The Associates of the James Ford Bell Library were organized in 1963 to support the mission and activities of the James Ford Bell Library. Over the years, they have worked on or contributed to projects as diverse as publishing, acquisitions, and outreach. Each year they fund History Day prizes, supporting K-12 historical research, and the Carol Urness Student Writing Award, which supports the work of University of Minnesota students who use the resources of Bell Library. They also are the primary sponsors of the Annual James Ford Bell Lecture, now in its 50th year.

To learn more about the Associates, visit their Web site at http://www.merchantexplorer.org.

To become a member: http://www.merchantexplorer.org/joinandsupport/.

Prizes:

History Day Topical Prize
Carol Urness Student Writing Award

Annual Lecture

Each year the Bell Library hosts an annual lecture, supported by the Associates, by a scholar on a topic related to the Bell collection. This year (2016) the annual lecture is part of a semester-long series of events Celebrating Venice: At the Center.More information

<h3>Board of Directors</h3>
<p>Jaden Hansen, <em>chair</em><br />
Wilson Yates, <em>vice president-planning</em><br />
Jennifer I. Johnson, <em>vice president-communications</em><br />
Ellen George, <em>treasurer</em><br />
Marguerite Ragnow, curator, <em>secretary; ex officio</em><br />
James Hurd Anderson<br />
Victoria Keller<br />
David Lanegran<br /><br />

Ford W. Bell, <em>Honorary Director; ex officio</em><br /><br />
    
Judith Anderson Brindley, <em>emeritus trustee</em><br />
Martin Kellogg, <em>emeritus trustee</em><br />
Charles Hann, <em>emeritus trustee</em><br />
John Larkin, <em>emeritus trustee</em><br />
Curtis Roy, <em>emeritus trustee</em></a></p>