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Houghton Library supports research on its collections by scholars, poets, artists, and Harvard University undergraduate students through four fellowship programs: Visiting Fellowship, New England Regional Fellowship, WPR Creative Fellowship, and Undergraduate Fellowship.




Visiting Fellowship Overview

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; and we particularly welcome proposals for research projects drawing on our holdings related to Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania, and to histories of marginalized people; 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. 


Visiting 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
  • New for 2018-2019! Donald and Mary Hyde Fellowship for Research in Early Modern Black Lives, including Africa and the African Diaspora, 1500-1800
  • 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 Visiting Fellowships

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

  1. a narrative description of the proposed project which highlights the applicability of Houghton's collection materials to the project (600 words)
  2. a list of collection material that will be consulted as initial points inquiry in the project
  3. an uploaded curriculum vitae; and
  4. two letters of support, submitted either by the referee via the online application form, or emailed to or mailed to Houghton Library, Harvard University, ATTN: Fellowship Program, Cambridge MA 02138.

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.  For further information, contact Monique Duhaime at or 617-495-2441


WPR Creative Fellowship

The WPR Creative Fellowship invites poets, writers, multimedia artists, and scholars of contemporary poetry to propose creative projects that would benefit from the resources available in the room and to generate new work that further actualizes the Poetry Room's collections particularly the audio-video archive.  In addition to conducting research and pursuing projects, the WPR fellow will be asked to present a works-in-progress event in conjunction with the Poetry Room’s public programming season and/or to contribute a work or drafts (produced during the fellowship) to the WPR archive. The WPR Creative Fellow will receive a stipend of $4,000.

Previous recipients of the fellowship have included Kate Colby, Fanny Howe, Erin Moure and Eileen Myles. During certain years, additional WPR Creative Grants have been made available: recent recipients include Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Christine Finn, Dan Beachy-Quick, and Lindsay Turner.

The WPR Creative Fellowships and Grants are generously funded by the Dr. Michael & Teresa Anagnostopoulos Fund. The next deadline for application is January 19, 2018. Applicants will be notified of the results by March 30, 2018. View the online application.


New England Regional Fellowship Consortium

Houghton Library also participates in the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium.  Please visit their website for further information.


Undergraduate Fellowships

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. 


Houghton Library SHARP Fellowship

Houghton Library is pleased to invite Harvard undergraduates to work with our collections in the summer of 2018 with support of an Undergraduate 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 4th and the program runs through August 9th. This is a 10 week commitment.

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


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.


Applications for the Houghton/SHARP fellowship are accepted only through the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. Please click through to the SHARP tab on the URAF website to locate the application link. The deadline for receipt of complete application materials is 5:00pm on February 13, 2018.

We are happy to discuss project proposals at any stage of development and encourage advance conversation on proposals. To schedule a time to talk with a Houghton librarian about your project, please use this form. You may also email us at:


Houghton Library 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 ten 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, MA in the fall. Fellows should plan to present on and celebrate the work they accomplish over the summer.

Stipend: $3,600

For additional information or to discuss a proposal please request a time to meet or submit a question.


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


Please apply via our form for this fellowship opportunity. Applications are due March 9, 2018.

We always welcome any inquiries and heartily encourage conversations about project proposals. We are happy to discuss project proposals at any stage of development. To schedule a time to talk with a Houghton librarian about your project, please use this form. You may also email us at: