.