Stephanie Stillo Awarded CLIR/Library of Congress Mellon Fellowship

Washington, DC, May 14, 2012-Stephanie Stillo, Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Kansas, has been awarded the 2012 CLIR/Library of Congress Mellon Fellowship. She will use technologies in the Preservation Research and Testing Division of the Library of Congress to analyze 16th– and 17th-century Spanish maps in the library’s collection.

CLIR created the CLIR/Library of Congress Mellon Fellowship in 2011. The award, given each year as part of the Mellon Dissertation Fellowship Program, is dedicated to original source research in the Preservation Research and Testing Division of the Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress.

Stillo’s dissertation will trace the history of Seville’s decisive role in shaping Spain’s visual image as an overseas empire in the 16th and 17th century. She will examine the way in which Sevillians used their social and political networks to transform the city into an imperial capital separate from the royal court. She will also focus on how the city’s architectural, artistic, and scientific-activities shaped the look and physical character of the empire.

The application of hyperspectral imaging (HSI) and x-ray fluorescence to maps in the Library of Congress collections will allow Stillo to explore the physical evidence of production and revision of early modern maps. “Augmentation to the size, orientation, and ornamentation of specific cities or landmasses on maps, as well as the addition of cartographic iconography, could reveal cosmographers’ use of visual imagery to more closely unite Seville and its colonial economic centers in the west,” she says. “In examination of printed maps, HSI could reveal both intentional and accidental prints from different states of the same plate could reveal decorative and symbolization changes intended to make the depictions of New World geography more fashionable.”

The CLIR/Library of Congress Mellon Fellowship is supported with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.