Welcome to the official blog for the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The Renaissance Center is a locus for the study of the culture and achievements of the Renaissance period, one that contributes to the field of Renaissance studies through research, teaching, and outreach to the University of Massachusetts campus, the Five College community of the Pioneer Valley, and beyond. This blog will be concerned with our collection, a teaching library which includes 25,000 books and monographs related to the English and Continental Renaissance, including nearly a 1,000 hand pressed books printed between 1400-1700. Our library and special collections draw a diverse assortment of scholars and students, ranging from academics with international reputations researching projects to undergraduates from the Five College Community simply looking for an opportunity to handle early modern printed books. It is my hope that this blog will be an informal and democratic space in which these students and scholars can discuss how objects in our collection relate to their research, explain which books in our collection interest them and why, or even just a place where people connected to the Center can write about topics and questions our library has helped them pursue. Just as importantly, I want this blog to demonstrate to readers the kinds of resources available at the Center, making them feel welcome into our vibrant scholarly community.
Curator at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies, Umass Amherst