Houghton Library Undergraduate Fellowships

Overview

The 2017 undergraduate fellows on the steps of Houghton Library.
The 2017 undergraduate fellows on the steps of Houghton Library.

Houghton Library invites Harvard College undergraduates to work with our collections during the summer months.

We offer two fellowships for undergraduate students enrolled at Harvard: one in partnership with Harvard University’s SHARP Program for arts and humanities (Houghton Library SHARP Fellowship) and another in partnership with Bow and Arrow Press (Houghton Book Arts Fellowship).

Both seek to support students in their work with Houghton’s diverse holdings.


SHARP Fellowship

These competitive fellowships are designed to fully support a summer of work at Houghton, Harvard’s world-class rare books and manuscripts library.

Houghton is home to the world famous and the almost entirely unknown, the ancient and the contemporary, the enduring and the ephemeral; as a researcher, a practitioner, an experimenter, we want to know what you can do with these materials.

During the course of a fellowship, undergraduates work closely with library staff to discover new areas of interest or to delve into ongoing projects. Our first two cohorts of nine fellows have created an opera, written a play, identified and filled gaps in scholarly literature, printed and bound books, constructed a guide to the Houghton collections for students, undertaken a digital humanities project, created exhibitions, produced a series of podcasts, made interactive fiction, written poetry and fictional autobiographies and so much more.

The 2017 cohort of Houghton fellows all recorded videos about their projects which may help demonstrate some of what is possible through these fellowships.

We invite proposals for summer 2018 on any topic or discipline supported by our collections. Creative, digital, research, and performance projects are all welcome, as are those we haven't thought of yet.

Thanks to our continued partnership with Harvard Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (URAF) and their Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program (SHARP), 2018 Houghton Undergraduate Fellows will also be part of this unique residential research program. Fellows receive housing at Leverett House, light breakfasts and full dinners, financial and logistic support of student-driven programing, trips, and social events, coverage of the summer earnings obligation if receiving financial aid, and a stipend of $2,850. Move in for the program begins on Monday, June 4, and the program runs through August 9. This is a 10 week commitment.

A public program showcasing projects of the Houghton Library/SHARP Undergraduate fellows is held in Cambridge, Mass., in the fall.

Eligibility

The Harvard Undergraduate Fellowship at Houghton Library is open to all Harvard College students currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program.

Projects must make primary and substantive use of Houghton materials.

Applying

The deadline for applications for 2019 fellowships is in February 2019. Complete application guidelines will be made available in the fall.


Book Arts Fellowship

Houghton Library in partnership with Harvard’s own Bow & Arrow Press is pleased to announce the continuation in 2018 of a joint summer fellowship for Harvard College undergraduates interested in book arts, fine printing, and publishing.

The Houghton Book Arts fellow will spend 10 weeks at Houghton Library pursuing a project related to a book arts topic with guidance from Houghton librarians and curators. Topics could include altered books, artist's books, book binding, book forms, bookmaking, illustration, letterpress, paper-making, print-making, typography, and more.

The project should make primary and substantive use of material in Houghton’s collections for inspiration. Fellows will have the opportunity to join a number of workshops on the content, form and history of Houghton’s collections throughout the summer. Fellows will also spend time with Pressmaster Ted Ollier at Bow and Arrow Press and with area partners learning the art and craft of printing and book-making. This hands-on experience should function as an extension of the research and work with Houghton Library’s collections.

The 2017 cohort of Houghton fellows all recorded videos about their projects which may help demonstrate some of what is possible through these fellowships.

A public program showcasing projects of the Houghton Book Arts fellows and the Houghton Library SHARP Undergraduate fellows will be held in Cambridge, Mass., in the fall. Fellows should plan to present on and celebrate the work they accomplish over the summer.

Stipend: $3,600

Eligibility

The Houghton Book Arts Fellowship is open to all Harvard College students currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program.

Applying

The deadline for applications for 2019 fellowships is in March 2019. Complete application guidelines will be made available in the fall.