History of the Department
The Institute was organized in the mid-1960's as the Bibliographical and Textual Center to support a six-volume edition of Charles Brockden Brown, America's "first professional author".
It expanded in the mid-1970's to accommodate the thirty-volume Cambridge Edition of the Works of Joseph Conrad, one of this century's most important writers.
National and international recognition of these projects attracted approximately $300,000 in federal grants by the early 1980s. In the mid-1980s the Institute was reorganized, renamed, and further expanded to accommodate more projects and personnel, including The Taft Papers, which has collected and published the writings of several generations of Ohio's most important public-service family, one of the few true political dynasties in American history.