SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — The University of Rhode Island will welcome to campus next month a historian who has researched the story behind a Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson.

Author and historian Denise Spellberg says in her book "Thomas Jefferson's Quran: Islam and the Founders" that his purchase of a copy of the book in 1765 sparked a lifelong interest in Islam and influenced his ideas on religious freedom in America. Jefferson ordered an English translation of the text when he was at Virginia' College of William and Mary studying law.

Spellberg will talk about her research during the keynote address at an April 7 event celebrating the 20th anniversary of URI's Center for the Humanities. The event is free and open to the public.