At the start of 2020, the UI Center for the Book was awarded a $2.5 million grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, dependent on raising $2.5 million on our own. We had twenty months to meet our goal. And through the extraordinary generosity of a wide-range of donors, we made the match!

The grant will benefit the students and faculty of the UICB, the University of Iowa arts and humanities communities more generally, and the field of the book arts and book history at large. The grant pays tribute as well to the remarkable leadership of Tim Barrett, at the heart of the program since its inception in 1986 and who retired in 2020.

Learn more about the specific uses of the funding below. Do know that we can always use help to sustain our mission in a time of higher ed austerity.



 Together, the funds will address three crucial UI Center for the Book needs:

Student Funding

Our students are filled with determination and passion but the cost of higher education is challenging. Through fellowships and assistantships your gift can encourage these promising artists and scholars by allowing them to devote as much time as possible to their creative and scholarly studies. Contributors can also create an endowment that will support fellowships and assistantships in perpetuity. Our typical awards are $15,000 per student.

Endowed Faculty Support

Attracting the most promising students depends on hiring the brightest and most creative faculty artists and scholars. Help make these targeted special hires possible with your commitment of endowed funds. Income from endowed funds can be assigned to named faculty research fellowships, professorships, or chairs depending on the wishes of the donor.

Professional Travel

Each year students and faculty are invited or accepted to present at conferences and to perform research around the nation; an endowment of, for example, $500,000 would fund fifteen of these trips annually. The visibility and strength of our program is enhanced when we are able to send students and faculty to undertake new research and share their latest creative and scholarly accomplishments with peers in the field. The all-important side effect is personal interactions, helping us recruit the best graduate students and faculty to our program. Help us make professionally-related travel readily accessible to artists and scholars in the UICB.

To make a gift to help the UICB realize our challenge grant award, please click here to contribute.

For questions and more information on how you can support the UICB with a multi-year pledge, estate planning, appreciated securities or employee matching gift programs, please contact Jeff Liebermann, UI Center for Advancement at Jeff.Liebermann@foriowa.org



“Using re-invention, the UICB makes the paper book work in the digital world.”

  -Gary Frost, Emeritus faculty member

“The University of Iowa Center for the Book's location in a UNESCO City of literature has contributed to [an] increasing focus [on] the criticism of writing in artists books. This location in a prominent literary community holds students to a high standard of writing and criticism, while also providing opportunities for growth and learning through local readings, workshops, and cross-enrollment.”

  -Katharine DeLamater, MFA student

“The Merker Fellowship was instrumental to my success at the UI Center for the Book in my third year in the MFA program. Because of the fellowship, I was able to devote more time to my studies and career advancement. This included the rigorous application process to apply for a Fulbright Student Research Scholarship in Cambodia which I was awarded for the 2019–2020 year.”

  -Isabella Myers, MFA student

“My time at the UICB has completely shaped my experience as a librarian. By grounding my early studies in the practice of historical forms of bookbinding and printing, as well as the study of book history, I’ve developed into a librarian both highly conscious of the ever-changing roles artifacts play in our lives, as well as the social implications of said artifacts. Understanding the material history of books as well as how to make them myself has deepened and enhanced my experiences in this career, every step of the way.”

  -Laura Hampton, BLIS student

“Engaging with faculty, staff and students from the UICB inspires my work, whether it be conservation treatment, new areas of research or my own creative process. As they say 'students teach the teachers' and that’s definitely true. It’s been a true joy to see student progress. Collaboration with the excellent UICB faculty is one of my most treasured resources on campus.”

  -Giselle Simón, UI Libraries Preservation and Conservation Department