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UCR Historian Is Most Excellent

UCR Historian Is Most Excellent

British history scholar Henry Snyder recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for contributions to English studies.

(February 22, 2010)

Henry SnyderEnlarge

Henry Snyder

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – To the titles Recipient of a National Humanities Medal and Professor of History Emeritus at UC Riverside Henry Snyder can add one more: Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

The award, which is presented to few individuals outside the United Kingdom, was announced by Queen Elizabeth II in December and will be presented to Snyder at the British embassy in Washington, D.C. in early spring.

Snyder, a scholar of British history, was recognized for “service to English Studies worldwide” for his work over 32 years on the English Short-Title Catalogue. The catalog is a searchable database of every known publication in England and its dependencies from the birth of the printing press in 1473 to 1800. It is the largest bibliography of its kind ever attempted, Snyder said, and lists nearly 500,000 items, including books, handbills, fliers, pamphlets and warrants.

“This is the great early printed bibliography of any language group,” he said. “It was in many ways the pioneer.”

The catalog, whose American component is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a joint effort of UCR’s Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research, the British Library and the American Antiquarian Society.

“It’s nice to get the recognition. I’ve put a lot of effort into the project,” said Snyder, who was nominated by the British Library.

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry created in 1917 by George V. There are five degrees of award in civil and military divisions; Officer is fourth out of the five degrees and is not one of those for which knighthood is conferred. Snyder is one of 11 individuals honored in this category.

Fully retired since Dec. 31, Snyder said he will continue to offer some assistance to the Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research, which he previously served as director. He plans to display his OBE medal next to his NEH medal in a case in his TV room at home.

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