​Pforzheimer Fellowships

An opportunity for Harvard graduate students to learn about library careers, advance their own research skills, and get to know the library from the inside.

Harvard Library’s Pforzheimer Fellowships provide an opportunity for Harvard 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 summer.

Fellows are awarded up to $5,000 to complete a library project under the guidance and mentorship of a librarian or archivist.


How to Apply

Any graduate student who is currently enrolled at Harvard 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 must send their letters of support to Hannah Hack at  hannah_hack@harvard.edu.

Application Deadline

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Fellowship dates

Fellow Selection Announcement late March/early April 2024

Fellowship runs June through August 2024 


up to $5,000


Applications for 2024 have now closed.

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.
  • Graduate students currently enrolled at Harvard are eligible to apply (not incoming or outgoing)
  • Fellows must be located in the state of Massachusetts for the duration of the fellowship work
  • Students need to be able to provide paperwork that confirms their eligibility to work at Harvard
  • Fellowship is ~150 hours — fellows will be responsible for submitting hours weekly (details to be provided once selected)

Library Projects Summer 2024

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.

Wadsworth House: Its History and People

Harvard University Archives

Wadsworth House is the second oldest extant building on the Harvard campus. Built in 1726, it has been a home, workplace, meeting location, and even temporary lodging for a wide variety of individuals who have passed through the space that is where Harvard University now stands. The focus of the project is to, as much as possible, uncover underrepresented histories of people of who worked, lived, stayed at, and built Wadsworth House. Starting with the land acknowledgement of the space where Wadsworth house sits—on the traditional and ancestral land of the Massachusett—and moving forward in time covering the colonizing settlers who founded the College, the occupation during Revolutionary War, and through the changes that shifted the building from being a residence, to a dorm, to an office space, the fellow will trace the history of Wadsworth House and uncover as much as possible the narratives and lives of those who have traveled through the space.

The final project of this fellowship will be to create a report, and, if time permits, collaborate with the Marshal’s Office and the University Archives to develop an interpretive history of the building and its various occupants, which will be made public for use by visitors to the University, students, faculty, scholars, and the general public interested in the campus.

About the Wadsworth House: Its History and People Project (PDF)

Translating and Contextualizing the Edward I. S. Echtman Collection

Baker Library, Harvard Business School

Echtman’s papers document the development of Israeli industry and commerce in the decades before and immediately after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. The bulk of the collection seems to pertain to Edward Echtman's role in the Manufacturers Association of Palestine and later in the Manufacturers Association of Israel, a trade association that fostered Israeli industry and commerce with the world. The collection, which dates from 1935 to 1963, includes correspondence, policy documents, speeches, pamphlets, and printed material.

The Fellow will partner with Baker Library’s manuscripts librarian to provide access to the papers of Edward I. S. Echtman, an Israeli engineer and trade association leader, 1935 - 1963. This collection contains materials written in numerous languages, including Hebrew, German, French, and English. The Fellow will interpret the documents and provide contextual information about the variety of subjects included in the collection. The result of this fellowship will be a collection finding aid that includes in depth description of the materials and transcriptions of key documents.

About the Translating and Contextualizing the Edward I. S. Echtman Collection Project (PDF)

Thomas Jacoby Photographs of Early Christian Churches of Syria

Fine Arts Library, FAS

The Thomas Jacoby photographs of Early Christian Churches of Syria constitute a collection of roughly 3000 images of some of the earliest surviving Christian architectural monuments, located primarily in Syria. Taken in the 1970s, they represent a unique archive documenting important sites that have been frequently at risk and difficult to access due to conflict in the region in more recent years.

The aim of the project is to provide the fellow with in-depth and hands-on experience of the day-to-day workings of the Fine Arts Library in general and the management of both physical and digital image resources in particular. To this end, the projected final product of the fellowship will consist in completing the cataloging and publication to Hollis of the Thomas Jacoby photographs of Early Christian Churches of Syria. In addition, the fellow will have the opportunity to research and curate a digital collection in Harvard Library’s CURIOSity platform to highlight the material.

