Rare Books Curator Receives National Fellowship

Curator of Rare Books, Neil Weijer, received the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography from the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia/ Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This highly selective national fellowship draws together early career scholars, curators and librarians around the study of material objects, providing support for research, teaching, and national symposia around the projects of Junior Fellows. The Society of Fellows has been in existence for over a decade, and Neil will join a community of more than 100 academics of all fields and levels working with a wide array of objects from around the globe. Fellows are committed to fostering an accessible, inclusive, and diverse environment for the study of the material text, seeking out opportunities to share their knowledge with broader communities.

This fellowship will help to support and promote a collection that Neil has been building at UF since 2019, around the historical techniques of printing for the blind, by convening a symposium around the exhibition of that collection in Spring 2024. The award recognizes the breadth of scholarship but also a commitment to inclusiveness in collection building, which the award committee noted in their letter.

Neil Weijer is curator of the University of Florida’s Harold & Mary Jean Hanson Rare Book Collection, which contains books and ephemera from the middle ages to the present day. Since coming to UF he has worked to develop and promote the collection to engage students and faculty on campus, online and around the state. He is proud to direct the project Storied Books at the University of Florida, which sponsors and showcases student research and experimentation in the University’s collections, and serves as editor of the UF Journal of Undergraduate Research.