Houghton Library Fellowships

The collections of Houghton Library touch upon almost every aspect of the human record, particularly the history and culture of Europe and North America, and include special concentrations in the history of printing and of theater. Materials held here range from medieval manuscripts and early printed books to the working papers of living writers. Fellows will also have access to collections in Widener Library as well as to other libraries at the University. Preference is given to scholars whose research is closely based on materials in Houghton collections, especially when those materials are unique; fellowships are normally not granted to scholars who live within commuting distance of the library.

Each fellow is expected to be in residence at Houghton for at least four weeks during the period from July 2018 through June 2019 (these do not have to be consecutive weeks), and each fellow will be expected to produce a written summary of his/her experience working with the collections. The stipend for each fellowship is $3,600.

Fellowships to be Awarded in 2018-2019

Please note:  Other than the Pantzer Fellowship, applicants need not apply for specific fellowships, as the Selection Committee would determine which fellowship is best suited to your research, if awarded a fellowship.

  • Beatrice, Benjamin, and Richard Bader Fellowship in the Visual Arts of the Theatre
  • W. Jackson Bate/ Douglas W. Bryant, American Society for Eighteenth‑Century Studies Fellowship
    Successful applicants must either be an ASECS member in good standing or be willing to become a member in order to receive this fellowship.
  • José María Castañé Fellowship in 20th-century History
  • William Dearborn Fellowship in American History
  • Rodney G. Dennis Fellowship in the Study of Manuscripts
  • The Ralph Waldo Emerson Fellowship
  • Eleanor M. Garvey Fellowship in Printing and Graphic Arts
  • Houghton Mifflin Fellowship in Publishing History
  • Donald and Mary Hyde Fellowship for the Study of Dr. Samuel Johnson and his Circle
  • Joan Nordell Fellowship
  • Katharine F. Pantzer Jr. Fellowship in Descriptive Bibliography
    This fellowship is available to assist scholarly research in descriptive bibliography at Houghton Library and carries a stipend of $3,600 per month, up to twelve months (maximum $43,200).  Fellows are expected to be in residence at Houghton Library for the duration of the fellowship.
  • Howard D. Rothschild Fellowship in Dance
  • Robert Gould Shaw Fellowship for the Harvard Theatre Collection
  • John M. Ward Fellowship in Dance and Music for the Theatre

Applying for Fellowships

To be considered for a fellowship, applicants should complete the online application form, which requires:

  • a narrative description of the proposed project which highlights the applicability of Houghton's collection materials to the project (600 words)
  • a list of collection material that will be consulted as initial points inquiry in the project
  • an uploaded curriculum vitae; and
  • two letters of support.

Scholars are welcome to apply each year. If awarded a fellowship, however, a period of 5 years must elapse before another fellowship may be awarded. The deadline for submissions is Friday, January 12, 2018.

Fellowship Information and Policies


For housing assistance, please visit the Harvard Housing Office website.

Research and Access Policies

Fellows will receive a library card entitling them to reading privileges at Harvard Library units and to borrowing privileges at some circulating collections. Houghton Fellowships do not represent an appointment within the University.  Fellows will not receive a University identification card and will not have access to health care and athletic facilities. Office space and clerical support are not provided. 

Fellows will work in the Reading Room, observing its standard policies. Curators and staff members with particular expertise in areas related to a fellow's research interests will be happy to share their knowledge of our collections.

Wireless Internet access is available for readers’ laptops by using a guest password provided at the Reading Room desk.  Access to licensed Harvard-only electronic resources (EEBO, ECCO, ProQuest, etc.) is available only at hard-wired Reading Room workstations.

Limited digital photography is allowed in the Reading Room; please visit our website for further details.

For Non-U.S. Citizens

Visiting Fellows who are not U.S. citizens will need to obtain a J-1 visa. Certain types of visas—most notably B-class visas—do not allow foreign visitors to receive compensation of any kind while in the United States.  Before accepting this fellowship, you may want to contact your local embassy for details about obtaining a J-1 visa.

Arriving at Houghton

When you arrive at Houghton, let the guard know that you are here to see Monique Duhaime and she will greet you in the lobby and escort you to Widener Library, where you will receive your Special Borrower’s library card and which is valid for up to a year.  On your first day or another day early in your fellowship, you will also receive an orientation from Programs Coordinator Peter Accardo or another Houghton staff member. 

Application date
12 Jan 2018
Up to 12 months
America United States New England
Humanities Art & Art History History Literature Media Studies
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
US$ 3.600/month