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Bibliographical Society of America Fellowships

December 1, 2018

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.

The fellowship committee will match proposed projects to suitable fellowships, and the awards will be announced at the annual meeting of the Society on January 24, 2019. 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.

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 BSA-Harry Ransom Center Pforzheimer Fellowship in Bibliography (two awards at $3,000 each) supports the bibliographical study of early modern books and manuscripts, 1455-1700, held in the Ransom Center’s Pforzheimer Library and in related collections of early printed books and manuscripts, including the Pforzheimer Gutenberg Bible. For more information on this fellowship click here.

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-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 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 McCorison Fellowship for the History and Bibliography of Printing in Canada and the United States ($3,000). Funded by a gift of Donald Oresman.

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. There will be two Reese Fellowships awarded in the 2019 competition.

The Katharine Pantzer Fellowship in the British Book Trades ($6,000) supports bibliographical inquiry as well as research in 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.

Application Guidelines

Applications are due 1 December of each year. Applications should include the following components:

  1. Application form
  2. Project proposal of no more than 1000 words
  3. Applicant’s curriculum vitae
  4. Two signed letters of recommendation on official letterhead submitted independently by referees. The two letters of recommendation must be signed and submitted independently by referees (in PDF or MS Word format) via the BSA Fellowship recommendation submission form. No other documentation will be considered by the committee.

Please format all attachments as PDF or Microsoft Word (.docx) documents, and use this form to submit your application: http://bibsocamer.org/awards/fellowships/application/

You may direct your referees to the following online form for submitting recommendations:

The application package and two supporting letters of recommendation must be received by 1 December. We regret that we cannot consider late or incomplete applications. Applicants are advised to request recommendation letters well in advance and to direct referees to the BSA site (http://www.bibsocamer.org/fellows.htm) for guidance.

For more information, please contact the chair of the Fellowship Committee at [email protected].


December 1, 2018
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