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Published September 14, 2023
University of Wyoming Professor Emeritus Eric Nye has been elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, one of the oldest and most prestigious learned societies in the world.
Nye joins about 3,000 other Fellows of the society, based in London, of whom fewer than 150 are from the United States.
Founded around 1586 as the College of Antiquaries, revived in 1707 and chartered in 1751, the Society of Antiquaries has a British royal charter to further the study of history and antiquities. It consists of archaeologists, historians, anthropologists and antiquaries “unified by their curiosity in the human journey through time.” To be elected as a Fellow, a person must be “excelling in the knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other nations.”
Nye has not yet been formally admitted to the society. That will take place later this fall, during a ceremony at Burlington House, the society’s headquarters in London, where new Fellows sign the register of admissions and are welcomed into the society.
Nye, who is continuing his writing and research in his retirement in Cambridge, England, says he is looking forward to the ceremony.
“Britain has always been passionate about understanding its past. As one who shares that passion, I feel greatly honored to join this venerable society,” Nye says. “It provides a tremendous network of friends and scholars whose work enriches the culture for others.”
Nye -- whose long and distinguished career in UW’s Department of English included numerous awards for teaching and research -- conducted his doctoral research on the English Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Nye’s research on Coleridge’s disciples centered on the neglected literary figure and early Cambridge Apostle John Sterling.
Sleuthing after Sterling’s letters and papers, Nye made other manuscript discoveries that keep him busy in his frequent travels. His 2015 book on Cambridge Apostle John Kemble’s Gibraltar journal represents one of these discoveries. An avid private collector of rare books, Nye also binds and restores them and is an officer in the Bibliographical Society in London.