April 25, 2012

Scholars can apply for Carus research grants

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A traveling grant offers scholars the opportunity to conduct new, funded library research at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

Through the University’s Morris Library, scholars may apply for one or more Alwin C. Carus Research Grant awards of up to $5,000 to fund research in the Open Court Publishing company records or Hegeler-Carus papers that in turn will lead to a book, article, dissertation, documentary film or other substantial product.  The researcher will present the results of his or her work within the University community and also at the annual Hegeler-Carus symposium in LaSalle, either in person or virtually. 

SIU Carbondale is receiving trust funds that the University will distribute through the grants with a rolling deadline, meaning you may apply at any time but you must conduct your research at the University within one year of receiving the funding. The monies will assist researchers with travel expenses and other research and publishing costs, according to Pam Hackbart-Dean, director of the Special Collections Research Center at Morris Library. 

“This grant looks to support students and scholars who are working on various aspects of times and events that help shape the intellectual history of the early 20th century,” she said.  “The Open Court records include the personal writings and correspondence of thousands of philosophers, scientists and authors that are not otherwise available.  These include John Dewey, Clarence Darrow, Alexander Graham Bell, Upton Sinclair, Charles Pierce, Ernst Mach, D.T. Suzuki, Leo Tolstoy and Ezra Pound, to name a few.  Ultimately, the research grant is a boost to scholarly research.” 

Edward C. Hegeler, a zinc manufacturer, founded the Open Court Publishing Co. in LaSalle in 1887 and Paul Carus served as editor-in-chief from the founding until his death in 1919.  As one of the country’s first academic presses, it provided a forum to discuss new ideas regarding philosophy, science and religion, and expanded the audience for philosophical classics by making them affordable.  The press also published “Open Court” and “The Monist,” quarterly journals that continue today. 

The Alwin C. Carus Research grant honors the son of Paul and Mary (Hegeler) Carus and his interests in history, archaeology and astronomy.  Born in 1901, Alwin Carus attended the University of Chicago, majoring in chemistry and physics and then worked in the Carus Chemical Co. research laboratory until retirement.  He owned and operated farms and ranches in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Alberta, Canada, and traveled to Iraq and Turkey in the 1950s visiting ancient archaeological sites.  He also participated in several expeditions led by renowned astronomers to sites where they could best view solar eclipses, viewing more than a dozen total sun eclipses in his lifetime. 

Hackbart-Dean said the University welcomes faculty, graduate students, upper-level undergraduates and recognized independent scholars and artists to apply for the grant.  Although open to those already on campus, those outside the SIU Carbondale community are particularly encouraged to submit an application, she said. 

The application is online at http://www.lib.siu.edu/footer-portlets/collections/special-collections-research-center/travel-grants.  Along with the application, researchers should include a statement of intent with 250 words or less explaining their proposed research and its scholarly significance and relevance to archival holdings along with a current resume.  All materials should come as a single pdf document by email to phdean@lib.siu.edu with “Carus Research Grant Application” in the subject line.

For more information, contact the Special Collections Research Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library by calling 618/453-2516 or emailing phdean@lib.siu.edu