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History Professor Receives Yale Fellowship

History_IconKathleen M. Comerford, Ph.D., received one of Yale’s Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar Fellowship for research at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Comerford will travel to Yale in the fall to continue her research project. comerfordThe project is a comparative study of libraries in colleges administered by the Society of Jesus – the Jesuits – in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

“The Society is an order of priests with an illustrious history of missions and education, but their bookholding practices have not been studied in depth.,” said Comerford.

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library holds at least seven books that once resided in European Jesuit Colleges in the 16th and 17th centuries which will help further her understanding of how the books were used by the Jesuits.

“One of the most difficult issues in progressing from lists of books is determining how those books were used, and understanding that depends on tracking down the physical texts which were held by these libraries. The Jesuits were suppressed between 1772 and 1814, which means that their libraries were scattered via purchases, donations, and theft,” Comerford said. “The Beinecke Library also houses multiple sources for the study of other early modern European libraries and a large collection of works on European Jesuit history.”

She has already traveled to Europe to research Jesuit libraries in Spain, the Netherlands, and England. She also plans to visit libraries in Belgium this summer.

Her plan is to publish this study in a full-length book.

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is the largest of the eight colleges that make up Georgia Southern University, and it plays a central role in every student’s core of knowledge. CLASS, also described as the University’s College of the Creative Mind, prepares students to achieve academic excellence, develop their analytical skills, enhance their creativity and embrace their responsibilities as citizens of their communities, their nations and the world. CLASS offers more than 20 undergraduate degrees and several interdisciplinary minors from its 11 departments and five academic centers. CLASS offers eight master’s degrees, two graduate certificates and one doctoral degree. For more information, visit class.georgiasouthern.edu.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 125 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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Posted in Faculty, Faculty Highlights, History, Research