Fellowship Opportunities: Smithsonian Libraries

The Smithsonian Libraries has just opened applications for our two Special Collections fellowship programs: the Baird Society Resident Scholar Program and the Dibner Library Resident Scholar Program.

Deadlines for both are January 15, 2020.

For more info about the Dibner Fellowship: https://library.si.edu/about/internships-and-fellowships/fellowships/dibner-library-resident-scholar-program

For more info about the Baird Fellowship: https://library.si.edu/about/internships-and-fellowships/fellowships/baird-society-resident-scholar-program

Please contact Allie Alvis (AlvisA@si.edu) or Lilla Vekerdy (VekerdyL@si.edu) with any additional questions, and please feel free to forward this announcement to interested parties.

Looking forward to reading your applications!

Fellowship Opportunity at Grolier Club

The 2019 Grolier Club Library William H. Helfand Fellowship

The Grolier Club Library is pleased to announce its annual fellowship offering in the art and history of the book, named in honor of Grolier Club benefactor and former president William H. Helfand. Awards of up to $3,000 are available for research in the Library’s areas of strength, with emphasis on the private collecting of books and prints, antiquarian bookselling, and the book and graphic arts. Fellowship awards may be used to pay for travel, housing, and other expenses. A research stay of two weeks is desired, and Helfand Fellows are expected to present the results of their research in a public lecture at the Grolier Club, or in an article submitted to the Club’s journal, The Gazette of the Grolier Club.


Members of the Grolier Club are not eligible, nor are students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs, but all other interested persons are encouraged to apply. There is no application form. Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae and a proposal, not to exceed 750 words, stating necessary length of residence, historical materials to be used, relevance of the Grolier Club Library collections to the project, a proposed budget, and two letters of recommendation. More information on the Library and its holdings can be found at www.grolierclub.org, under “The Library” in the navigation menu.

The deadline for applications and letters of support is December 27, 2019, and announcement of awards will be made by mid-February, 2020. Research terms can take place any time in the calendar year of 2020, but please note that the Club is closed, and library access is not offered, during the month of August.

Applications should be emailed to Grolier Club Director Eric Holzenberg: ejh@grolierclub.org

Fellowship Opportunity at Houghton Library

The application deadline for 2020-2021 fellowships is January 17, 2020. Please note that due to the Houghton Library building renovation, the fellowship year will start later than usual, running from September 2020 through June 2021. 

Houghton Library is Harvard’s principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. Its collections range from the ancient to the contemporary and from the local to the international and brim with research potential. Houghton staff take pride not only in the knowledge held and preserved in the library, but especially in the new discoveries and creations our holdings enable and inspire.

The Visiting Fellowship program offers scholars at all stages of their careers funding to pursue projects that require in-depth research on the library’s holdings, draw on staff expertise, and participate in intellectual life at Harvard. Preference is given to applicants whose research is closely based on materials in Houghton collections, especially when those materials are unique.

In particular, we want to highlight two new fellowships: the Maryette Charlton Fellowship for the Performing Arts to assist scholarly research on gender and sexuality in the performing arts, and the Donald and Mary Hyde Fellowship for Research in Early Modern Black Lives, including Africa and the African Diaspora, 1500–1800. In connection with the Hyde Research Fellowship, we are also interested in proposals for research in Houghton collections to support a future exhibition on early modern portraiture of people of color. Interested applicants should discuss their expertise in the subject and strategies for identifying such material in our collections.

Fellowships are normally not granted to scholars who live within commuting distance of the library. Fellows are expected to be in residence at Houghton for at least four weeks during the period from September 2020 through June 2021 (these do not have to be consecutive weeks), and each fellow will be required to produce a written summary of his/her experience working with the collections.  The stipend for each fellowship is $3,600. The application deadline is January 17, 2020.

For further details and to apply, go to: http://bit.ly/HoughtonLibraryVisitingFellowships2020-21

Applicants are strongly encouraged to save applications in progress; do not submit your application until it is complete. 

Applicants are required to provide the following:

  • a project proposal
  • a preliminary list of Houghton Library collection materials that will likely be consulted, including HOLLIS catalog call numbers and permalinks
  • a curriculum vitae
  • two letters of reference

Please note: Other than the Katharine F. Pantzer Jr. Fellowship in Descriptive Bibliography and the American Trust for the British Library Fellowship, the specific fellowship best suited to an applicant’s research will be determined by the Selection Committee.

Recipients will be notified by April 1, 2020.

Pyramid Atlantic Art Center Event: Paper, Print and Book

October 10, 6:30–9:30 pm

Pyramid will be hosting a gathering of six book arts organizations to talk about all things paper and print. Come hear about local book arts events, check out creative opportunities, and enjoy some refreshments and drinks. All are welcome!

The art on display in the gallery will be by Imar Hutchins, featured in the Washington Post last Sunday.
Sarah Noreen will still be giving a marbling demonstration.

