Fellowships & Awards

The Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture welcomes diverse and inspiring cohorts of fellows to the University of Virginia. We offer annual opportunities for visiting scholars at all career stages to conduct extended research in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

The Harrison Institute’s 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. Relevant civil rights manuscript collections include the papers of activists Julian Bond and Sarah Patton Boyle; papers and records of organizations such as the Southern Student Organizing Committee and the Virginia Council on Human Relations; the Social Movements Collection covering various radical political organizations and social action groups; and many others. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; please follow the instructions below.

The Harrison Institute’s Lillian Gary Taylor Fellowship in American Literature supports research in the literary works of authors residing 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. 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. To be considered for the 2023 cohort, please submit an application by March 31, 2023.

To apply:

Please submit a proposal detailing your planned use of materials from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library and how those materials will inform your research, a current resumé, and one letter of reference from a colleague familiar with your research and its impacts. Submit all materials in PDF format to harrison_institute@virginia.edu.

Applications will be evaluated on the research potential of the proposed project and its contributions to defined and emerging fields, the candidate’s qualifications for conducting research and the project’s relevance to the holdings of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. Selected applicants will be awarded $2500 to offset expenses associated with travel, lodging and other research costs. Fellows will be expected to conduct their research in-person or via proxy support by the end of the academic year. At the conclusion of their term, fellows should be prepared to provide a short virtual presentation on their research or write an essay that will be shared on the University of Virginia’s Library blog.

The Harrison Institute for American History, Literature and Culture is committed to providing equitable access to resources and encourages scholars from underrepresented communities and emerging scholars to apply for fellowships.

At the University of Virginia Library in Charlottesville, we acknowledge that the land where we learn and work is the ancestral homeland and traditional territory of the Monacan Indian Nation. We pay respect to their elders and knowledge keepers — past and present. We acknowledge and pay respect to the enslaved Africans, enslaved laborers, and free Black laborers who built UVA, as well as their descendants. Today we acknowledge the land, we acknowledge labor, traditions, and knowledge, and we acknowledge lives.