CAMDEN – A Rutgers University—Camden historian has received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship to write the book The Enlightenment Library and the Quest for Universal Knowledge.
Jacob Soll, an associate professor of history at Rutgers–Camden, was among 180 artists scientists, and scholars from the United States and Canada selected from some 3,000 applicants for the highly competitive fellowship, sponsored by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
“The magnitude of this award further compounds the high caliber of the faculty researching and teaching at Rutgers–Camden,” says Margaret Marsh, interim chancellor at Rutgers–Camden. “I am thrilled that Jacob’s work has been recognized with this most impressive honor.”
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation was established in 1925 by U.S. Sen. and Mrs. Simon Guggenheim to honor a son who died in 1922. Since its establishment, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted more than $273 million to fellows such as Langston Hughes, Henry Kissinger, Vladimir Nabokov, and Linus Pauling.
Soll’s first book Publishing “The Prince”: History, Reading, and the Birth of Political Criticism (Michigan, 2005), received the Jacques Barzun Prize, presented by the American Philosophical Society. His second book The Information Master: Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s Secret State Intelligence System, which will be published on May 28, (Michigan, 2009), examines the quest of power by Louis XIV of France’s pioneering minister through a gathering of information on a massive scale.
The Guggenheim Fellowship will support the Rutgers–Camden historian’s next book which will explore traditional learning institutions and subversive information collections during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
“This book examines the role of information impresarios, or collectors of mass amounts of data, and their complex relationships with the new philosophies, institutions and cultural phenomena of the Enlightenment,” says Soll of Philadelphia.
A recipient of a 2005 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and the Forkosch Prize from the Journal of the History of Ideas, Soll has been a Luso-American Fellow at the National Library in Portugal and a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.
He received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Iowa in 1991; his Diplôme d'Études Approfondies from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris in 1995, and his Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1998.
Rutgers–Camden offers 34 undergraduate and 17 graduate programs and is home to more than 250 faculty, whose research, teaching, and service endeavors are represented worldwide.
Media Contact: Cathy K. Donovan