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Participant name: Basbanes

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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FB-53554-08Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent ScholarsNicholas Andrew BasbanesThe History of Paper, Timeless Marvel of Human Ingenuity1/1/2008 - 12/31/2008$50,400.00NicholasAndrewBasbanes    NORTH GRAFTONMA01536-1806USA2007Interdisciplinary Studies, GeneralFellowships for College Teachers and Independent ScholarsResearch Programs504000504000

A comprehensive overview of the conception, creation, migration, and influence of paper, a miracle of invention that has had a profound impact on the growth of world culture and the spread of civilization over the past two thousand years. The project will involve extensive primary research in the field and in various archival collections, and rely heavily on personal interviews to be conducted with a wide variety of pertinent people, including hand papermakers, manufacturers, artists, archivists, chemists, conservators, recyclers, paper historians, and collectors. Among sites to be profiled are papermaking villages in China and Japan where ancient skills are still practiced, along with many key sites throughout the United States. A major consideration is how paper has flourished as an idea, an approach that represents a significant departure from previous efforts. This will be driven largely by narrative, and intended for a wide readership of general readers, scholars and students.

FZ-231396-15Research Programs: Public ScholarsNicholas Andrew BasbanesCross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow1/1/2016 - 12/31/2016$50,400.00NicholasAndrewBasbanes    NORTH GRAFTONMA01536-1806USA2015Arts, GeneralPublic ScholarsResearch Programs504000504000

A biographical examination of the life, times, and celebrity of the poet and his role in shaping American cultural identity.

A multi-layered biographical and critical narrative written for the general reader examining the life, times, and unprecedented celebrity of the 19th-century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and of his role in the shaping of a cultural identity that was truly American. A project ripe in the 21st century for a fresh consideration, the book will also profile at length the influence of Longfellow's ill-fated wife, Frances Elizabeth Appleton Longfellow, heretofore never more than a curiosity on the margins of his story. It will include, too, a portrait of 19th-century literary Boston and Cambridge, and offer a fresh evaluation of Longfellow’s place in the pantheon of American literature. The project will involve primary research at the Longfellow House in Cambridge, Mass., a repository of artifacts and archival materials numbering 800,000 items, as well as at other major collections, and use the principles of materiality to offer added insight and nuance to the major characters