Giving & Support

Support the Center for Premodern Studies at the University of Minnesota

Since our founding, we have been fortunate to have the generous financial support of friends and alumni like you. Your tax-deductible contribution helps fuel research and innovation at the University of Minnesota through the Center for Premodern Studies, the foremost research hub in the state of Minnesota for the promotion of a long historical perspective on our most pressing concerns. Our mission is to illuminate the past and its continued relevance for students, teachers, and community members alike.

While we serve many, we are few.  The Center is run by a handful of committed faculty and staff who do this as a labor of love on top of their duties in their respective departments. Donations provide our best students with vital encouragement and financial support, and give our award-winning faculty the resources needed to advance our knowledge of languages, literatures, arts, cultures, and social institutions across their long histories.

What Your Gift Can Do

Your contribution will help support:

  • Graduate Student Research: We organize and offer financial support to graduate students to attend workshops on reading medieval and ancient manuscripts, conduct research in archives and on archeological sites, and participate in professional conferences. We also support graduate reading groups in Old Norse, Latin, and Classical Arabic.
  • Community Outreach: The Medieval Book in the Schools program introduces the cultures of the medieval world to students in Minnesota K-6 classes. We share authentic artifacts and manuscripts with young scholars-in-the-making, providing them the opportunity to experience the excitement of historical research and develop a new appreciation for books by making one.
  • Lecture Series: We sponsor many events for the public and university community, including an annual talk by experts in Art History (the Sheppard lecture, a lecture created in honor of UMN Art History Professor, Carl D. Sheppard) and an annual talk by scholars of manuscript studies (the Aris Memorial Lecture, a series established in honor of Rutherford Aris, UMN professor of Chemical Engineering and Classics, whose love of manuscript culture led to the establishment of this annual event).

Choose a Fund

Medieval Studies Fund

The Medieval Studies Fund finances the Center's programs, students, and research. The Medieval Studies Fund finances expenses not covered by other funding sources, makes possible many of the Center for Premodern Studies special medieval events, and supports our Medieval Books in the Schools outreach.

The Founders Fund

The Founders Fund provides valuable financial support for Center programming and operations. Your contribution allows us to advance key programming and initiatives including:

  • Center publications, including the Journal of Early Modern History and our book series
  • Events and workshops 
  • Faculty and student research and training
  • Advancing public outreach through our podcast and expanded K-12 offerings

The Rutherford Aris Memorial Fund supports scholarship in medieval communication technologies including codicology, paleography, early print culture, diplomatics, numismatics, epigraphy, and the digital study of manuscript culture. This fund honors renowned UMN paleography and chemical engineering professor Rutherford “Gus” Aris who was a founding member of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Medieval Studies. The Center for Premodern Studies currently hosts an annual lecture honoring Aris focused on these themes.


The Sheila McNally Endowment for Medieval Studies supports the Center's programs and research, including annual support for graduate student scholars through summer fellowships. This fund is named after UMN Art History Professor Sheila McNally whose scholarship included Coptic Egypt, the art and archaeology of monasticism, as well as Greek and Roman sculpture, mosaics, and pottery

The Sheppard Lecture is an annual medieval art history lecture in honor of the late Carl Sheppard, a professor of medieval European art history at the University of Minnesota. Since 2012, the Carl Sheppard Memorial Lecture in Medieval Art History has hosted key scholars for an engaging series of public presentations.