New Scholars Program

The Bibliographical Society of America each year invites three scholars in the early stages of their careers to present fifteen-minute papers on their current, unpublished research in the field of bibliography as members of a panel at the annual meeting of the Society, which takes place in New York City in late January.

The New Scholars Program seeks to promote the work of scholars who are new to the field of bibliography, broadly defined to include any research that deals with the creation, production, publication, distribution, reception, transmission, and subsequent history of textual artifacts (manuscript, print, or digital). Papers presented by the BSA New Scholars are submitted to the editor of the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA) for publication, subject to peer review.

In keeping with the values of the Society, the committee welcomes bibliographical scholarship pursuing new methods and new approaches, including applications from candidates applying bibliographical theory and principles to diverse materials and media. In addition, the committee welcomes scholarly submissions that embrace diverse, multicultural perspectives. The committee particularly encourages applications from those who have not previously published, lectured, or taught on bibliographical subjects.

Please note that, in 2021, BSA will hold its annual meeting online, and that New Scholars will be asked to present their work virtually rather than in person.

The 2020 BSA New Scholars are listed on the Annual Meeting page on our website. Click here for their names and paper abstracts. You can see video recordings of previous New Scholars presentations on our YouTube channel, here.


BSA encourages applications from all who are new to bibliography, including junior (i.e., untenured) academics, graduate students at the dissertation level, members of the book trade, librarians, curators, collectors, and others of any race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status. BSA seeks to promote equity, inclusion, and diversity within the field, and encourages work that offers new research on previously under- or misrepresented groups or individuals.


How to Apply

Please check back for submission deadlines in 2020 for the 2021 program cycle. The BSA uses Kaleidoscope to manage applications to our programs, and all candidates and recommenders are required to submit materials through that website. The application form requires:

  1. A letter of application describing their background in bibliography, and incorporating a short abstract for their proposed paper as well as a brief overview of their proposed 15-minute talk, to be presented at BSA’s annual meeting
  2. A curriculum vitae;
  3. A letter of recommendation.

Applicants will be prompted to supply the name and email address for a recommender, who will provide a confidential letter of recommendation. Recommenders should be an advisor or colleague who is familiar with the project, and who can speak to how the project will make a contribution to the field of bibliography. (N.B.: Doctoral candidates should request a recommendation from their dissertation director.)

International applicants are welcome to apply.

Mail-in applications and letters of recommendation are not accepted. If the application form is inaccessible to you for any reason, please contact BSA Executive Director Erin Schreiner at and she will work with you to accommodate your needs.

The application deadline for consideration in 2020 is September 8, 2020.

The Award

New Scholars applications are evaluated based on their eligibility, overall completeness, and quality, as well as the strength of letters of recommendation. Instructions provided in the BSA’s New Scholars application form are intended to help applicants prepare a competitive submission.

Those selected for the panel will receive an honorarium of $1,000, and will be invited to present their work as part of BSA’s 2021 annual meeting. In addition, awardees will receive a complimentary one-year BSA  membership, and may apply for travel funds to attend a subsequent BSA annual meeting within two years following their presentation to the Society.

Awardees will be asked to submit their papers to PBSA for peer review.

Please note that honoraria paid to non-US citizens may be taxable, and a portion of the honorarium may be withheld for payment to the IRS. Winners of all nationalities will receive award packages with instructions on the forms required for payment.

More Information

Inquiries regarding the program may be directed to Barbara E. Heritage, Chair, New Scholars Program, at