​Pforzheimer Fellowships for GSAS students

A $5,000 grant for graduate students in Harvard's GSAS to pursue a library project with a librarian mentor.

Harvard Library’s Pforzheimer Fellowships are $5,000 grants awarded to Harvard GSAS students to pursue a four-month library project under the guidance and mentorship of a librarian or archivist.

Fellowships provide an opportunity for GSAS graduate students to learn about library careers, advance their own research skills, and get to know the library from the inside. Students choose from a list of library projects (see below) and submit an application. ​​Fellowships are awarded every winter/spring and run during the spring or summer.

Meet our 2022 Pforzheimer Fellows

How to Apply

Any graduate student in the humanities and social sciences who has been enrolled at Harvard from one to six years is encouraged to apply.

A small committee, chaired by Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor Ann Blair, selects fellows for the program with input from the Harvard Library.

  • Choose a Project: Review the proposed fellowship projects (see projects) and choose which you'd like to apply to work on. You may submit more than one application. 
  • Contact your References: You will be asked to include two references on your application. Your references should be two people you've worked with while at Harvard, one of which must be a Harvard faculty member. Your references will submit letters on your behalf through the application system.

Application Deadline

The 2022 fellowship application process has closed; 2023 applications will open in the new academic year

Fellowship dates

2023 dates to be announced



Things to know

  • Fellows are assigned a mentor from the library and work on defined projects under the mentor's supervision. 
  • Fellows are expected to assume full responsibility for their projects.
  • Each fellow must submit a final report of this work describing and evaluating their experiences.

Library Projects Spring 2022

Projects are created from across Harvard's libraries and range from digitizing materials to working on exhibits or taking a deep dive into a collection. Students can read through and find a project that's right for them.

Indigenous Peoples and Native Americans Exhibit

Baker Library Special Collections, HBS

Baker Library Special Collections seeks a graduate student in Native American Studies, Art History, American history, or a related field to conduct a survey to identify potential objects in the HBS Art & Artifacts Collection, HBS Archives, and/or print and manuscript collections in the Special Collections department for a forthcoming exhibit on the representation of Indigenous peoples and Native Americans in a range of objects in the collections at Baker. The fellow would also conduct preliminary research on those objects, identify resources for a future library research guide on the topic, identify works and materials for priority digitization, and provide guidance on descriptive language for such materials in the collections. This project would provide the fellow with the opportunity to work hands-on with curators and collection managers in the Special Collections department on a wide array of objects and visual and material culture from the colonial period to the present, including sculptures, paintings, trade cards, photographs, stereographs, prints, currency, and maps. About the Indigenous Peoples and Native Americans Exhibit Project (pdf)


Recreating Physical Exhibits for the Digital World

Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, FAS

Although in ordinary times the library is open to all, many people are unable to visit campus, or enjoy exploring exhibits from their own homes. The Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library would like to create ways for the public beyond Cambridge to experience their exhibits, and with them the variety of musical expressions studied in the Music Library and the Music Department. About the Recreating Physical Exhibits for the Digital World Project (pdf)

Virtual Finding Aids for Harvard Library’s Middle East Collections

Middle East Collections Division, FAS

On behalf of Harvard Library’s Middle East collections, Services for Academic Programs is looking to curate the first in a series of virtual finding aids that highlight regions of Harvard Library’s Middle East collections. The project responds to a meaningful request from Harvard graduate students for assistance in excavating resources across the Library’s vast collections in triangulated ways, specifically materials relating to North Africa, the Ottoman Empire, Egyptian Coptic, and Palestine.  The Pforzheimer Fellow will collaborate with the project team to contribute their knowledge in subject content, research discovery methods, language skills, and informational literacy. About the Middle East Collections Project (pdf)

Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Anti-Racism collections Digitization

Harvard Library Imaging Services

The fellow will see selected Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Anti-Racism collections identified by repositories through the full digitization process. The fellow will work closely with others in Imaging Services and communicate with other related library departments as needed. The fellow will be exposed to the larger library organization while learning the steps behind making physical library collections accessible online. About the DIBAR Digitization Project (pdf)

Urban Segregation

Harvard Map Collection, FAS

The Harvard Map Collection is looking for someone interested in exploring their collections of urban maps throughout the world and combining paper maps and geodata to animate the effects of urban segregation. By augmenting and deepening what is already available in the online collection, City Maps and Urban Environments, the fellow will pick a few specific cities well-represented in our collections in order to show the different ways we can see segregation on maps and how maps and data about a city can help us understand the lasting effects of segregation. About the Urban Segregation Project (pdf)

Harvard and HBCUs

Harvard University Archives

To uncover underrepresented histories of people of color at Harvard, the Harvard University Archives conducted a research survey to identify individuals with connections to both Harvard and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) between 1800 and 1945. These individuals attended, taught, or received an honorary degree at Harvard prior to 1946 and also attended, taught, or received an honorary degree from an HBCU. The initial survey identified more than 200 people: from well-known historic Black scholars such as W.E.B. Du Bois to the less known Rose Butler Browne, the first Black woman to receive a PhD in education from Harvard. This project will transform the findings of this survey into structured data to facilitate future research on the topic. About the Harvard and HBCUs Project (pdf)

ACT UP Collection

The Americas Europe and Oceania Division, FAS

The ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) Oral History Project is a series of 186 oral history interviews, undertaken between 2002 and 2015, pertaining to AIDS activism in New York. Working closely with the Librarian of Collections and Digital Scholarship and the Charles Warren Librarian for American History, the Pforzheimer Fellow will select and review video files and transcripts for a public facing digital collection of the ACT UP materials. About the ACT UP Collection Project (pdf)


About the fellowship

Librarianship in the 21st century engages with some of the liveliest areas of intellectual activity, yet most graduate students have little idea of the exciting professional opportunities available in libraries.​

Student looking at ipad with digital item displayed

During these four-month long fellowships, the Pforzheimer Fellows are assigned a mentor from the library and work on Harvard Library projects under the mentor's supervision. While getting to know librarians and librarianship firsthand, they will be expected to assume responsibility for their projects. Each Pforzheimer Fellow will be granted a stipend of $5,000.

At the end of the project, the fellows will be asked to submit a final report of this work describing and evaluating their experiences. Fellows will also participate in discussions with each other about their experiences.

These fellowships are in honor of Carl H. Pforzheimer III for his generous contributions to Harvard and its libraries.


A Master Class in Library Research for GSAS Students, offered every January