May 19, 2022

Digital Humanities Project Exploring Annotations in Early Modern Manuscripts Receives Mellon Funding

From Johns Hopkins University:

The Johns Hopkins University’s Sheridan Libraries, in partnership with University College London’s Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL) and the Princeton University Library, have been awarded a $488,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to implement “The Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe.”

This new digital humanities research initiative will explore historical reading practices through the lens of manuscript annotations preserved in early printed books.

Earle Havens, the curator of rare books and manuscripts at the Sheridan Libraries, is one of three principal investigator for this international research project. He will work closely with two of the world’s leading scholars of the history of reading—Lisa Jardine, Director of CELL at University College London; and Anthony Grafton of the Department of History at Princeton.

“We are extremely grateful to the Mellon Foundation for their support of research into this fascinating but underexplored part of history,” said Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums. “Renaissance readers left us a wealth of material to investigate. This kind of deep discovery work would not be possible without the combined expertise of an international team of humanists and technologists bringing a broad range of expertise together, and we look forward to sharing what they uncover with the world.”


Over the next several years, the team will integrate the digital humanities expertise of CELL and of the Sheridan Libraries’ Digital Research and Curation Center, as well as the collections of the Princeton University Library and other major repositories in the U.S., the UK, and Europe. The initial phase of the project will focus on the transcription and translation of a select number of heavily annotated books, and the allied adaptation of the open-access Shared Canvas viewer to maximize user interaction with these complex, composite early modern texts through a publicly available website.

Much More About Project Here

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.