Dr. Gross Headed to NY Public Library Archives
May 29, 2019
Associate Professor of English Karen Gross has been awarded a Short Term Fellowship from the New York Public Library (NYPL). The NYPL offers such Research Fellowships so that scholars outside the New York metropolitan area may conduct on-site research using the Library’s extensive special collections. Dr. Gross will use this competitive award to support two weeks at the Library during her upcoming sabbatical, where she’ll spend time in the archives, consult NYPL’s secondary holdings, and have access to their major databases. Dr. Gross has already examined relevant manuscripts in the U.K., Ireland, France, and Italy. This final archival work at NYPL will help Dr. Gross complete her book, “This Is Not the End: The Apocalypse in Medieval England.”
Dr. Gross’s research explores how medieval England and northern France read the Book of Revelation, a text that was a bestseller at the time. Her comprehensive study argues that Revelation was not a source of fear about the impending end of the world but rather a guide of comfort and meditation, and even a source of entertainment. These illuminated Apocalypses were cherished by the public and were one of the most sought-after medieval English productions, serving as models for art in a variety of media, at home and abroad. Dr. Gross’s manuscript will discuss how—prior to the more thoroughly studied late 14th and 15th centuries—people used them in comparison with other devotional aids, why their production abruptly ceased, and how they influenced later artists, poets, and editors of scripture, including the Protestant Reformers. The ability for Dr. Gross to consult illustrations and text in the NYPL archives will be invaluable as she sheds light on these and other questions.