The Kierkegaard Library is in the process of applying for grants to further support our digitization and archival preservation efforts. In this grant cycle, we are focused on telling the stories found within the Kierkegaard Library community, from the integral work of the Hongs to the current scholars residing here. If you know of any local, state, or national grant opportunities that align with our interests, or you are interested in supporting the Kierkegaard Library, please contact Eileen Shimota, Assistant Director, at email@example.com.
“Kierkegaard and Vocation”
We received this grant from the Lutheran Center’s “‘Life on Purpose’: Vocation Across the Curriculum” initiative at St. Olaf College. The grant is set for Spring 2024 and will consist of two parts.
1 – The Library will compile a list of resources which connect themes of vocation and philosophy and/or theology, Kierkegaard’s primary disciplines of study and writing. Should you have suggestions for titles, please email HKL@stolaf.edu.
2 – These resources will offer context and further exploration resources for students who participate in the second aspect of the Library’s vocational proposal: a three-part lecture series led by seasoned Kierkegaard Scholar and Professor at Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Dr. Deidre Green.
Green, who specializes in feminist theology and the philosophy of religion, will lead two virtual lectures meant to offer students of all disciplines a Kierkegaardian philosophical and theological structure upon which to lean during vocational discernment. The two online lectures will conclude with an on-campus visit and final conversation led by Green, in which she will tie together themes from her previous lecture and offer students vocational lessons moving forward. Throughout the series, students will be encouraged to keep a reflective journal of their vocational journey.
Lecture 1 – Engendering Joy: Kierkegaard as Catalyst for Overcoming Complacency
Lecture 2 – Self-Development is Not a Sin: The Christian’s Calling to Selfhood
Lecture 3 – Embracing Uniqueness: Finding and Loving Your “Essential” Self and Contribution
Exact dates and Zoom links on lectures posted soon.
NEH Preservation Assistance Grant
“NEH Grant Update“
By Kiara Fitzpatrick ’25, October 2022
Since being awarded the prestigious Preservation Assistance Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the HKL’s preservation efforts of rare and invaluable Kierkegaardian texts has persisted. Conservator Bailey Kinsey has been hard at work assessing and planning for the care of 113 selected texts. These texts are specifically from the HKL’s pre-1856 collection, which is housed in its own vault found in Rolvaag Memorial Library. We are so thankful for the continued support of the St. Olaf community and all friends of the HKL worldwide.
While we await Kinsky’s final report, the staff of the HKL are determined to spread enthusiasm for preservation efforts and knowledge of resources at the library. Howard and Edna Hong, the founding scholars of the HKL, collected texts from across the globe and consolidated them into a first-class collection of works of, about, or influenced by Kierkegaard. When this collection was donated to St. Olaf College, the Hong Kierkegaard Library was created.
In the years since its creation by dedicated scholars of Kierkegaard, the HKL has become not just a world-renowned collection, but is at the forefront of its field as a Center for Research and Publication. Outside of Denmark, the HKL houses the largest collection of texts by, about, or related to Soren Kierkegaard, and we continue to draw scholars to Northfield from all over the world. With such magnitude and composition, research on Kierkegaard sees its pinnacle within the walls of Steensland Hall. The collection’s careful cultivation continues to inspire new minds and spur the publication of innovative texts. The texts found in the Rare Book Room are incredibly rare, and with Kinsky’s preservation work, scholars will be able to reference and learn from them for years to come.
We are thrilled that preservation efforts are continuing, and we cannot wait to announce the completion of this project in the coming months. For the most recent updates and news of all happenings at the HKL, please follow our Instagram (@hklstolaf) and our Facebook page (The Hong Kierkegaard Library).
“It’s official – the Hong Kierkegaard Library has received a grant!”
By Ivy Lanz, ’24, October 2021
The staff of HKL are celebrating, and here’s why you should too. The grant will specifically go towards the planning for conservation of 100 books in the Rare Book Collection. Watch for details and updates on Hong Kierkegaard Library Facebook page and Instagram.
Conservator Bailey Kinsky will examine each of the 100 oldest books in the Rare Book Collection and decide from there how to restore and properly take care of them.
Additionally, two students from St Olaf College will work alongside Kinsky. One will assist her in the conservation process, while the other will promote the project via social media (social media handle) and articles.
Since 1976, the Hong Kierkegaard Library has been a staple to the St. Olaf community. Not only does the library provide students and faculty/scholars a place to dive deeper into existentialism and Kierkegaard’s work, but it also fits right in with the college’s mission: “To challenge students to excel in the liberal arts, examine faith and values, and explore meaningful vocation in an inclusive, globally engaged community nourished by Lutheran tradition.” With the HKL given a grant, rare one-of-a-kind books will have the special care they need to continue to call Hong Kierkegaard Library their home. Housing historical artifacts, like the ones in the Rare Book Collection, can be both a blessing and a curse for once they’re ruined beyond repair, the artifacts are gone forever. Luckily now with the new grant, the 100 most “rare and valuable” books will be restored and conserved to carry on teaching students, faculty and scholars around the world the importance and impact of Soren Kierkegaard.
This conservation treatment documentation of 113 rare books was undertaken with the support of a Preservation Assistance Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.