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Library Receives Gift to Enhance Use of Rare Collections

The University Libraries will receive $3 million of a $15 million gift from the Sunderland Foundation for the renovation of the Miller Nichols Library third floor to create a digital scholarship center along with offices for staff who support new forms of scholarship. Beyond being a resource for students and faculty, the Miller Nichols Library is a recognized community resource for both historical enthusiasts and professional researchers.

 “The excitement here in the Miller Nichols Library is palpable," said Dean Bonnie Postlethwaite. "This generous gift presents opportunities to create library spaces that engage students in immersive learning as we begin the process of building a digital scholarship center and digital humanities program. Having a space that will eventually house expert librarians to work with the faculty and students engaged in this type of learning is essential to the success of the program.” 

By fully funding the UMKC portion of this phase of renovation, the Sunderland gift enables the State Historical Society of Missouri to focus its own fundraising for their new space also on the third floor of the Miller Nichols Library. The society’s eventual move from Newcomb Hall will enhance and expand the availability of rare collections on the third floor of the library.

“The master plan for the library has always included the State Historical Society of Missouri – Kansas City Research Center,” said Kay Callison, president of the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation. “We are thrilled and grateful that the Sunderland Foundation sees the benefit of centralizing our research resources on the third floor of the Miller Nichols Library.”

In 2015, the third floor was partially renovated to house the LaBudde Special Collections, University Archives and the Special Collections Exhibit Gallery. In 2019, the Sutton Geosciences Museum relocated to the third floor from Flarsheim Hall. Building a digital scholarship center and relocating the State Historical Society’s Kansas City research branch to the library’s third floor will bring together for the first time complementary resources for engaged learning and the creation of new knowledge.  

Posted: August 01, 2019