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‘Library Scholars Grant’ category

Two Purdue University faculty members have been named recipients of the 2017-18 Library Scholars Grant, which supports each grant recipient’s access to unique collections of information around the country and the world.

Charlene Elsby, 2017-18 Library Scholars Grant Program Recipient (Purdue University Libraries)

IPFW Assistant Professor of Philosophy Charlene Elsby

Indiana (University) Purdue (University) Fort Wayne (IPFW) Assistant Professor of Philosophy Charlene Elsby was awarded $5,000 to travel to the Husserl Archives at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium) to continue her research about the roots of phenomenology. Purdue University Libraries Assistant Professor Kendall Roark was awarded $5,000 to conduct archival research within organizational and community collections housed in the Arizona Queer Archives (University of Arizona).

Established in 1985 by the 50th anniversary gift of members of the Class of 1935, the Library Scholars Grant Program is available for non-tenured and recently tenured Purdue faculty in all disciplines from the West Lafayette, Fort Wayne, IUPUI, and Northwest campuses, as well as those in the Statewide Technology Program.

The archival research that both Elsby and Roark will undertake will be used for an individual book, a monograph, and/or a project based on their research.

According to Elsby, whose research project is titled, “Time-Consciousness and Transcendental Idealism,” the 2017-18 grant award will enable her to access the Husserl Archives, where she has previously conducted research supported by the Library Scholars Grant Program.

“When I left the archives in 2016, I was halfway through translating Husserl’s essay on Berkeleyan idealism, ‘Esse und Percipi,’ a work which I hope to continue, with the ultimate goal of producing an examination of the relevant differences between Husserlian and Berkeleyan idealism,” noted Elsby, who is also the interim director of the philosophy program in the IPFW Department of English and Linguistics.

Kendall Roark, 2017-18 Library Scholars Grant Program Recipient (Purdue University Libraries)

Purdue University Libraries Assistant Professor Kendall Roark

Roark noted that materials from the Arizona Queer Archives, “which engages the local community in the development of its collections and prioritizes the everyday lives of LGBTQ Arizonans,” will be used to complete a final chapter of a book manuscript, tentatively titled “Oasis: Imaginative Geographies and the Marginal Locations of Queer,” as well as an online exhibit related to the history of LGBTQ activism and civic engagements along the U.S. and Mexico border.

“‘Oasis’ draws on my past ethnographic multi-modal fieldwork and archival research on hate crime memorials and anti-gay ballot initiative campaigns in Southern Arizona,” Roark explained. “The book will complement recent ethnographic work and intersectional and transnational borderlands research such as, ‘Queer Migration Politics’ by Karma Chavez (2013) and contributions to the history of sexuality such as ‘Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence’ by Christina Hanhardt (2013). Through this work, I seek to contribute to discussions around participatory/collaborative research, as well as material and political implications of movement, ethnographic, and archival memory practices.”

The grant program, which the Class of 1935 has supported continuously over the last 33 years, covers the recipients’ expenses associated with the cost of transportation, lodging, meals, and fees charged by the library or other collection owner.

For more information about the program, and to see the past recipients of the Library Scholars Grant Program, visit www.lib.purdue.edu/scholars/past_recipients.

Yvonne Pitts, Associate Professor

Yvonne Pitts, assistant professor of history, was awarded $3,380.00 by the Purdue Library Scholars Grant Program to conduct research for her article, “’Vile Characters’ and Property Law: Regulating Prostitution and Creating Property in Civil War Era Nashville, 1860-1868,” which examines the short-lived system of regulated prostitution during wartime in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Library Scholars grant is awarded to untenured and associate professors tenured after July 1, 2015, to support research-related travel expenses to archives and collections outside of Purdue. For guideline and submission instructions to the Library Scholars Grant Program — now accepting applications no later than 5 p.m., Friday, November 10 — visit www.lib.purdue.edu/scholars/guidelines.

In her answers below, Dr. Pitts shared a bit about her travel to two different archives for her research, which the Library Scholars Grant Program supported.

Q: Yvonne, what is the focus of the research you conducted with the Library Scholars Grant Program?

A: My project examines crime and vice regulation and the system of regulated prostitution imposed by Union military authorities in occupied Nashville during the American Civil War. I am concerned with the exercise of legal authority on the ground in Nashville, which after occupied by the forces of General Ulysses S. Grant, had several competing law enforcement forces. My work at the two archives I visited reveal a complex, often haphazard system of multiple law enforcement actors that evolved in response to military demands, civilian hostility, and the threat of public disorder. During this period, soldiers often became the object of scrutiny for law enforcement agents while prostitutes, while subject to licensing and inspection, gained greater zones of legal autonomy.

Q: When did you travel to the unique collection/archives and what did you find there?

A: I traveled to two archives. The first, the Nashville Public Library holds the local civilian court and government records, including case files and the Aldermen’s minutes. The National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C. holds the federal government records which includes the Army records, the Provost Marshal (military’s law enforcement force), and Surgeon General’s reports. Access to these records, which are rarely digitized or even indexed in any detail is essential to my project.

Q: How did this grant enable you to complete or add to your research?

A: The Library Scholars Grant allowed me to study important local law enforcement records. After these trips, I have been able to write grants for more research funding, develop a plan of research for a book manuscript, and write an article draft.

Q: What are some highlights and memories from your travels?

A: One highlight was finding the Jail Record books in the National Archives. As I discovered at the Nashville Public Library, many of the criminal case files from Nashville had been destroyed, so I was not able to read transcripts and judgments from local civil arrests by the Nashville Police. At the National Archives, I discovered the U.S. Army Provost Martial’s Jail Record Books. These books contained information about charges, prisoners, sentences, and locations of arrests. They are a wealth of information. On another note, after I left the Nashville Public Library at closing, I had some of the best barbeque of my life in Nashville.

Q: What tips would you give to scholars applying for this grant?

A: Be specific about the collections you hope to access. I called and emailed with archivists from both locations for about two weeks before I finished the application. I included their names and the specific collections, sometimes to the volume or folder level, that I planned to access. I sought to convince the Library Scholars Grant Committee that I would hit the ground running on my first day.