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Apply for a Clements Library Fellowship

The William L. Clements Library offers fellowships to help scholars access the Library’s rich primary source collections for research. A Fellowship Review Committee will assign successful applicants to a named fellowship as described below. 

The four broad categories are Long-term, Short-term, Week-long, and Digital fellowships. The application requires a selection of which type of fellowship you would like to be considered for and the duration you expect your research visit to take.

Applications are due by March 1, 2021, for consideration. Please note that the 2021-2022 fellowship cycle will run from August 30, 2021, through September 1, 2022, in order to allow us to accommodate the previous fellowship cycle that was disrupted by COVID-19 closures and restrictions.

Please take a look at the list of past fellows to see the types of projects that have been funded. For further information, contact clements-fellowships@umich.edu or call 734-615-4666. Due to limited staff availability on-site, email inquiries are preferred.

With the exception of the Townshend, Price, and Melhorn Fellowships, all Clements Library fellowships are open to doctoral candidates, faculty, independent researchers, and scholars in public history institutions.

Long-Term Fellowships

Long-term fellowships require a minimum residency of three months for full-time library research. Fellows will be selected on the basis of the applicant’s scholarly qualifications, the potential significance of the project, and the fit of the proposed research with the collections at the Clements Library.

Norton Strange Townshend Fellowship

Named for physician and educator Norton Strange Townshend (1815-1895), this fellowship offers $12,000 in support of scholarly research on nineteenth-century American history and culture. Successful applicants are expected to spend a minimum of three months at the Clements. A completed Ph.D. or equivalent qualifications are required at the time of application.

Jacob M. Price Dissertation Fellowship

In honor of Dr. Jacob M. Price (1925-2015) and his commitment to junior scholars, this fellowship offers $9,000 to support graduate student dissertation work on any topic of American history and culture. A three month residency is required for full-time library research.

Short-Term Fellowships

Short-term fellowships offer $2,500 and require a minimum residency of one month for full-time library research. Fellows will be selected on the basis of the applicant’s scholarly qualifications, the potential significance of the project, and the fit of the proposed research with the collections at the Clements Library.

Reese Fellowship in the Print Culture of the Americas

Funded by the William Reese Company, this fellowship encourages research in the history of the book and other print formats, bibliography, and other aspects of print culture in America, including publishing and marketing, from the sixteenth century to 1900. Projects may investigate any printed genre (e.g. books, prints, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, published photographs, broadsides, maps, etc.). Support for work in manuscript collections will be limited to projects related to printed materials (e.g. annotations in books, publishers’ business archives, etc.).

Howard H. Peckham Fellowship on Revolutionary America

Established in honor of the Clements’ second director, Howard H. Peckham (1910-1995), this fellowship supports research about American history and culture between 1764 and 1815.

Alfred A. Cave Fellowship

Established by Mary C. Koslovsky in memory of her husband Dr. Alfred A. Cave, this fellowship supports research conducted on Native American topics.

Week-Long Fellowships

Week-long fellowships require a one-week minimum residency for full-time library research. Fellows will be selected on the basis of the applicant’s scholarly qualifications, the potential significance of the project, and the need for intensive research in materials unique to the Clements Library.

Mary G. Stange Fellowship

The Mary G. Stange Fellowship offers $1,500 to support research on any topic supported by the collections. Unique projects are encouraged.

Richard & Mary Jo Marsh Fellowship

The Richard & Mary Jo Marsh Fellowship offers $1,500 to support research on any topic supported by the collections.

Brian Leigh Dunnigan Fellowship in the History of Cartography

Established in honor of Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Map Curator Emeritus and former Associate Director of the Clements Library, this $1,500 fellowship is open to researchers working on any topic supported by the cartographic collections.

Donald F. Melhorn, Jr. Fellowship

This fellowship is available through the generosity of Donald F. Melhorn, Jr., who had the opportunity to research and write a senior thesis. Through this fellowship, he seeks to help young scholars gain their first experience working in a major research library. Open to senior-class undergraduate and first or second year graduate students in any Ohio, Michigan or Indiana college or university, this $1,000 award supports research on any topic in American history and culture supported by the collections.

David B. Kennedy and Earhart Fellowship

The David B. Kennedy and Earhart Fellowship offers $1,500 to support research on any topic supported by the collections.

Digital Fellowship

Digital Fellowships offer a non-residential opportunity to support researchers working remotely on any topic that can be supported by digitized library materials. We can consider proposals for items that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Stable enough for standard handling on one of our scanners
  • Being digitized in full (no single pages from books or selected items from manuscript collections)
  • Under 900 pages or 0.5 linear feet total
  • Out of copyright
  • Can be added to one of our digital collections and made freely available after digitization
  • Cannot be added to another institution’s holdings

Applications should identify items or small collections to be digitized in full, up to 900 pages or 0.5 linear feet total. See digitization criteria for details. Confirming that materials are eligible for digitization is strongly encouraged prior to application submission. Grants provide digital files of the materials and $1,000 to support research using them.

Apply for a Fellowship

All applicants must submit  materials by March 1, 2021, for research to be completed between August 30, 2021, and September 1, 2022.

To be considered for both Long-term fellowships as well as Short-Term, Week-Long, or Digital fellowships, candidates must submit separate applications using the forms and directions below.

Please note: With the exception of the Townshend, Price, and Melhorn Fellowships, all Clements Library fellowships are open to doctoral candidates, faculty, independent researchers, and scholars in public history institutions.

With the exception of the Melhorn Fellowship, we regret that applications for Clements Library fellowships cannot be considered unless the applicant resides at least 50 miles from Ann Arbor. All applicants must be unaffiliated with the University of Michigan.

Long-Term Fellowships

Applicants must submit:

  • Online application form.
  • Curriculum vitae of no more than six pages.
  • Brief summary of the project (4 page maximum), including the current status of your research. Please identify what Clements Library material you wish to consult.
  • A one-page bibliography of secondary literature relevant to your project. This should be a list of the scholarly work that you see your project as being in conversation with, and is intended to provide a multidisciplinary selection committee with a sense of how you contextualize your work.
  • Two letters of recommendation, to be sent directly to the Clements Library as an email attachment (preferred) or via surface mail, from individuals who are familiar with your scholarly work. If you are a doctoral candidate, one of your letters must be written by your dissertation supervisor.

Short-Term, Week-Long, or Digital Fellowships

Applicants must submit:

  • Online application form.
  • Curriculum vitae of no more than three pages.
  • Brief summary of the project (2 page maximum), including the current status of your research. Please identify what Clements Library material you wish to consult.
  • A one-page bibliography of secondary literature relevant to your project. This should be a list of the scholarly work that you see your project as being in conversation with, and is intended to provide a multidisciplinary selection committee with a sense of how you contextualize your work.
  • Two letters of recommendation, to be sent directly to the Clements Library as an email attachment (preferred) or via surface mail, from individuals who are familiar with your scholarly work. If you are a doctoral candidate, one of your letters must be written by your dissertation supervisor.

Email submission of the curriculum vitae and project summary are preferred. Please do not include images within the attachment. Electronic submissions can be sent to: clements-fellowships@umich.edu

Hard-copy application materials may be sent to:

Research Fellowships
Clements Library
University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1190

For further information, contact clements-fellowships@umich.edu or call 734-615-4666. Due to limited staff availability in the building, email inquiries are preferred.