Donation To FAU Sponsors Research Into The Founding Of The United States


Staff report

Thanks to a donation to Florida Atlantic University’s Department of History in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, FAU will be able to partner with  the Huntington Library in San Marino, Cali. to sponsor three scholars to conduct research into early American history.

The donation was made by Howard and Judy Weiner.

The three graduate students will spend this month researching the Marvin and Sybil Weiner Spirit of America Collection, maintained and housed in the SE Wimberly Library at FAU’s Boca Raton campus, as well as time at the Huntington Library, one of the world’s premier humanities research institutions.

The graduate students then will present their findings at the Weiner Research Symposium at FAU on Oct. 25.

Howard Weiner is the son of Marvin and Sybil Weiner, who donated their collection of early American printed materials to FAU in 2006. The collection, valued at $3.8 million, was ranked among the top 10 of its kind in the United States. Included in the collection is more than 13,000 printed items of the Revolutionary era, as well as additional items dating back to 1501.

The original “Articles of the Confederation” drafted in 1777, the first printing of the “Declaration of Independence” in the Pennsylvania Evening Post dated July 1776, and a printing of “The Federalist,” which was written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, also are part of the collection.

The 2018 fellows were chosen for their research that correlates with publications in the Spirit of America collection. The fellows are:

Deborah Charnoff, City University of New York. Charnoff will conduct research for her dissertation, “Men Set on Fire: Algernon Sidney & John Adams – Remodeling Anglo-American Republicanism.”

Hannah Jorgenson, University of Minnesota. Jorgenson’s work focuses on early modern models of consent and gender roles in the Enlightenment period.

Jordan Michael Wingate, University of California, Los Angeles. Wingate will use the early American magazines in the collection as he works on his dissertation, “The Periodical Origins of the American Self.”

The fellowship will be administered by Adrian Finucane and Jason Sharples from FAU’s history department, and fellows will draw on the expertise of Victoria Thur and Teresa Van Dyke in the FAU Libraries Special Collections Department.

Being present in the collection at the same time will provide an opportunity for fellows to work with one another as well as to share ideas, sources and insights with the rest of FAU’s faculty and library staff. The complementary collections at FAU and the Huntington Library are particularly strong in Anglo-American political philosophy, the American and French revolutions, the English Civil War, religious history and early science.

For more information about the Marvin and Sybil Spirit of America Collection at FAU, email, call 561-297-2843 or visit