August 5, 2013 Former College President Appointed Distinguished Visiting Scholar

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Jason Steinhauer (202) 707-0213

Jane McAuliffe, immediate past president of Bryn Mawr College and a prominent scholar of the Quran, has been appointed distinguished visiting scholar at the Library’s John W. Kluge Center by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. She will begin her tenure on August 5 and spend 12 months in residence.

McAuliffe will use the Library’s rich holdings of Quranic commentaries and related texts to inform her current research: a multi-phase publishing project that seeks to make the Quran more accessible and comprehensible to those unfamiliar with it.

“Many Americans are eager to understand the religious beliefs of their Muslim neighbors and to appreciate the Quran as a major contribution to the world’s literature,” McAuliffe said. “Building upon my past work, this new annotated edition of the Quran and related writings will shed light on the text’s descriptive and proscriptive significance.”

Throughout her career, McAuliffe has worked to foster dialogue between Muslims and Christians. She served for a decade on the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims and was a long-standing member of Building Bridges, an international interfaith meeting convened annually (2002-2012) by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

As a scholar she has published extensively on the Quran. She is the general editor of the six-volume “Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an” (Brill Publishers, 2001-2006), the first major reference work for the Quran in Western languages. Her other books include “The Cambridge Companion to the Qur'an” (Cambridge University Press, 2006); “With Reverence for the Word” (Oxford University Press, 2002; paperback 2010); “Abbasid Authority Affirmed” (SUNY Press, 1995); and “Qur’anic Christians: An Analysis of Classical and Modern Exegesis” (Cambridge University Press, 1991; paperback 2002).

From 2008 to 2013, McAuliffe served as the president of Bryn Mawr College. Earlier, from 1999 to 2008, she served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. from Trinity College in Washington, D.C.

Distinguished visiting scholars are senior research positions in residence at the Kluge Center and appointed by the Librarian of Congress. Using research facilities and services at the Library of Congress, the scholars conduct research on topics of historical or cultural significance, with the intended end result of publication. Scholars share their research with the public through lectures and events organized by the center.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources, and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about the Kluge Center visit

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 155 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at


PR 13-140
ISSN 0731-3527