Fellowships & Awards

The Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture invites applications for two highly competitive fellowship programs: the Lillian Gary Taylor Fellowship in American Literature, and the William A. Elwood Fellowship in Civil Rights and African-American Studies. Both fellowships offer visiting scholars an opportunity to conduct extended research in the University of Virginia’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library for periods of one to three months.

The Lillian Gary Taylor Fellowship in American Literature supports research in the literary works of authors resident in what is now the United States. Proposals may encompass any time period or genre, and may be bibliographical, biographical, critical, historical, or textual in focus. In a typical year, 20 months of fellowship support are awarded.

The William A. Elwood Fellowship in Civil Rights and African-American Studies supports research in the history of African-Americans, in particular their struggle for equal rights.  In a typical year, 4 months of fellowship support are awarded.

The collections of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library number over 400,000 books, 15 million manuscripts, and thousands of maps, broadsides, photographs, audio and video recordings, and artifacts. The Small Special Collections Library is home to one of the world’s most comprehensive holdings of American literature and literary manuscripts, including the Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, the Taylor Collection of American Best-Sellers, and the papers of William Faulkner, John Dos Passos, and many other authors of note. It is nationally recognized for the richness of its holdings in American history, with strengths in the discovery and settlement of British North America, the American Revolution and Early Republic, the Southeastern United States, Virginiana, the Civil War, and African American history.


Fellowship recipients are offered financial support depending on their length of residency at UVA: $1,800 for one month, $3,600 for two months, and $4,900 for three months. Taylor and Elwood Fellows must begin their residency within 12 months of the award and complete it within the following 12 months; they may divide their residency into two or more shorter visits. Fellows are given access to the holdings of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library and other units of the UVA Library system; in addition, they receive office space in the Harrison Small Research Center on a space available basis. Taylor and Elwood Fellows are responsible for arranging their own housing.

Fellows will have opportunities to present their research to members of the UVA community. A written evaluation of the fellow’s residency is due within three months after completing the fellowship.


The Taylor and the Elwood Fellowships are open to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals who live beyond a 60-mile radius of Charlottesville, VA and

  • hold the Ph.D or equivalent degree, or
  • are doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy, or
  • are independent scholars with a significant record of scholarly achievement.

Once awarded, fellowships cannot be extended or renewed. Taylor and Elwood Fellowship recipients may reapply for support two years after concluding their previous residence.

To Apply

Applications for the Taylor and Elwood Fellowships are reviewed twice each year by the fellowship committee. The application deadlines are February 28 and October 31. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by March 31 and November 30 respectively.

Please include the following in your application:

  • a cover letter describing the research to be conducted at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, with specific reference to the collection materials that the applicant intends to consult and the proposed dates of residence
  • a current curriculum vitae
  • one signed letter of recommendation on official letterhead, to be submitted directly by the recommender


Submit all application materials in PDF form via email to: harrison_institute@virginia.edu. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications will be evaluated on the scholarly promise of the proposed research, the candidate’s qualifications for engaging in that research, and the relevance of the project to the holdings of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

Staff of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library can assist prospective applicants in identifying collection materials relevant for their research. Please submit requests via the Library’s online reference form.

Questions about the Taylor and Elwood Fellowships may be directed to:  harrison_institute@virginia.edu or (434) 243-1776.

Fellowship Opportunities for UVA Graduate Students

Each summer the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia offers several Battestin Fellowships in the amount of $3,500 to UVA graduate students engaged in bibliographical or textual projects involving UVA Library collections.