Special Collections Research Fellowships

Summer Research Fellowships

These competitive fellowships are designed to fully support use of Library Special Collections (the Chapin Library or the College Archives) over the course of a summer. During a fellowship, students work closely with library staff to discover new areas of interest or to continue ongoing projects. Proposals for research in the Chapin Library may make use of the library’s extensive rare book collection ranging from 15th-century incunabula to 21st-century artists’ books, or its manuscript collections that document, for example, American history, literature, and the visual arts. For College Archives projects relating to Williams History, we especially welcome fellows to tell stories about inclusion, diversity, and institutional accountability from the College’s past. Applicants will be judged based on their proposed use of materials held in Library Special Collections and the impact of their research project. Fellows will be funded according to the Williams campus summer rate of $400 per week. To learn more about Special Collections, visit specialcollections.williams.edu. Applications are administered by the Office of Fellowships and are due February 15 annually.

New England Regional Fellowship Consortium

Special Collections is also a partner in the New England Research Fellowships Consortium (NERFC), which offers 8-week, $5,000 stipends to applicants whose research takes them to three or more of its member institutions. These fellowships are open to all researchers regardless of affiliation. Applications are due February 1 annually. For more information visit NERFC.

Paul Whiteman Research Fellowship

The Paul Whiteman collection came to Williams in the 1930s, with initial donations from Paul Whiteman himself. Throughout the years, Whiteman and his family added to the collection, as did Whiteman admirers and scholars. The result is the 586-linear foot Paul Whiteman collection, fully processed for the first time in 2018. The collection holds thousands of photographs, hundreds of music scores, correspondence, contracts, and scrapbooks relating to the work and life of the internationally-acclaimed band leader.

The Williams Libraries Special Collections Department is pleased to offer short-term fellowships to individuals conducting on-site research in the Paul Whiteman collection. The fellowship includes the cost of travel to Williamstown and accommodations within walking distance of the Williams College campus, to support a research visit of one to two weeks.

Applicants should send a project proposal (500 words maximum) and a CV to [email protected] with “Paul Whiteman Research Fellowship” in the subject line by March 1. The dates of the fellow’s visit are flexible, but the research must be completed between July 1 and June 30 of the following year.

Fellows are expected to informally share their research experience with a local audience, and to write a blog post about their project, which will be posted to the Williams Libraries website. The fellow may also be considered as a participant in a future symposium held at Williams College.


Contact us for further information.