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UB Receives NEH Grant for James Joyce Museum Design – UB Now: News and Views for UB Faculty and Staff

Visual renderings of the UB James Joyce Museum at Abbott Hall on South Campus that help conceptualize the exhibit space.

UB Libraries, home to the world’s largest collection of materials by and about acclaimed Irish author and poet James Joyce, has received a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to design a new UB James Joyce Museum in Western New York.

The UB James Joyce Museum was among 245 projects selected nationwide for funding. The award, an Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant, aims to raise federal funds to stimulate non-federal support for the humanities.

Through the university’s billion-dollar Boldly Buffalo campaign, UB Libraries began raising funds to design the UB James Joyce Museum at Abbott Hall on South Campus. By establishing a museum, the university aims to attract thousands of visitors from all over the world each year to discover and experience the rare materials, literary life and story of Joyce.

Fundraising will also support an endowment for preservation and acquisitions, a curatorial position endowed by Joyce, and programming and exhibition funds. As part of the NEH Challenge Grant, UB plans to raise $300,000 to match the three-to-one prize.

To learn more about the UB James Joyce collection and its campaign, visit the collection site. Matching donations for the NEH Challenge Grant can be made online at James Joyce Museum fonds.

“Having distinctive scholarly treasures like our James Joyce Collection elevates our libraries and enhances our university’s international reputation,” said President Satish K. Tripathi. “We are so proud to house this unique treasure trove of literary artifacts which for seven decades has drawn visitors, dignitaries and scholars from around the world to UB. Now we look forward to presenting this magnificent collection in a museum dedicated to UB James Joyce, which will contribute significantly to the ongoing cultural renaissance in our region while greatly expanding public access to the life and work of James Joyce.

“The UB James Joyce Museum will allow UB to showcase and share its James Joyce Collection with a wide global audience who have a curiosity and appreciation for literature, culture and history,” said Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, vice-rector of UB Libraries. “It offers an opportunity to bring together local, regional and international communities, and will strengthen cultural tourism in the region not only by adding another destination to the rich list of visitor experiences, but by further expanding the scope of cultural tourism offerings. literary arts available in the West. New York.”

James Joyce is considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.

The UB James Joyce Collection is the world’s most comprehensive collection of material by and about Joyce, containing over 10,000 pages of his working papers, notebooks and manuscripts, as well as photographs, portraits, memorabilia and his Parisian library . The documents offer unparalleled insight into the author’s writing process and literary connections.

The collection, currently housed in Capen Hall on North Campus, has been a destination for scholars around the world for over 70 years, with Joyce being one of the most sought after literary figures. However, the lack of adequate exhibition space has prevented the general public from accessing this important cultural and literary collection.

“To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ in 2022 and recognizing that we have a responsibility to make the collection more accessible to the public, UB is committed to establishing the UB James Joyce Museum,” says James Maynard, curator of the UB Poetry Collection, the reference library for English poetry of the 20th and 21st centuries. “The design phase is the critical first step in bringing this vision for a new historic attraction to Buffalo to life.”

A dedicated museum space will open the collection to public visitation through permanent and changing exhibitions, extended opening hours, guided tours and school trips, sophisticated digital displays and other programs.

The museum will also promote Irish heritage in Western New York by celebrating one of Ireland’s most important cultural exports and providing Buffalo and its large Irish community with a remarkable new Irish landmark. Joyce has dedicated his life to writing about the city of Dublin and is inextricably linked worldwide with the history and culture of Ireland.

Fundraising for the design phase coincides with the 100th anniversary of the publication of Joyce’s iconic book “Ulysses” in 2022, which will feature a global series of “Ulysses” related programs, exhibitions and events throughout year round, including Bloomsday. The international holiday, which takes place on June 16 – the same day that “Ulysses” takes place – recalls the enigmatic story of a day in the life of protagonist Leopold Bloom in Dublin. “Ulysses” is considered by many to be the most significant novel of the 20th century.

Last year, UB extended its successful Boldly Buffalo campaign goal to $1 billion. Through the campaign, funds are raised for student support, faculty research, and innovative programs that benefit the world, with a particular focus on the Western New York community.

The fundraiser for the UB James Joyce Museum, carried out by Boldly Buffalo, is part of UB’s efforts to continue its revitalization efforts at the historic South Campus. This project will focus on the architecturally significant Abbott Hall and strengthen its ties to the Western New York community by inviting the general public to the museum and campus, while expanding the area’s significance as a leading international destination for research and discovery.

“UB is proud of its role as a cultural and educational center in Western New York. Through donor support for our campaign, we are amplifying opportunities for our amazing students while continuing to help change the landscape of our city and region,” said Rodney M. Grabowski, Vice President for University Advancement. . “Helping kick off the planning phase of the UB James Joyce Museum is a landmark achievement of our Boldly Buffalo campaign.”

The design phase, a first step in the museum’s development, is estimated at $1 million. The funds will support the hiring of an architectural firm specializing in museum design to ensure an immersive, state-of-the-art visitor experience worthy of the global archive of one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. .

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