Request: Please, NO red wine! Beer, Rose, and white wine are fine.

Also, reminding you that parking is available behind Pyramid Atlantic, after 6 pm!

Address & Contact Info.:
4318 Gallatin Street
Hyattsville, MD 20781

Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies Event

The next meeting of the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies 2019-2020 series will take place on Friday, October 4, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in the Rosenwald Room (LJ 205), 2nd floor, Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.  Professor Anna Dlabačová will deliver a talk entitled “Interpreting Incunabula: Netherlandish Religious Books between Modern Categorizations and Medieval Readers.”


The first printers of the Low Countries produced an astonishing amount of religious books in the Dutch vernacular. Scholars have estimated that at least 80% of books printed in Dutch offered readers religious knowledge and spiritual inspiration. One of the most prolific, successful, and original producers of these books was Gerard Leeu, a printer who started his career in the town of Gouda and moved his business to Antwerp in 1484 where he worked until his untimely death in 1492. How to make sense of this large and ‘mass’ production of printers such as Gerard Leeu? Since we have little to no archival sources on their activities, the meaning of their products has to be distilled from the objects themselves – the texts and material evidence contained in extant copies of their editions. And yet, these books often bear the marks of a number of historical layers that obscure their medieval materiality. Moreover, scholarship is still largely oriented according to oppositions such as manuscript vs. print, text vs. image, single text/edition vs. composite volume/miscellany, and even religious vs. secular. These categorizations conveniently order historical material – this project itself is of course not alien to these categories – but at the same time they obstruct our view of the late medieval book and its possible role and meaning in late medieval spirituality and society. Using examples of Gerard Leeu’s books from the (Rosenwald) collection of the Library of Congress I aim to explore the complex task of interpreting incunabula and what it can(not) tell us about the impact of the innovation of printing on spirituality and religious practice in the late medieval Low Countries.

Brief Biography: 

Anna Dlabačová  (PhD Leiden University, 2014) is Assistant Professor and postdoctoral researcher at Leiden University. She is currently a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress’ John W. Kluge Centre where she researches the printer Gerard Leeu as part of her monograph-project ‘Leaving a Lasting Impression. The Impact of Incunabula on Late Medieval Spirituality, Religious Practice and Visual Culture in the Low Countries’ (NWO(Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)-Veni, 2018-2022). From 2015 to 2017 she conducted a project on text and image on the early printing press at the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. (a.dlabacova@hum.leidenuniv.nl)

Please join us for  Professor Dlabačová’s talk and for dinner afterwards.

The Jefferson Building is located between First and Second Streets, SE in the District of Columbia. Nearest metro stops are Capitol South (blue and orange lines) and Union Station (red line).

For further information, consult the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies website at http://wagpcs.wordpress.com/, or contact Sabrina Baron and Eleanor Shevlin at washagpcs@umd.edu.For their encouragement and support, the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies would like to thank Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections at the Library of Congress and other Library of Congress staff including Michael North, Head, Reference and Reader Services, Rare Book and Special Collections; Stephanie Stillo, Lessing J. Rosenwald Curator; Eric Frazier, Reference Librarian Rare Book and Special Collections. We are also indebted to John Y. Cole,  Library of  Congress Historian and founder of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Paid Internship Opportunity at the US Naval Observatory Library

The US Naval Observatory Library is offering a paid internship opportunity for MLIS students. As one of the foremost astronomical collections in the country, the Observatory Library is located on the beautiful grounds of the US Naval Observatory. Prospective interns can expect to expand their skill-set by working with 19th century archival groups, collection management, circulation, and cataloging. To receive funding, applicants must be enrolled in an MLIS program. Otherwise, volunteer and internship for credit applicants are welcome. Please send a short cover letter and CV to Morgan Aronson, Project Manager, US Naval Observatory Library — morgan.aronson.ctr@navy.mil . If you don’t receive an email confirming your application within 24 hours (M-F), please call 202 762 1449 to ensure your email was well-received. Questions are welcome.

Employment Opportunity at Mount Vernon

Curator of Special Collections


The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon seeks someone experienced, collaborative, and entrepreneurial to serve as the Curator of Special Collections. The Curator will oversee an extraordinary collection of nearly 5,000 rare books, including a substantial portion of Washington’s own library, and approximately 700 linear feet of manuscript collections, including invaluable material related to the life and legacy of George and Martha Washington, the Washington and Custis families, Mount Vernon, and colonial, Revolutionary, and early national American history. They will also oversee the work of the Archivist of the records of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, which has owned and maintained Mount Vernon since the mid-nineteenth century.  The Curator will have the opportunity to create and implement a vision for the growth and interpretation of the special collections of the Washington Library and to fully integrate the library and its collections into the research and public outreach of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. As the first incumbent of this curatorial position, the ideal candidate will have a strong knowledge of early American history as well as rare book bibliography and the history of the book, with an understanding of paper, handwriting, publishing, book arts, and binding practices of the period. In this senior staff position, the successful candidate will be asked to preserve, to grow, and to inspire study of the special collections of the Washington Library.

