To support the mission of the Society to foster the study of books and other textual artifacts in traditional and emerging formats, and in keeping with the value which the Society places on the field of bibliography as a critical interpretative framework for understanding such artifacts, the BSA funds a number of fellowships designed to promote bibliographical inquiry and research.
Bibliographical projects may range chronologically from clay tablets and papyrus rolls to contemporary literary texts and born-digital materials. Topics relating to books and manuscripts in any field and of any period are eligible for consideration as long as they include analysis of the physical object – that is, the handwritten, printed, or other textual artifact – as historical evidence.
Projects may include establishing a text or studying the history of book or manuscript production, publication, distribution, collecting, or reading. Fellowship awards may be used to fund travel to collections and other expenses associated with research into the topic for which the award was made.
Applicants should read the fellowships title and descriptions below to assess the general suitability of their projects to BSA’s program. Please note that individuals who have not received BSA fellowships in the previous five years will be given preference and that projects in enumerative bibliography (i.e., the preparation of lists) are not supported.
Scroll down for eligibility and application information.
BSA Short-term Fellowships
BSA Short-term Fellowships ($3,000). These fellowships support bibliographical research that focuses on the physical aspects of books or manuscripts as historical evidence. Books and manuscripts in any field and of any period are eligible for consideration. Projects may include studying the history of book or manuscript production, publication, distribution, collecting, or reading. Projects to establish a text are also eligible.
BSA Senior Fellowships
The Katharine F. Pantzer Senior Fellowship in the British Book Trades ($6,000) supports research by a senior scholar engaged in bibliographical inquiry into the history of the book trades and publishing history in Britain during the hand-press period, as well as studies of authorship, reading and collecting based on the examination of British books published in that period, with a special emphasis on descriptive bibliography. Funded by a bequest from Katharine F. Pantzer.
BSA Topical Fellowships
Thanks to the generosity of donors, certain special fellowships support research in particular areas of study.
The Reese Fellowship for American Bibliography and the History of the Book in the Americas ($3,000). The fellowship may be awarded to any scholar, whether academic or independent, whose project explores the history of print culture in the Western Hemisphere. Funded by the William Reese Company.
The Katharine Pantzer Junior Fellowship in the British Book Trades ($3,000) supports bibliographical inquiry into the history of the book trades and publishing history in Britain during the hand-press period, as well as studies of authorship, reading and collecting based on the examination of British books published in that period, with a special emphasis on descriptive bibliography. Funded by a bequest from Katharine F. Pantzer.
The BSA-Pine Tree Foundation Fellowship in Hispanic Bibliography ($3,000) supports the bibliographical study of printed and manuscript items 1) in the Spanish language produced during any period and in any country; or 2) in any language provided they were produced in Spain, or in its overseas dominions during the time of Spanish sovereignty; or 3) the bibliographical study of book and manuscript collections in Spain, or in its overseas dominions during the time of Spanish sovereignty; or 4) the bibliographical study of Spanish-language book and manuscript collections during any period and in any country.
The BSA-Pine Tree Foundation Fellowship in Culinary Bibliography ($3,000) supports the bibliographical study of printed and manuscript cookbooks (once commonly known as receipt books); medical recipe books that also contain culinary recipes; other types of books, manuscript, and printed material that include a substantial body of culinary recipes; treatises on and studies of gastronomy; or memoirs, diary accounts, or descriptions of food and cooking. Projects may cover any period or country.
The Charles J. Tanenbaum Fellowship in Cartographical Bibliography ($3000) supports projects dealing with all aspects of the history, presentation, printing, design, distribution and reception of cartographical documents from Renaissance times to the present, with a special emphasis on eighteenth-century cartography. Funded by the Pine Tree Foundation of New York.
The BSA-St. Louis Mercantile Library Fellowship ($3,000) supports research in North American bibliography, including studies in the North American book trade, production and distribution of North American Books, North American book illustration and design, North American collecting and connoisseurship, and North American bibliographical history in general. Non-traditional and innovative projects will be especially welcome and encouraged. Funded by the St. Louis Mercantile Library.
