The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens announces the establishment of the Shapiro Center for American History and Culture. 

Shapiro Center for American History and Culture:

The Huntington Library, located in San Marino, California,  is establishing the Shapiro Center for American History and Culture as the result of a generous gift from Manuscript Society member L. Dennis Shapiro and his wife Susan R. Shapiro. Included in the gift is their collection of 340 rare items. Among the documents in the  collection is correspondence by John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams. There are also letters by Dolley Madison and Abigail Adams and materials from Thomas Jefferson’s and James Madison’s Secretary of Treasury, Albert Gallatin.

The Center will not be a brick and mortar facility.  Programs will be central. Lectures, fellowships, exhibitions, publications and a strong online presence will all be part of the new Shapiro Center.

Book and Scholarship Awards:

Along with the center, the Shapiros are also gifting The Shapiro Prize. The prize will focus on books that make use of primary source materials especially documentary collections. The prize will be biennial. It will be offered for a first scholarly monograph in American history and culture. The inaugural prize, which will include a $10,000 cash award, is expected in 2021. It is the first of its kind offered by The Huntington.

Also funded are two new fellowships for researchers working on topics in American history and culture.

Reflecting Dennis’ own love of collecting, the Center will serve as a forum to study the history of collecting American documentary materials.

Dennis has been a member of the Manuscript Society for over 30 years. His steady hand and sage advise has served the society well. Over the years he has served in many capacities including on the society Board of Trustees, Publications Committee and as advisor for the 2019 annual meeting in Boston. For the complete article on this gift and the new center, the Huntington Library (which is also a society member) and more click here.



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