Essential Functions

  • Serve as a lead scholar and interpreter of the library, writings, life, and legacy of George Washington and of the historic records of the Washington family and the Mount Vernon estate
  • Contribute to the intellectual life of the Washington Library through participation in the public programs, educational initiatives, and scholarly activities of the institution, working to promote the special collections of the Library to a wide and diverse audience
  • Develop the special collections of the Washington Library through acquisitions, loans, processing, description, and deaccessions
  • Design, implement, and lead the preservation assessment program for all collections, including conservation initiatives and the monitoring of environmental controls, emergency preparedness, and disaster response
  • Collaborate with all areas of the Library’s work as well as with other departments on the Mount Vernon estate
  • Manage the museum rotation schedule, document viewings, and installations for Library materials
  • Manage and administer a portion of the Library’s resources, developing work plans and budgets, preparing monthly and other reports as required, and supervising the work of assigned staff
  • Supervise and direct the work of the Manager of Visual Resources, the Archivist for records of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, and the Reference Librarian as well as other staff and volunteers in those areas.
  • Perform additional preservation, curatorial, outreach, and administrative tasks as required


  • Either an MLS from an ALA accredited institution or a Ph.D. in a field related to the collections. Ph.D. preferred.
  • A minimum of 6-8 years of successful work experience in the field, with evidence of increasing responsibility and innovation
  • Thorough knowledge of eighteenth-century American history and/or bibliography with a proven track record of scholarly engagement and professional service
  • Demonstrated competence in the management of special collections using tools like ArchiveSpace and experience with reference and research services across multiple platforms
  • Exceptional social, interpersonal, and written communication skills and an ability to write for both general and scholarly audiences
  • Ability to foster a positive work environment and evidence of professional initiative and flexibility

The Institution Opened in 2013, the Washington Library is a center for research and scholarship about George Washington and America’s Founding era and is an important component of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, which welcomes more than one million visitors per year. A completely private and independent research library, it is owned and maintained, along with the historic estate of George Washington, by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union. In addition to its special collections and archives, the Library hosts a large collection of research, bibliographic, and visual resources to support the work of students, teachers, and scholars as well as the historians, curators, horticulturalists, archaeologists, interpreters, and other staff and volunteers of Mount Vernon. The Library also supports a large online collection of digital resources and third-party databases and is a fully staffed modern research library.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies Event

The first meeting of the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies 2019-2020 series will take place on Friday, September 6, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in the Rosenwald Room (LJ 205), 2nd floor, Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress

Professor Betty A. Schellenberg will deliver a talk entitled “Reader Creations: Alteration, Arrangement, and Intention in the Eighteenth-Century Manuscript Poetry Miscellany.”


Whether or not eighteenth-century creators of personal poetry miscellanies accepted Pope’s claim that “True self-love and social are the same,” they had decisions to make about how to combine the “public” poetry they selected for copying from magazines and printed miscellanies with the poetry created within their own social circles, even their own compositions. While scholars of early modern poetry compilations have wrestled inconclusively with the question of how much can be read into their arrangement of contents, analyses of eighteenth-century manuscript miscellanies are virtually non-existent. I argue that these miscellanies represent circumstances different from those of their predecessors, because the poetry they copy tends to be drawn from new and widely available print forms. Faced with a greater choice of materials, these compilers become curators and creators in their own right, revealing a consciousness of object-making not only in the decorative flourishes they use to embellish and unify their work, but also in the alteration and arrangement they enact on the poems they memorialize in their books. After a general overview of this overlooked genre, my talk will explore creative strategies whereby the individual compiler negotiated her or his own position in relation to local networks as well as a fast-developing literary culture and global British identity.


Betty A. Schellenberg is a Professor of English at Simon Fraser University. Her interests in authorship, the print trade, and scribal cultures inform her most recent monograph, Literary Coteries and the Making of Modern Print Culture (2016). Other publications include Samuel Richardson in Context, co-edited with Peter Sabor (Cambridge, 2017), The Professionalization of Women Writers in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge, 2005), and Reconsidering the Bluestockings, co-edited with Nicole Pohl (Huntington Library, 2003). She is currently researching the eighteenth-century manuscript verse miscellany.

Please join us for  Professor Schellenberg’s talk and for dinner afterwards.

The Jefferson Building is located between First and Second Streets, SE in the District of Columbia. Nearest metro stops are Capitol South (blue and orange lines) and Union Station (red line).

For further information, consult the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies website at http://wagpcs.wordpress.com/, or contact Sabrina Baron and Eleanor Shevlin at washagpcs@umd.edu.

For their encouragement and support, the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies would like to thank Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections at the Library of Congress and other Library of Congress staff including Michael North, Head, Reference and Reader Services, Rare Book and Special Collections; Stephanie Stillo, Lessing J. