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New Scholars Program

The Bibliographical Society of America’s New Scholars Program promotes the work of scholars new to bibliography, broadly defined to include the creation, production, publication, distribution, reception, transmission, and subsequent history of all textual artifacts. This includes manuscript, print, and digital media, from clay and stone to laptops and iPads.

The New Scholars Award is $1,000, with a $500 travel stipend. Three awards are made each year as part of a two-pronged program:

  1. New Scholars present fifteen-minute talks on their current, unpublished bibliographical research during the program preceding a program preceding the Society’s Annual Meeting, held each January. The 2023 Annual Meeting will be held in New York on January 27, 2023.
  2. Expanded versions of New Scholars’ papers are submitted to the editor of The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA) for publication, subject to peer review.

The committee strongly encourages applications from those who have not previously published, lectured, or taught on bibliographical subjects. Bibliographical scholarship pursuing new methods and new approaches, including applications from candidates applying bibliographical theory and principles to diverse materials and media, is welcome. Guided by the Society’s Equity Action Plan, the committee also welcomes submissions that embrace diverse, multicultural perspectives.

For more details on the New Scholars program including eligibility and application information, watch the 2020 information session recording on YouTube.

The Awards

  • The Jacob Blanck New Scholar Award honors Jacob Blanck (1906–1974), editor of the Bibliography of American Literature. This award recognizes bibliographical and book historical scholarship focusing on printed works of writers of the United States and their publishers. The Society is grateful to an anonymous donor for annual funding for this award.
  • The Malkin New Scholar Award honors Mary Ann O’Brian Malkin (1913–2005), a book collector and longtime contributor to the Antiquarian Bookman/AB Bookman’s Weekly who pursued bibliographical interests in dance, Americana, and the booktrade. This award is funded in part by gifts from Anna Lou Ashby and Mary Ann O’Brian Malkin.
  • The Pantzer New Scholar Award honors Katherine F. Pantzer (1930–2005), best known for her work on the revised Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland & Ireland, and for English Books Printed Abroad, 1475–1640. This award is funded in part by the Pantzer Bequest.
  • The BSA New Scholar Award is given to scholars whose work does not fit into any of the above categories on an as-needed basis. It is sometimes, but not always, funded by individual donors. Contact Executive Director Erin McGuirl to talk about supporting this annual award!

Learn about these awards in a video presentation by Barbara Heritage and Cynthia Gibson, Chair and Vice Chair of the New Scholars Committee (2022). 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.

New Scholars receive:

  • an honorarium of $1,000;
  • complimentary membership in the Society for one year;
  • a $500 travel stipend to attend BSA’s Annual Meeting to deliver their presentations. New Scholars may apply in one of the next two subsequent years for a stipend of the same amount to attend a second annual meeting.

Awardees will receive award packages with instructions on the forms required for payment.

The Society thanks George Ong and an anonymous donor for their generous support of the New Scholars Program.

Eligibility

The New Scholars award is limited to US citizens and residents. The committee 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. As stated above, the committee strongly encourages applications from those who have not previously published, lectured, or taught on bibliographical subjects.

 

Why is the award limited to US citizens and residents? The IRS requires anyone who receives payment for work done in the United States to travel here with a visa. Awards and honoraria are considered payment, and in order to maintain BSA’s 501(c)3 status as a non-profit, we must comply with federal regulations like this one. Many large institutions have a team devoted to organizing visas and travel for international residents who receive payments for “work” done in the US; BSA has a staff of one and the sad truth is that our office cannot handle the labor-intensive process of obtaining visas for non-US residents who would benefit from access to the New Scholars and Fellowship Programs. We hope that someday this will change!

How to Apply by September 2, 2022

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:

  • A letter of application describing the applicant’s background in bibliography, as well as a short abstract for their proposed paper and a brief overview of their 15-minute talk;
  • A curriculum vitae;
  • A letter of recommendation.

Applications should propose papers and talks covering new work that has not been accepted for publication elsewhere either in the form of a book chapter (or portion thereof) or article.

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. Doctoral candidates should request a recommendation from their dissertation director.

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

Click here to begin your application starting June 1.
We advise applicants to start early and alert recommenders
well in advance of the September 2, 2022 deadline.

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 McGuirl at erin.mcguirl@bibsocamer.org, and she will work with you to accommodate your needs.

The application deadline for consideration in 2022 is September 2, 2022.

Questions?

For more details on the New Scholars program including eligibility and application information, watch the 2020 information session recording on YouTube.

A question and answer session with Committee Chair Barbara Heritage and Vice Chair Cynthia Gibson will be held on June 22, 2021 at 2pm Eastern. Registration required.

Inquiries regarding the program may be directed to Barbara E. Heritage, Chair, New Scholars Program, at new.scholars@bibsocamer.org.

For assistance with the Kaleidoscope application portal, email help@mykaleidoscope.com.

Application Tech Support

Applicants and recommenders experiencing technical difficulties with Kaleidoscope are encouraged to contact the Kaleidoscope help desk by email at any time. Someone from their tech support team replies to emails within 24-hours; most emails receive a response within 3 hours.

Kaleidoscope Tech Support: help@mykaleidoscope.com

Submitting Letters of Recommendation

Kaleidoscope sends prompts to every recommender entered into the system by an applicant. Unfortunately, institutional firewalls often prevent Kaleidoscope’s messages from being delivered. If your recommender has not received a prompt to submit your letter of recommendation, please share the information below and contact the Kaleidoscope help desk if you need further assistance.

Instructions to Applicants and Their Recommenders

Applicants: Communicate with your recommender about the process, sharing the information below (or a link to this page). Your recommender needs to know the email address that you submitted to Kaleidoscope for them.

Recommenders: Follow the instructions below to create and/or login to your Kaleidoscope account to submit the letter of recommendation. This process should take no more than 15-20 minutes if your letter is ready for upload.

  • Visit the Kaleidoscope login page: https://apply.mykaleidoscope.com/login
  • If the recommender has never used Kaleidoscope to submit a recommendation letter: Follow the prompt below the login fields (email address, password) reading, “Are you a nominator, endorser, reference, school counselor, third party contributor or review board member? An account has already been created for you! Click here to set your password.” Click “click here” and follow the prompts to set a password to access your account. (Here’s a picture of that screen.)
  •   If the recommender has used Kaleidoscope to submit a recommendation letter: Login with your existing username and password, as long as it is the same email address as that submitted by the applicant. If you have used Kaleidoscope in the past but registered with a different email address, you will need to follow the process outlined for first-time users above.
  • Once the recommender has logged in: The recommender dashboard will display the recommendation request awaiting completion. Click on the prompt and follow the instructions to complete the upload.