Houghton Library Undergraduate Fellowships

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


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

Houghton Library offers fellowships for undergraduate students enrolled at Harvard in partnership with Harvard's Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program, or SHARP. 

This fellowship seeks to support students in their work with Houghton’s diverse holdings.

Applications are typically due in mid-February each year. To see current program dates and apply, visit the SHARP website.

The 2017 undergraduate fellows on the steps of Houghton Library.

About the Fellowship

The Houghton Library Undergraduate Fellowships are competitive fellowships designed to fully support a summer of work with Houghton's collections, 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 curators, archivists, and specialists to discover new areas of interest or to delve into ongoing projects.

Past 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 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.

Those selected for the Houghton Undergraduate Fellowship will take part in a unique residential research program thanks to our continued partnership with Harvard Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (URAF) and their Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program (SHARP).

Fellows receive:

  • Housing at one of the River Houses
  • Light breakfasts and full dinners
  • Financial and logistic support of student-driven programming, trips, and social events 
  • Coverage of the summer earnings obligation if receiving financial aid
  • A stipend

The fellowship is a 10 week commitment.

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

To schedule a time to talk with a Houghton librarian about your project proposal in advance, please email us at: houghton_library@harvard.edu.


Applications are due annually in mid-February.

Applications are available on the Harvard College Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Summer Residential Research Programs webpage.

Application information and advice can be found on the Getting Started page of the Harvard College Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships website