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Fellowships

In keeping with the central value the Society places on bibliography as a critical framework, the BSA funds a number of fellowships to promote inquiry and research in books and other textual artifacts in both traditional and emerging formats.

Bibliographical projects may range chronologically from the study of 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, and the history of bibliographical study itself. Fellowship awards may be used to fund travel to collections and other expenses associated with research, publication, or other scholarly outcomes related to the topic for which the award was made. Projects that are primarily enumerative (lists) will be considered for funding provided the proposal states a clear objective, describes the need for such work within its field, and specifies the extent to which textual objects will be described.

Normally, BSA fellowships support research and are not intended to fund time spent writing. Exceptionally, during the 2021 cycle, when Covid-19 restrictions on travel are likely, the Committee will consider proposals for writing projects based on prior bibliographical research.

Projects involving more than one researcher are eligible for consideration if they meet the criteria described above. Detailed instructions for group applications are offered in the application form.

Applicants should read the fellowship titles 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.

Click here for information about the application process, including eligibility requirements, and a link to the application form.


 

Fellowship Opportunities

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. This fellowship is intended for senior scholars who have a documented record of research and publication in the field.  Funded by a bequest from Katharine F. Pantzer.

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 Topical Fellowships

Thanks to the generosity of donors, certain special fellowships support research in particular areas of study.

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, including studies of authorship, reading and collecting based on the examination of British books published in that period, with a special emphasis on descriptive bibliography. This fellowship is intended for early-career scholars. 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 BSA Peck-Stacpoole Fellowship for Early Career Collections Professionals ($3,000) supports bibliographical research by conservators, curators, librarians, and others who are responsible for institutional collections of textual artifacts, at early stages of their careers. Two fellowships will be awarded in the 2021 cycle, full details and eligibility information forthcoming.

The Dorothy Porter Wesley Fellowship ($3,000) supports bibliographical study conducted by an individual who identifies as Black. Building on the Society’s commitment to expanding representation of scholars of all backgrounds and identities, this short-term fellowship may be used to pursue bibliographical research in any field and of any period. Projects may include studying the history of book or manuscript production, publication, distribution, collecting, or reading. Projects to establish a text are also eligible. The fellowship honors the life and work of Dorothy Porter Wesley (1905-1995), an accomplished Black bibliographer and librarian, an active member of the Society, and author of the influential 1945 PBSA article “Early American Negro Writings.” Funded by Bruce and Mary Crawford and Barbara A. Shailor in memory of Dorothy Porter Wesley.

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.

The Caxton Club Fellowship for Midwestern Bibliographers ($2,500 and one-year memberships in both the Caxton Club and the BSA) supports 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. Studies of enumerative bibliographies and enumerative bibliographies are also eligible as long as they meet the requirements described above. Applicants must live in one of the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, or Wisconsin.

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 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.

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-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-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. International and non-US residents are welcome to apply for this fellowship. For more information on this fellowship and to learn more about the Ransom Center, click here.

The BSA-Rare Book School Scholarship 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.


2020 BSA Fellowship Award Winners

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.