AU Press Releases

Libraries awarded collection of Muslim books, films

The Alfred University (AU) Libraries were selected as one of 840 organizations nationwide to receive a collection of 25 books and four films designed to increase public understanding of Muslims in the United States and around the world.


The “Bridging Cultures Bookshelf” was awarded in a competitive process by The National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Some of the materials will be on display in AU’s Herrick Library entryway through March; the University will host a variety of public programs based on the collection pieces during the coming year.


A team of Alfred University librarians and history, political science, religious studies, and art history faculty developed the winning proposal for using the materials.


The collection explores five themes: the histories of Muslims in the United States since colonial times; the global history of Islam in the pre-modern world and interactions among Islamic and non-Islamic cultures; literary reflections on Muslim religious practices, ethics, governance, and identities; the relationships between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and among various types of Islam (Sunni, Shi’a, and Sufi); memoirs and novels by Muslim authors; and Islamic Arts.


Materials included in the “Bookshelf” were selected with the advice of librarians and cultural programming experts, as well as distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, world literature, Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies, and Islamic studies.


Major support for the “Bookshelf” was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art provided additional support.


Herrick Library was built in 1957, expanded in 1978 and extensively renovated in 2007 providing seating for nearly 300 students. The renovations included the creation of a wide variety of learning and work spaces making it possible to accommodate virtually any individual or group study preference with a 24-hour study room, computer lab and various meeting rooms.


Herrick Library hours can be found at: For more information about the bookshelf materials and upcoming public programs at AU, visit http://libguides.alfred.e....