The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has chosen the Papers of William F. Cody at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West as one of its success stories the grant-administering agency features in honor of its 50th Anniversary. The selection of top grants appears online through the “National Endowment for the Humanities Celebrating 50 Years,” a site that goes live at the special anniversary website, 50.neh.gov, today, Tuesday, September 29. According to NEH, each story details “a grant that changed the landscape of the humanities, and collectively, these grants represent the best of the work the NEH has funded over the last 50 years.”
“The Papers of William F. Cody has become a key resource for scholarly examination of Cody’s life and enterprises, and NEH funding is integral to that effort,” notes Bruce Eldredge, the Center’s Executive Director and CEO. “We couldn’t be more proud of the efforts of this dynamic team or more thankful for the exposure they bring to the Center.”
The documentary history that is the Papers of William F. Cody, details a broad range of contexts, both reflected in and shaped by the figure of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. The Papers collects, edits, and publishes material from the period of Cody’s birth to well beyond his death, in print and with an online, open-access, digital edition.
The State of Wyoming launched the project with a $300,000 state appropriation in 2007. With a matching donation from the Geraldine W. and Robert J. Dellenback Foundation, the plan was underway. Since its inception, the Papers has collaborated with numerous academic and archival institutions both in the U.S. and in Europe.
“Our team publishes the primary resources detailing the life and times of Cody online to the William F. Cody Archive, codyarchive.org,” explains Managing Editor Jeremy Johnston, Curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum. “Then, materials are available at no cost to an international audience of all interest levels.”
The Papers archive is constantly evolving in conjunction with the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Using NEH funding, the Papers published a documentary record of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West’s international phase, focused on the British and German tours,” Johnston adds. “This highly successful document collection effort by the Papers team points to the impact of the Wild West’s years in these countries.”
In addition, the Papers provides digital exhibitions through Cody Studies (CodyStudies.org), and supports print publications of primary historical writings by Buffalo Bill himself as well as his associates.
The Papers of William F. Cody continues to pursue funding through future grant opportunities with NEH to offer additional material from Italy, France, Belgium, and Spain. For more information, contact Johnston by e-mail, or call 307-578-4032.
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For additional information, visit centerofthewest.org or the Center’s Facebook page.