The Library Company of Philadelphia and The Historical Society of Pennsylvania will jointly award approximately twenty-five one-month fellowships for research in residence in either or both collections during the academic year 2013-2014. These two independent research libraries, adjacent to each other in Center City Philadelphia, have complementary collections capable of supporting research in a variety of fields and disciplines relating to the history of America and the Atlantic world from the 17th through the 19th centuries, as well as Mid-Atlantic regional history to the present.
Giuseppe Ceracchi, Minerva as the Patroness of American Liberty. Painted terra cotta, Philadelphia, 1791.
The Library Company, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731, was the largest public library in America until the latter part of the 19th century, and contains printed materials relating to every aspect of American culture and society in that period. It holds over half a million rare books and graphics, including the nation’s second largest collection of pre-1801 American imprints and one of the largest collections of 18th century British books in America. A catalog of rare books and graphics is available here.
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, now enriched by the holdings of the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, holds more than 19 million personal, organizational, and business manuscripts, as well 500,000 printed items and 300,000 graphic images concerning national and regional political, social, and family history. The Balch collections have added rich documentation of the ethnic and immigrant experience in the United States. A catalog of its library is available at www.hsp.org.
Together the two institutions form one of the most comprehensive sources in the nation for the study of colonial and U.S. history and culture. The Historical Society’s strength in manuscripts complements the Library Company’s strength in printed materials. The Library Company’s collections reflect the whole range of early American print culture, including books, pamphlets, and magazines from all parts of the country, as well as books imported from Britain and the Continent. The Historical Society’s archives richly document the social, cultural, and economic history of a region central to many aspects of the nation’s development. The Balch Institute collections bring the HSP new strength in documenting ethnic and immigrant history, with significant holdings of ethnic newspapers, records of benevolent societies and other local and national ethnic organizations, and personal papers of prominent leaders in ethnic and immigrant communities. Both collections are strong in local newspapers and printed ephemera; the print and photograph collections of both libraries are rich in images of the Philadelphia region and graphics by local artists. The two libraries combined have extraordinary strength in the history of women and African-Americans, popular literature, business and banking, popular medicine, philanthropy and reform, education, natural sciences, technology, art, architecture, German Americana, American Judaica, and a host of other subjects.
The Library Company/Historical Society fellowship program began in 1987. It now has more than 550 alumni. A list of former fellows and their topics is available here, along with a list of publications resulting from their fellowship research.
Named one-month fellowships support research in certain areas: (Applicants will automatically be considered for all pertinent fellowships)
- Two Barra Foundation International Fellowships (which carry a special stipend of $2,500 plus travel expenses) are reserved for citizens of other countries living outside the U.S.
- Two Balch Institute Fellowships will support research in the HSP/Balch collections on the ethnic and immigrant experience in the United States and/or American cultural, social, political, or economic history post-1875.
- The Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) sponsors two fellowships that support research in American history in the Early National period.
- The William Reese Company supports a fellowship for research in American bibliography and the history of the book in the Americas.
- The William H. Helfand Fellowship for American Medicine, Science, and Societysupports research in that subject area to 1900.
- The Library Company’s Program in Visual Culture Fellowship supports research on pictorial imagery in printed and graphic works from the colonial era to the early 20th century.
- The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) sponsors a fellowship for research on projects related to the 18th-Century Atlantic World.
- The Library Company’s Program in African American History offers four short-term Albert M. Greenfield Foundation Fellowships to support research in that field.
The Stipend for a short-term fellowship is $2,000. Fellowships are tenable for any one-month period between June 2012 and May 2013. They support advanced, post doctoral, and dissertation research. Candidates are strongly encouraged to inquire about the appropriateness of the proposed topic. The Library Company’s Cassatt House fellows’ residence offers rooms at reasonable rates, along with a kitchen, common room, and offices with internet access, available to resident and non-resident fellows at all hours.
The deadline for receipt of one-month fellowship applications is March 1, 2013, with a decision to be made by April 15. To apply, visit www.librarycompany.org/fellowships, fill out a required electronic cover sheet, and submit one portable document format (PDF) containing a résumé and a 2-4 page description of the proposed research. One letter of recommendation should arrive under separate cover in PDF format as well. Please email materials firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish you apply for more than one fellowship, simply check more than one box on your electronic cover sheet. For more information, telephone (215) 546-3181, fax (215) 546-5167, e-mail email@example.com.
The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation Dissertation Fellowship
This fellowship supports dissertation research in residence at the Library Company on any subject relevant to its collections, which are described above. The term of the fellowship is from September 2012 to May 2013, with a stipend of $20,000. The award may be divided between two applicants, each of whom would spend a semester in residence. The application deadline and procedures are the same as for the one-month fellowships described above, with the addition of a second letter of reference and a writing sample of approximately twenty-five pages.
The Library Company also offers long-term National Endowment for the Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowships. The application deadline is November 1, 2012, with a decision to be made by December 15. These fellowships are described here.
Generous support for this fellowship program has been provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, the Barra Foundation, the McLean Contributionship, the William Reese Company, ASECS, and William H. Helfand.
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Copyright © 2006 Library Company of Philadelphia | All Rights Reserved | James N. Green, Librarian