We have resumed some on-campus services, including book pickup, virtual consultations, and fulfilling scanning/digitization requests. Many library materials are available online, but our buildings remain closed until further notice.

​Pforzheimer Fellowships

A chance for graduate students in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences to learn about possible careers in libraries​.


Apply for Harvard Library’s Pforzheimer Fellowships to work on a special project with a librarian or archivist this summer. Fellowships provide an opportunity for FAS graduate students to learn about library careers, while advancing their own research skills—getting to know a library from the inside. ​​

Application Deadline

March 13, 2020

Pforzheimer Fellowship Dates

June 1, 2020 through July 31, 2020


Each Pforzheimer Fellow is granted a stipend of $5,000

Things to know

  • Any graduate student in the humanities and social sciences who's been enrolled at Harvard from one to five years may apply.
  • Fellows are assigned a mentor from the library and work on defined projects under the mentor's supervision. See projects, below.
  • 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.

    How to Apply

    • Choose a Project: Review the proposed fellowship 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 a letter of support to Hannah Blakeman at hannah_blakeman@harvard.edu.


    All materials must be submitted by March 13, 2020

    Apply online

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

    Library Projects 2020

    ARCHIVES | History of Astronomy Project

    Work with the papers of Harvard professor and noted astronomer Harlow Shapley (1885-1972) and his wife and research collaborator, Martha Betz Shapley (1890-1981). The 53 ft. collection contains extensive correspondence with scientists, public figures, and family, documentation of public appearances including manuscripts of radio talks and lecture notes, photographs, and research notebooks and data kept by both Shapleys.

    About the History of Astronomy Project (PDF)


    ARCHIVES | Material Culture Project

    Working with a collection of 19th century china, this Fellowship will focus on the intersection of material culture and the archival record in documenting Harvard’s history. The outcome will be an historical guide to the collection with descriptions and photographs of the objects, as well as the creation of protective enclosures for long-term storage and preservation.

    About the Material Culture Project (pdf)

    ARCHIVES | Uncover the Salzburg Global Seminar Archives

    Explore unopened boxes of Salzburg Global Seminar materials. Discover items that have not been seen yet by researchers, catalogued, or digitized. Work behind the scenes at the University Archives, diving into boxes and thumbing through unknown treasures. Unearth interesting items finding interesting stories.

    About the Salzburg Project (pdf)

    Baker Business | Bleichroeder Prints Project

    The Bleichroeder Print Collection includes more than 1,000 woodcuts, engravings, etchings, and lithographs ranging in date from the 16th to the 19th century. The collection is rich in views of stock exchanges, banks, mints, and treasuries; portraits of bankers, statesmen, and financiers; political and personal satires; national finance and taxation and a large number of prints on speculation and credit. The project will include an assessment and evaluation of the collection in terms of overall research value and prioritizing the collection in terms of which items to scan and make recommendations for metadata.

    About the Bleichroeder Prints Project (pdf)

    Baker Business | Dun Genealogy Project

    Baker Library houses the R.G. Dun & Company Collection of Credit Reports, which includes nearly 2,600 volumes of credit report books dating from the 1840s to the 1890s. The collection covers businesses, large and small, across the United States and its territories, and offers unique insights into the early U.S. economy and society. The Pforzheimer Fellow will research and write four or five short essays on the most common industries/occupations in the United States in the mid-19th century, as determined through an analysis of a large data set compiled from the 1850 U.S. Census of Manufactures.

    About the Dun Genealogy Project (pdf)

    Baker Business | Polaroid Project

    Baker Library is home to the archive of the Polaroid Corporation, an iconic, 20th century company whose pioneering achievements in optics, photographic technologies, and engineering continue to have technological, social and artistic significance. This project focuses on the records of photographers employed by Polaroid as consultants, such as Ansel Adams, Marie Cosindas, and Brett Weston. The Fellow will support the development of an exhibition and publications focusing in the work of Polaroid's consultant photographers. The first half of the Fellowship will be spent conducting research, and the second half on drafting exhibition texts related to key objects and materials in the collections.

