Location & Facilities

University of California,
Santa Cruz

The University of California at Santa Cruz is located on more than fourteen hundred acres of redwood forest and majestic meadows, eighty miles south of San Francisco. Organized on the collegiate model of Oxford and Cambridge, its ten colleges and thirty-two graduate programs currently serve over fifteen thousand students. Santa Cruz is one of the top twenty AAU-member research universities in the United States in terms of doctorates granted and externally funded research.


The UCSC campus offers a beautiful—and unique—setting for our seminar. The local area teems with cultural and recreational opportunities, including Santa Cruz’s annual summer Shakespeare festival. Other nearby delights include the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Monterey Bay Aquarium. San Francisco, San Jose, and the Napa Valley are also within easy reach by car or bus. Participants can expect to wake up to cool mornings that give way to sunny and occasionally quite warm (70-80+ degrees) afternoons. Evening temperatures can get quite chilly, so be sure to bring at least a light jacket. Strategic layering is the key to comfort in Santa Cruz, so include pants and sweatshirts along with your shorts and comfortable shoes (a must for the rugged terrain of the UCSC campus).

Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz is a delightful beach town with a mild summer climate. The downtown district is full of shops selling the work of local craftspeople and restaurants serving a wide range of (fantastic!) cuisines sourced from local farms. The area teems with cultural and recreational opportunities, including Santa Cruz’s annual summer Shakespeare festival. NEH summer scholars can take advantage of the area’s amenities, sampling local foods, spending time at the beach, and taking weekend trips to Napa, San Francisco, Monterey, or Big Sur. 


The Dickens Project

The seminar will benefit from its association with the Dickens Project, a Multicampus Research Unit of the University of California. Headquartered at UC Santa Cruz, the Dickens Project is internationally recognized as the premier center for Dickens studies in North America and one of the world’s leading sites for research on Victorian culture. A consortium of faculty and graduate students from the eight general campuses of the University of California, as well as from twenty-seven other universities across the US and overseas, the Project sponsors a wide range of Dickens-related programs and activities, including the annual “Dickens Universe” conference at UC Santa Cruz. The text for 2016 is Dombey and Son. NEH Summer Scholars are invited to extend their stays in Santa Cruz to attend the Universe week. In addition to the excellent web-based materials it has produced, the Project houses an extensive reference library of works by and about Dickens that will be available to NEH Summer Scholars.


Library Facilities

The UC Santa Cruz McHenry Library houses more than a million volumes. Its collections in nineteenth-century British literature, criticism, and history are strong. In addition, the Ada B. Nisbet Archive, with its fine collection of first editions and other materials on Dickens and Victorian culture, is located in Special Collections. All seminar members will have borrowing privileges while at UCSC, and bibliographies of supplemental materials will be provided to aid their work on their seminar projects. A library tour and orientation will take place in the second week, and participants will have access to the institution’s rare Dickens books and original serial parts. Summer Scholars will be able to interact with rare Dickens texts and discover open-access online resources that they can use to connect their students with Dickensian texts and images, including the original serial parts of Dickens’s novels, illustrated texts, and Dickens’s journalism. We will talk about how they can most effectively make use of these materials in their classrooms. 



Though NEH Summer Scholars are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptops, computers will be available for their use.