About the Thomas Jacoby Photographs of Early Christian Churches of Syria Project (PDF)

Virtual Harvard College Library - Lamont Library

Lamont Library & Services for Academic Programs, FAS

As part of the campus-wide Virtual Harvard initiative, HL’s Digital Scholarship Program has sponsored (and maintains) 3D virtual scans of a dozen library spaces (e.g. Lamont, Widener, etc.). In addition to supporting virtual tours and space planning activities, this platform uses interactive, location-based annotations to connect informational, descriptive, and instructional content, images, and video with physical locations (and vice versa) as a means of enhancing the user experience of each library.

Services for Academic Programs and the Library Digital Scholarship Program are currently seeking a graduate student to help with development of the Lamont Library virtual instance and contribute to the creation of a broader workflow for enhancing these innovative digital assets. There is definite need for additional assistance to support the administration of these facilities scans. The Widener Library virtual instance, the most developed of the 3D scans, has hosted more than 55k unique visitors to date, and averages 2000+ visits a month. While virtual instances of each of the College libraries currently exist, most are either underutilized or still in need of further enhancement.

About the Virtual Harvard College Library - Lamont Library Project (PDF)

Geospatial Data and Archival Research

Harvard Map Collection, FAS

The Harvard Map Collection stewards and provides access to over 11,000 digital datasets via the Harvard Geospatial Library. This project is designed for scholars working on research projects which require creating structured data from information found in materials in the Harvard Library system. The created datasets should be geospatial in nature, meaning they will assist with research related to locations. Prospective participants should apply with a description of their research, links to the Harvard Library materials or finding aids they would like to use, and a general description of the dataset they are hoping to create. Fellows need not come with any expertise on GIS or data creation–they will meet regularly with library staff who will support the project with technical guidance. The resulting dataset will be archived for long-term preservation in the Harvard Geospatial Library.

About the Geospatial Data and Archival Research Project (PDF)

Celebrating the Radcliffe Choral Society at 125: an Archives-Focused Exhibit

Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, FAS

2024-2025 marks the 125th anniversary of the Radcliffe Choral Society, “a treble choral ensemble founded at Harvard University in 1899.Currently directed by Dr. Andrew Clark and Elizabeth Eschen, the ensemble performs a distinctive repertoire spanning nine centuries of choral literature: sacred and secular, a cappella and accompanied, collaborative and choral-orchestral. The Radcliffe Choral Society aims to foster the appreciation and enjoyment of women's and treble choral music through the commission of new works for soprano-alto voices, high-caliber performances, and domestic and international travel, striving to honor its history and further its legacy."

The Loeb Music Library will celebrate this student run and managed group’s jubilee year with a special exhibit guest - curated by past and present Society members. The Pforzheimer Fellow will spend the summer exploring the Harvard University Archives, Schlesinger Library, Lamont Library and the Loeb Music Library for items to potentially include this display, with a special focus on telling the Society’s story using archival documents and ephemera: photographs, flyers, posters, music scores, Society members’ scrapbooks, and sound recordings.

About the Celebrating the Radcliffe Choral Society at 125: an Archives-Focused Exhibit (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 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 awarded up to $5,000 to complete the project.

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.

Past Fellows

Summer 2023 Fellows

  • Brett Donohoe: Documenting the War in Ukraine with Internet-based primary sources
  • Morgan Forde: connecting the Gutman Collections to the Black Teacher Archive
  • Masoud Ariankhoo: Indigenous Studies of Near East, Middle East and North Africa
  • Angélica María Sánchez Barona: The Legacy of Slavery in Houghton Library's Collection

Learn more about the 2023 Pforzheimer Fellows' projects.

Spring 2022 Fellows

  • Donald Brown: Harvard and HBCUs
  • Gangsim Eom: Urban Segregation
  • Julia Harris: ACT UP Collection
  • Johannes Makar: Finding Aids for Middle East Collections
  • Kabl Wilkerson: Indigenous Peoples and Native American Exhibit

Learn more about the 2022 Pforzheimer Fellows'  projects.

Spring 2021 Fellows


Practical questions concerning the application process should be addressed to Hannah Hack at hannah_hack@harvard.edu.

More general, academic questions concerning the program may be addressed to Professor Ann Blair at amblair@fas.harvard.edu.


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