Help CMTS on “Giving Tuesday”

If you wish to donate, click the “Donate” button on the upper right corner of the main page.

Dear Friends,

Thanks to your past support of the Center for Mark Twain Studies, we’ve been able to achieve important goals for the Mark Twain Studies academic community on an international and local level.

Please know that none of these achievements would have been possible without the support of our “Dear Friends,” members just like you.

That’s why we are asking you to give to our year-end appeal – and we’re counting on you to help us serve the Twain community even more in the year to come. Through your support of the year-end appeal you strengthen CMTS’ programs and objectives.

Here is a list of just some of the things we are working on:

Supporting established and emerging scholars with the Quarry Farm Fellowships

CMTS offers nine Quarry Farm Fellowships every year to any scholar working in the field of Mark Twain Studies at any career stage, giving Fellows the opportunity to work on academic or creative projects at Quarry Farm.  The Fellowships foster and support scholarship and creative works related to Mark Twain, including, but not limited to, his literature, life, family, associations, influences, reception, and significance.  The fellowship selection process aims to assist scholars and artists in producing work of highest distinction and cultivate a diverse community of scholars across backgrounds, specializations, and ranks.

Continuing the “Trouble Begins” and “Park Church” Lecture Series

The CMTS lecture series, which feature 10-12 speakers every year, is unlike anything else, both in its consistent focus on a single author, and the depth of knowledge and variety of expertise the lecturers bring to this topic.  In many cases lecturers in these two series use the venue to present cutting-edge works-in-progress or to explore idiosyncratic ideas which may not otherwise find a venue.  All of these lectures are free and open to the public.  Furthermore, CMTS is able to expand access to them by making them available as recordings for download or streaming. CMTS is in the process of digitizing an archive of recordings that dates back more than three decades.  We encourage you to explore this expanding archive at

Creating online resources for teachers and the Twain community

Foremost among these plans is a digital edition of David Fears’ massive multi-volume Mark Twain Day By Day.  This enormously ambitious chronology of Samuel Clemens’s 75 years was published from 2008 to 2014, and has since become an invaluable reference for Twain scholars.  However, it has a limited run and the vastness of the undertaking made it prohibitively expensive for individuals, so very few copies exist outside of large college libraries.  Mr. Fears has given permission to CMTS to build a fully searchable, linkable, metadata-rich, updated electronic version.  We are both grateful and excited to provide this one-of-a kind tool for scholars and students alike, and expect to launch a Beta version of at least one volume in 2018.  Furthermore, CMTS is in the process of creating a number of online resources, specifically aimed at enhancing the education of Mark Twain and his literature in the classroom.  Not only is there a virtual tour of Quarry Farm, but soon there will be an interactive map of Mark Twain’s Elmira, an interactive map of Elmira’s Woodlawn Cemetery, the final resting place of the Clemens and Langdons, a compilation of Twain-specific websites, and a collection of lesson plans, most specifically oriented to meet contemporary classroom standards.

Preserving Quarry Farm and the Mark Twain Study

Due to the historic importance of Quarry Farm and the Mark Twain Study as National Historic Landmarks, to take a proactive approach to their preservation and maintenance. CMTS is currently in the process of acquiring historical preservation reports for Quarry Farm and the Mark Twain.  These reports will serve as long-range preservation and maintenance plans and will allow CMTS to apply for large scale historic preservation grants.  Once funding for the reports are secured, CMTS will begin the process of long-range, large-scale preservation plans at Quarry Farm including a modern humidity/temperature control system, a non-water fire suppression system, and updated plumbing.

As you can see, our work is more important now than ever.

For more than 30 years, CMTS has worked to promote and sustain Mark Twain Studies.  That work has paid off.  CMTS now is able to provide services to a number of different constituents, including university academics, independent scholars, Twain enthusiasts, teachers, and students.  As we all now live through this new Gilded Age (a term aptly coined by Twain himself), the need for funding from individuals is vital.

I hope that you will consider a gift today on “Giving Tuesday” or at year-end to sustain our good works for the Twain community.

With December 31 approaching, CMTS needs your generous financial support to keep our programs going.  Together we have accomplished so much – but there is still more work to do!

Take care,

Joe Lemak, Director

If you wish to donate, click the “Donate” button on the upper right corner of the main page.