BSA Fellowships Administered Jointly with Other Organizations
Thanks to collaborative relationships between the BSA and like-minded organizations, we jointly offer the following fellowships supporting study in areas of mutual interest:
The BSA-Harry Ransom Center Pforzheimer Fellowship in Bibliography ($3,000) supports the bibliographical study of medieval and early modern books and manuscripts held in the Ransom Center’s Pforzheimer Library and its other wide-ranging collections. For more information on this fellowship and to learn more about the Ransom Center, click here.
The BSA-ASECS Fellowship for Bibliographical Studies in the Eighteenth Century ($3,000). Recipients must be a member of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies at the time of the award.
The Fredson Bowers award ($1,500) is a Major Grant funded jointly with the Bibliographical Society of the UK. Applicants must apply through the Bibliographical Society. Please find details here.
The BSA-Rare Book School Fellowship funds tuition for one course for one first-year attendee each year at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School, with an additional grant for travel or housing expenses. Candidates should consult the Rare Book School website and apply as there as directed.
The BSA uses Kaleidoscope to manage applications to our programs, and all candidates and recommenders are required to submit materials through that website. Applications are due 1 November of each year. Applications should include the following components:
- Applicant’s curriculum vitae
- Project proposal of no more than 1,000 words
- Project budget
- Project timeline
- Two letters of recommendation submitted via Kaleidoscope. The committee will not accept letters of recommendation by any other means.
The fellowship committee will match proposed projects to suitable fellowships, and the awards will be announced at the annual meeting of the Society in January of each year. All fellowships require a project report within one year of receipt of the award, and copies of any publications resulting from the project are to be sent to the BSA.
The application package and two supporting letters of recommendation must be received by 1 November. We regret that we cannot consider late or incomplete applications. Applicants are advised to request recommendation letters well in advance.
For the 2020 Fellowship cycle, eligibility is limited to:
- US Citizens and Residents
- Citizens of other nations without US residency who wish to conduct research outside of the United States only
This is a temporary restriction, and we are working to open our fellowships to all those who wish to apply in the 2021 cycle.
For more information, please contact Hope Mayo, Chair of the Fellowship Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020 BSA Fellowship Awards
Sarah Bramao-Ramos, “Readers of Manchu Language Books” (The BSA-ASECS Fellowship for Bibliographical Studies in the Eighteenth Century)
Daniela Samur Duque, “The Allure of Books: Bookstores and Printshops in Bogotá, 1850s-1920” (The BSA-Pine Tree Foundation Fellowship in Hispanic Bibliography)
Jordana Dym and Carla Lois, “Bound Images: A History of Maps in Books” (The Charles J. Tanenbaum Fellowship in Cartographical Bibliography)
Allison Fagan, “Editorial Intimacies, Posthumous Publishing and Toni Morrison’s edition of Toni Cade Bambara’s Those Bones Are Not My Child”(The BSA-St. Louis Mercantile Library Fellowship for Research in North American Bibliography)
Andrea Gutierrez, “Bibliography of the First Print Cookbooks in Tamil” (The BSA-Pine Tree Foundation Fellowship in Culinary Bibliography)
Alexander Jacobson, “Tamizdat as Masquerade” (BSA Short Term Fellowship)
John McQuillen,”The 15th -Century Blockbook in America: A Descriptive Census” (BSA Short Term Fellowship)
Kirk Melnikoff, “Bookselling in Early Modern England” (The Katharine F. Pantzer Senior Fellowship in the British Book Trades)
Kate Nesbit, “Listening to Books: Reading Aloud and the Novel, 1800-1935” (The Katharine Pantzer Junior Fellowship in the British Book Trades)
Yelizaveta Strakhov, “Representation of Translation by Scribes in Manuscripts of John Lydgate’s and Benedict Burgh’s Secrees of Olde Philosoffres” (BSA Short Term Fellowship)
Nazera Wright, “Early African American Women Writers and their Libraries” (The Reese Fellowship for American Bibliography and the History of the Book in the Americas)
For a list of previous BSA Research Fellows and their research topics, follow this link.