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Apply Now for University Libraries’ Endowment Funds

Morgan Spehar
January 24, 2022
Banner image for the 2022 1804 Endowment Fund Application
Graphic design by Brooke Stanley/Ohio University Libraries.

Applications are now open for the 1804 Special Library Endowment Fund and the Arts and Humanities Junior Faculty Endowment Fund. Faculty, staff and students can apply for funds to purchase materials for the Libraries that further their teaching, learning and research. The deadline for applications is March 14, 2022.

The Libraries’ 1804 Endowment is open to all faculty, students and staff, while the Junior Faculty Endowment is earmarked for tenure-track faculty who are looking to further their research. Both funds are designed so that the Libraries can purchase materials – often valuable or rare materials – that otherwise would not be purchased within the Libraries’ annual acquisitions funds.

Established in 1979, the 1804 Special Library Endowment Fund and the Junior Faculty Endowment Fund have helped University Libraries develop distinctive collections that can be used by the OHIO community. 

Endowment awardees are selected by the dean of University Libraries and the University Library Committee, which is a group of faculty and staff appointed by the president. All materials purchased with the Libraries’ 1804 and Junior Faculty Endowment funds should support the Libraries’ mission of fulfilling the teaching, learning and research needs of faculty and students. 

Those interested in applying for funds should speak with their school or department’s subject librarian or archivist. Awardees will be announced on July 1, 2022.

For additional information on the Libraries’ endowment funds or proposal submission, contact Janet Hulm, assistant dean for collections and digitization strategies at

2021 Awardees

1804 Special Library Endowment Fund 

Last year, several librarians and staff in collaboration with OHIO faculty were awarded funds to purchase resources and support initiatives during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Miriam Nelson, director of the Mahn Center, preservation and digital initiatives, applied for the Libraries’ 1804 Endowment Fund on behalf of the University Libraries Juneteenth Celebration planning committee to support the diversification of the Libraries’ collections. 

Juneteenth became a federal holiday and was first celebrated at Ohio University on June 19, 2021. The holiday celebrates the day that emancipation finally reached Texas in 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. The Libraries’ Juneteenth Planning Committee made a purchase during the University’s celebration in 2021, and then applied for 1804 funds to acquire more materials to complement the Juneteenth acquisition.

The 2021 materials purchased with 1804 Endowment Funds allow the Libraries to offer the OHIO community greater access to resources that represent Black history, culture, experiences and under-represented voices in the United States. 

Items purchased with 1804 Endowment Funds include the digital collection, The Black Abolitionist Papers, and artists’ books, “Mourning/Warning Flags” and “Fading Gardens.” Rare books purchased with the funds include: some of Ada DeBlanc’s “Let’s Pretend: Mae Dee,” series; a copy of Frances Harper’s 1892 book “Iola, Leroy; or, Shadows Uplifted,” long considered to be the first book published by an African American woman; Wilson Armistead’s “A Tribute for the Negro;” and Pauline Hopkin’s “Contending Forces.”

Several of the items were put on display on the fourth floor of Alden Library in September 2021. 

Nelson wrote in her proposal that the purchase is an important first step toward making the Libraries collections more diverse, equitable and inclusive and is “integral to reparative work the Libraries must undertake to ensure that the impact and contributions of Black cultural heritage are better represented within our collections and centered in our collecting practices.” 

lorraine wochna, subject librarian for film, theatre, English and African American studies, was awarded 1804 Endowment Funds to purchase documentaries for the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 Sustainability Film Series, which is an annual environment- and sustainability-focused documentary series open for free to the public. 

The Sustainability Film Series has been running in some form since 2012 as a collaboration between the Libraries, the Athena Cinema, the Honors Tutorial College and the Center for Campus and Community Engagement, among other sponsors. It has become one of the most popular recurring event series on campus. Documentaries selected for the film series are purposefully interdisciplinary to engage a wide audience with issues related to sustainability and each film is accompanied by a live panel discussion with experts who provide broader context and answer questions.

Films shown in Fall 2021 include: “Fantastic Fungi,” which dives deep into the world of mushrooms and fungus; “YOUTH v GOV,” which follows 21 young Americans suing the government for their right to a stable climate; and “The Ants and the Grasshopper,” which follows activist Anita Chitaya as she travels from Malawi to the United States to talk about climate change. 

The Sustainability Film Series is focused on sustainability solutions. Many of the ideas discussed and work showcased demonstrate the real-life applications of sustainability, allowing students and other members of the OHIO community to see that they can work to solve environmental issues. 

wochna was also granted a second 1804 Special Library Endowment award in 2021 to purchase a collection of 32 documentaries focusing on Black history. These films support the diversification of the Libraries’ resources and the Libraries’ commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

The films were purchased for Black History Month, which is annually celebrated in February.

The collection of documentaries will be available to watch online to increase accessibility for teaching, learning and research. Each of the films will bolster the Libraries’ collections and make it easier for the OHIO community to learn and teach about Black history.

For additional information on the Libraries’ endowment funds or proposal submission, contact Janet Hulm, assistant dean for collections and digitization strategies at