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UB Libraries receives $10 million in New York State funding for construction of James Joyce Museum

Friday, June 16th, 2023
James Joyce mual

The University at Buffalo Libraries, home to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of materials by and related to author and poet James Joyce, has received $10 million in funding from New York State for the construction of a UB James Joyce Museum. This proposed exhibition space will expand access to the James Joyce Collection at UB, with the goal of attracting a broad global audience to discover and experience the achievements of the renowned Irish author, widely recognized as the most influential literary figure of the 20th century.

The funding was announced on June 16, 2023 at a news conference with New York State Senator Tim Kennedy in the Austin Flint Main Reading Room on the second floor of Abbott Hall on UB’s South Campus. The announcement arrived on Bloomsday, the annual commemoration of Joyce’s life and career, named for Leopold Bloom, the main character in Joyce’s masterpiece, “Ulysses,” perhaps the most important English-language novel of the past 100 years, with a plot that takes place on a single day, June 16, 1904, in and around Dublin, Ireland.

UB’s James Joyce Collection, housed within the UB Libraries’ Poetry Collection, has long been a singular destination for scholars and visitors from around the world. The James Joyce Museum will increase that visibility and expand public access to the university’s historical resources and literary treasures with a permanent exhibition space for visitors to study, learn and engage with these rare materials.

“We’re thrilled that we can move forward with a permanent exhibition space for the UB James Joyce Collection,” says Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, vice provost for UB Libraries. “This funding will enable us to present these resources in ways that have an even greater impact on local, national and international communities curious about the literary arts and the work of James Joyce.”

“Since its inception more than 85 years ago, UB has served as the library of record for 20th- and 21st-century Anglophone poetry,” says James Maynard, PhD, curator of the UB Poetry Collection and coordinator of the UB Rare and Special Books Collection. “This new state funding ensures the vibrancy of the UB James Joyce Collection and gives us an opportunity to now enthusiastically extend a global invitation to experience the life and works of Ireland’s James Joyce in what will be the UB James Joyce Museum.”

The University at Buffalo and UB Libraries has a bold vision to secure the James Joyce Collection’s future preservation and growth with the creation of the UB James Joyce Museum, sharing it with a wider world audience as a cornerstone of literary study and discovery. The museum is expected to draw thousands of visitors annually as an international destination and cultural landmark.

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