Bill Kent Foundation & Library

The Bill Kent Library

The Bill Kent Library is situated within the Monash University Centre at Prato. Opened in 2010 and named after the Monash University Prato Centre’s founder, the Bill Kent Library houses a collection drawn from the libraries of Nicolai and Ruth Rubinstein (d. 2002) from the Warburg Institute, London. Almost half of the over 1900 titles are dedicated to the fine arts, whilst the remainder focus on Medieval and Renaissance political and cultural history, and its classical antecedents. The library supports the research and teaching activities of the Prato Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

The Bill Kent Foundation Fund

The Bill Kent Foundation Fund was established in 2010 and has a broad mandate to fund the development and maintenance of the Bill Kent Library at the Monash University Prato Centre, as well as supporting initiatives such as conferences, scholarships, fellowships in the area of Medieval and Renaissance studies.

Vision and Mission Statement

To make ‘amici’ and to create a neighbourhood across the seas: to bridge boundaries between past and present; to entwine the Australian and Italian communities in friendship and learning; and to open a dialogue across time, culture and the globe to the inspiration and enlightenment of generations to come. The Foundation honouring Bill Kent has a broad mandate to bring this vision into fruition by:

    • enhancing and promoting the reputation of Monash University both within Australia and internationally as a centre of excellence in medieval and renaissance studies;
    • strongly supporting and encouraging the development of both undergraduate and postgraduate training and research skills in historical and cultural studies;
    • raising funds for the Monash Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, including, in particular, for the development and maintenance of the Bill Kent Library located at the Monash Centre in Prato, Italy;
    • bringing into being the concept of an Australian academy in Europe by broadening the activities of the foothold in Europe that Monash University has obtained through the promotion of artistic and cultural studies and activities at the Monash Centre in Prato;
    • fostering and deepening the cultural ties between Australia and Italy and the inter-linking of the two communities;
    • undertaking a dual role of fundamentally supporting scholarly research but also acting to open a dialogue such that the outcomes and product of such academic endeavour are accessible to all; and
    • facilitating a means by which the boundaries and differences between, and the similarities shared by, Australia and Italy, whether they be geographical, historical or cultural, are celebrated, explored and more meaningfully understood.

ASA Bill Kent Memorial Higher Degree Research Fellowship

ASA_Logo_Horizontal_ASAThrough the generosity of Australians Studying Abroad (ASA), a frequent partner with the CMRS in leading the popular Prato-based summer semester units Dante’s Medieval World, and The Renaissance in Florence, an annual fellowship has also been established in memory of Bill Kent. The fellowship honours Bill’s fifteen-year association with ASA. It supplies an airfare to the value of $2500 and a $500 Travelex card to assist with expenses. The purpose of the ASA Bill Kent HDR Fellowship is to allow a potential/actual postgraduate researcher to pursue an aspect of his/her own research in Europe, whilst based at the Prato Centre. He/she would be expected to participate in the annual Medieva and Renaissance workshop at the Monash Prato Centre of the particular year. Normally, the Fellowship is to be taken in early December to coincide with the postgraduate workshop, organized in conjunction with the Prato Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. More information can be found here.