Swedenborg Memorial Library Awarded Grant from the NEH

URBANA, Ohio (January 18, 2013) - Julie McDaniel, director of Library Services for the Urbana, received notification from the National Endowment for the Humanities that the Swedenborg Memorial Library was one of 840 libraries and state humanities councils across the country selected to receive the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf grant. This is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Culture initiative. This week, the library received twenty-five books and three films as well as additional materials to use as promotion as part of the grant.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Julie McDaniel, and Susie Sassenberg opening the box of books and videos received from the NEH.

A committee, with members from the University and community, has begun to make plans for the two programs required with the grant. There is a possibility that the University may also be eligible for another grant connected to this project that would allow for additional programming opportunities. The University’s programs and events will take place during the fall of 2013.

The press release from the NEH explains that the grant was “developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association (ALA) based on the advice of scholars, librarians, and other public programming experts, the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is intended to address both the need and desire of the American public for trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations.”

As part of its occasional series, “Realize the Role: People Groups in America,” the Swedenborg Memorial Library hosted the ALA exhibit, “A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs” during fall semester 2011. McDaniel said, “We considered the role of Jewish Americans throughout society during fall semester 2011 and look forward to the opportunity to consider the history and culture of people of the Muslim faith. The college years present an opportunity for our students to learn about people from different backgrounds. Since we have not historically attracted many Muslim students to Urbana University, the Journeys Bookshelf will give us books and DVDs the students can use to learn more. The programs during fall 2013 will also give them an opportunity to explore the influence of Muslims on various aspects of life.” 

The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf includes the following titles, organized by theme:

American Stories:
  • A Quiet Revolution by Leila Ahmed
  • Prince Among Slaves by Terry Alford
  • The Columbia Sourcebook of Muslims in the United States, edited by Edward E. Curtis IV
  • Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel
  • The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson  
Connected Histories:
  • The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance by Jim Al-Khalili
  • In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh
  • When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks Who Created the “Riches of the East” by Stewart Gordon
  • Leo Africanus by Amin Maalouf, translated by Peter Sluglett
  • The Ornament of the World by Maria Rosa Menocal 
Literary Reflections
  • Minaret by Leila Aboulela
  • The Arabian Nights (anonymous), edited by Muhsin Mahdi, translated by Husain Haddawy
  • The Conference of the Birds by Farid al-Din Attar, translated by Dick Davis and Afkham Darbandi
  • Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi
  • Snow by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Maureen Freely 
Pathways of Faith
  • Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan A. C. Brown
  • The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life by Ingrid Mattson
  • The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam by F. E. Peters
  • The Art of Hajj by Venetia Porter
  • Rumi: Poet and Mystic, edited and translated by Reynold A. Nicholson 
Points of View
  • In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
  • Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi
  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
  • House of Stone by Anthony Shadid
  • Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie 
Art Architecture and Film
  • The Art of Hajj by Venetia Porter
  • Islamic Arts by Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair
  • Islamic Art Spots (short films designed, written, and presented by D. Fairchild Ruggles, and produced by Twin Cities Public Television)
  • Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World (2011)
  • Prince Among Slaves (2007)
  • Koran by Heart (2011) 
The books and films comprising the Bookshelf were selected with the advice librarians and cultural programming experts, as well as distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, world literature, Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies, and Islamic studies. The books can be borrowed from the Urbana University library.  Community members may receive a community card by presenting a current, photo ID at the library.
 
The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association. Major support for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

       

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