Educational Programs | May 10, 2022

Rare Book School Awards Fellowships for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage

Credit: Will Kerner

The 2022–24 cohort of Mellon fellows at Rare Book School. 

Charlottesville, VA – Rare Book School (RBS) at the University of Virginia has selected the third cohort of 15 fellows to join the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage (RBS-Mellon CH Fellowship). Fellows will participate in a three-year program which includes an orientation, Rare Book School coursework, community symposia, and other activities relating to multicultural collections and trainings.

“We are especially excited this year to bring the new fellows together in person so that they may begin to build valuable peer networks through face-to-face interactions,” said Danielle Culpepper, RBS Director of Budget & Finance and one of the authors of this initiative. “The pandemic in 2020 and 2021 forced RBS to move activities for the first two cohorts of fellows online so, this year, we’re grateful that they will finally be able to participate in activities together in person, as we had originally planned and envisioned.”

This program builds on the success of earlier RBS fellowship initiatives, including the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Scholars in Critical Bibliography, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-RBS Fellowships for Early-Career Librarians, and the RBS-RBMS Diversity Fellowship Program. The RBS-Mellon CH Fellowship has been formed to: develop skills for documenting and interpreting visual and textual materials in special collections and archives; raise awareness within professional communities about the significance of inclusive, multicultural collections, including their promotion, development, and stewardship; build connections with diverse communities and publics through strategic programming, outreach, and advocacy; and advance careers by establishing new pathways and skills for professional growth.

The 15 RBS-Mellon CH Fellows were chosen from a highly competitive field of applicants by a selection committee comprising leading cultural heritage professionals. The fellows selected from across the country work closely with a broad spectrum of multicultural collections and communities. This year’s awardees have a wealth of experience working with reparative archival practices; community archives; Latin American, Latinx, and Iberian collections; African American and African diaspora history and collections; Indigenous visual literacy and common law; Japanese art and Japanese American collections; digital archives, literacy, and preservation; tactile printed materials for low-vision persons; and medieval manuscripts and paleography. Geographically, the fellows represent states across the country from coast to coast. “This new cohort of fellows brings to RBS significant experience and expertise in areas that are vital to the future growth of libraries, archives, and museums,” remarked Barbara Heritage, RBS’s Associate Director and Curator of Collections, who also serves as a co-author of the grant. “This year’s fellows are particularly interested in working with material artifacts that call attention to cultural histories that have been silenced, elided, or overlooked. We continue to see this fellowship as an important opportunity for RBS and other institutions to increase their engagement with multicultural communities in a responsible and ethical fashion, to help ensure that community voices and collections are valued and preserved in keeping with the vision of those various and diverse groups.”

“We very much look forward to welcoming our third group of Cultural Heritage Fellows to Rare Book School, where we hope they will find much to learn and much to contribute,” said RBS Executive Director Michael F. Suarez, S.J. “We remain profoundly grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their ongoing support of this key diversity initiative at Rare Book School.”

2022–24 Cohort of the RBS-Mellon Cultural Heritage Fellowship:
    •    Talea Anderson, Scholarly Communication Librarian, Center for Digital Scholarship & Curation, Washington State University
    •    Victor Betts, Student Success Librarian for Special Collections, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries
    •    Barrye Brown, Processing Archivist, Manuscripts, Archives & Rare Books, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    •    Yuqiao Cao, Pauline A. Young Resident & Visual Literacy Librarian, Library, Museums & Press, University of Delaware
    •    Amalia Medina Castañeda, University Archivist, Gerth Archives & Special Collections, California State University, Dominguez Hills
    •    Hoan-Vu Do, Special Collections Librarian & Archivist, Special Collections, San Diego Public Library
    •    Patrice R. Green, Curator for African American Collections, Eberly Family Special Collections Library, The Pennsylvania State University
    •    Diana Liao, Education Associate, Japan House, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    •    Milton Machuca-Gálvez, Humanities Librarian/Visiting Scholar, Learning & Outreach Services, University Libraries & Learning Sciences, The University of New Mexico
    •    Sara Powell, Assistant Curator of Early Books & Manuscripts, Houghton Library, Harvard University
    •    Sócrates Silva Reyes, Latin American & Iberian Studies Librarian, Columbia University/Cornell University
    •    Ursula Romero, Public Services Librarian, The Lilly Library, Indiana University
    •    Annie Tang, Chair of Special Collections & Archives, Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections & Archives, Chapman University
    •    Jaime S. Valenzuela, Archivist, Daniel F. Cracchiolo Law Library, James E. Rogers College of Law, The University of Arizona
    •    JoyEllen A. Williams, Special Collections Curator, Department of Museums, Archives & Rare Books, Kennesaw State University

More information about the Andrew W. Mellon Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage is available at: