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.

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

The Houghton Library SHARP Fellowship seeks to support students in their work with Houghton’s diverse holdings.

The 2017 undergraduate fellows on the steps of Houghton Library.

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 2019 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 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
  • 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.


The deadline for applications for 2019 fellowships is February 12, 2019.

Complete application guidelines are available on the Harvard College Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships website.