This post was written by Noa Turel, Ph.D./Assistant Professor, Department of Art & Art History, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Dibner Library Fellow, January-March 2016. Applications are currently open for 2017 fellowship opportunities.
My three-month winter residency at the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology was tremendously helpful in shaping and grounding my book project Ingenious Secrets: Painting and Research in Fifteenth-Century Courts. Coming in, I had three bibliographies of Dibner Library special collections materials through which I sought to advance my understanding of the phenomenon at the heart of this book, the curious employment of painters as engineers in Renaissance courts. The rare books, manuscripts, and visual materials I found in the course of my residency far exceeded my original estimation in the proposal. I wound up consulting many more items as well as secondary sources, finding over 130 to be helpful for my research.