    About the Polaroid Project (pdf)

    Digital Strategy | Open Education Resources Project

    Harvard Digital Collections includes over six million digital objects of historical, literary, and artistic value. One of the Library’s primary audiences for our digitized collections are educators for and students in grades 6-12. However, without guidance, the size and breadth of the Harvard Digital Collections can be overwhelming. We seek a fellow to create a source set and teaching guide for use of the collections that we can share with teachers as an Open Educational Resources and use as a template for future OERs. The fellow will work in the Digital Solutions group and learn about library collections and the challenges of creating compelling digital artifacts that serve our virtual users.

    Learn more about the Open Education Resources Project (pdf)

    Frances Loeb Design | Zine Project

    The objectives of the project are: (1) to build a new zine collection for the Frances Loeb Library (including title selection, identification of distributors and vendors, and developing collection guidelines); and (2) to develop a proposal for a program of zine-making workshops.

    About the Zine Project (pdf)

    HARVARD FILM ARCHIVE | Hinton Project

    Assist in expanding access to the collection of James E. Hinton, an American filmmaker and photographer. The project will result in an enhanced collection finding aid and a new digital collections page that will provide context for Hinton’s career as well as new descriptions for each of his films alongside streaming digital access video files.

    About the Hinton Project (pdf)

    HOUGHTON | Drugs and Sheet Music Project

    Exploring is a set of illustrated scores chiefly featuring drugs or drug use, both visually and textually, from the Ludlow Santo Domingo sheet music collection. This project would be ideal for a student interested in 19th-20th graphic illustration, popular music, or popular attitudes towards drugs in the same period. 

    About the Drugs and Sheet Music Project (pdf)

    LOEB MUSIC | Eileen Southern Project

    Creating an online exhibit to mark the golden anniversary of the landmark book “The Music of Black Americans” (1971), by Eileen Southern (1920-2002), the first African-American woman tenured in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The Pforzheimer Fellow will join us for a summer of editing, revision, research, and online exhibit curation, with the goal of reaching a diverse audience.

    About the Eileen Southern Project (pdf)


    Preservation | EaaSI Project

    This project will enhance the Harvard Library’s understanding, expertise, and capacity regarding important issues, approaches, and solutions for dealing effectively with software preservation and emulation as core service components of a comprehensive digital preservation program. Through literature review, Library stakeholder consultation, and engagement with key thinkers and leaders in this area, including the Software Preservation Network (SPN) and Emulation-as-a-Service Infrastructure (EaaSI) project, the Pforzheimer Fellow will help to synthesize use cases, formulate requirements, and develop an R&D roadmap for basic infrastructure, workflows, and documentation as a foundation for the Library’s continued exploration of needed software emulation and preservation services.

    About the EaaSI Project (pdf)

    SCHLESINGER & WIDENER | Rio de Janeiro Project

    Seeking a graduate student who will work In Rio de Janeiro with staff from Archivo Publico do Estado do Rio de Janeiro to process its archival collection tracing the arc of Brazil's sex-worker movement from the mid 1980s-2010.

    About the Rio de Janeiro 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.​

    During these two-month long fellowships, which will run this year from June 1, 2020 through July 31, 2020, the Pforzheimer Fellows are assigned a mentor from the library and work on important 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 summer, 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

    In 2019, four fellows were selected and each were granted a stipend of $5,000: 

    • Melany Park: Polaroid Project 
    • Emma Zitzow-Childs: Born Digital Project 
    • Robert Roessler: Harvard Library Bulletin Project 
    • Sophie Wilkowske: Dun Genealogy Project 


    Questions about apply, please email hannah_blakeman@harvard.edu. For more general, academic questions about the fellowship, please email Professor Ann Blair at amblair@fas.harvard.edu.