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Milne Library Scholar

2023 Graduate Milne Library Scholar of the Year

Name: Katherine Novko       

Major: Museum Studies

School: Cooperstown Graduate Program


The goal of this thesis is to utilize material culture to introduce discussions of broader historical themes. Using one object—a clock in the collection at Hyde Hall in Springfield, NY—as a case study of this method of interpretation, I will explore how objects within historic house museums might be leveraged to enrich and complicate the interpretation presented to audiences. In this case, the clock allows for a better understanding of complex social and economic systems that operated within the Atlantic world in the early nineteenth century.

Studying the personal financial context of George Clarke, builder of Hyde Hall, as well as the social context and industry of consumption, allows me to explore broader meanings related to Clarke’s purchasing habits. George Clarke constructed a domestic environment at Hyde Hall rife with material culture chosen to convey a sense of authority and reinforce his personal identity as an elite member of society while occupying a remote location in Otsego County.

2023 Undergraduate Milne Library Scholar of the Year

Name: Dorothea Caposito 

Major: English

School: Liberal Arts and Business


This study will examine queerness as it relates to horror and the “other” in 19th-century English society. While the main focus of the study is a close reading of literature, a New historical lens will be used to explore the author's background as well as the culture of Victorian England in relation to the novels. Gothic Horror of the Victorian age, including The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula, and Frankenstein highlights the way authors have expressed either recognized or unrecognized “otherness” through their writing in a socially acceptable, widespread way.