Mason Libraries Recipient of LYRASIS Catalyst Fund Grant

FAIRFAX, VA – July 13, 2022: The George Mason University Libraries’ Center for Mason Legacies (CML) is pleased to announce that they were one of five 2022 recipients of the LYRASIS Catalyst Fund.

The Center for Mason Legacies and its George Mason University faculty researchers George Oberle, LaNitra Berger, Benedict Carton, and Wendi Manuel-Scott have been awarded $39,500 by the LYRASIS Catalyst Fund. This generous grant will advance an interdisciplinary project based in the University Libraries and College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The winning proposal, “Geographies of Inequity: Exploring the Hidden Lives Next Door,” draws on CML’s “Black Lives Next Door,” launched in 2021 with OSCAR support. Two other CML projects have been instrumental in shaping “Geographies of Inequity”: the Enslaved Children of George Mason, an undergraduate research initiative which started in 2016, and Enslaved People of George Mason Memorial, a work of public history recently unveiled on the Fairfax campus. Wendi Manuel-Scott is excited to have “CML use the LYRASIS grant to create an interdisciplinary social justice methodology that incorporates digital humanities and historical research in local communities, and fully engages our students in valuable transformative work.”

CML’s proposed “Geographies of Inequity” has also received the Catalyst Fund’s Sandy Nyberg Award, which recognizes “the highest levels of innovation” in publishing, writing, preservation, and other categories. Dean of the University Libraries, John Zenelis, noted “the collaborative and creative energy that materializes when faculty and librarians work together results in substantative educational experiences for students.” The 2021-2022 Catalyst Fund grant competition was international in scope. The finalists included Cambridge University, University of Virginia, Université du Québec à Montréal, and University of North Carolina System.


The Catalyst Fund is an award program that provides support for new ideas and innovative projects from the LYRASIS membership. It is administered by the LYRASIS Leaders Circle to expand opportunities to explore, test, refine, and collaborate on innovations with potential for community-wide impact.

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES & THE CENTER FOR MASON LEGACIES The University Libraries, as a core academic function of George Mason University, serves as both a repository of and digital portal to the wider universe of knowledge. The Libraries fosters innovation, originality, and imagination by qualitatively managing access to scholarship and information, providing expert consultation in the research process, actively teaching the effective and critical use of information, and disseminating research and scholarship through publishing endeavors. The Center for Mason Legacies is an interdisciplinary and collaborative research center established by the University Libraries and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The mission of the Center is

to preserve and examine the legacy of George Mason IV (1725-1792), his ancestors and heirs, and the people he enslaved. To accomplish this, student researchers are engaged in studying the past and present influences of our university’s namesake though a combination of scholarly research, public history, teaching innovation, and community outreach.

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