Dr. John Bryant, a Hofstra University professor of English since 1986, has received a grant for $175,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities ( NEH ) over the next two years. The award is the largest humanities grant in Hofstra's history and will be used to launch the Melville Electronic Library ( MEL ), a digital "critical archive" of the works of Herman Melville. MEL will become the primary online site for Melville research. Users of MEL, including scholars, critics, students, and general readers, will have unprecedented access to a searchable collection of interlinked versions of Melville's manuscripts, print texts, sources, art works, and other research and secondary materials. Dr. Bryant says by the conclusion of the two-year grant period, Moby-Dick, Billy Budd, and Battle-Pieces, Melville's collection of Civil War poems, will be the first works to populate MEL. It will take approximately 15 years to complete the digital archive. Once completed, Dr. Bryant says it will be "an intellectual playground" for Melville scholars and students
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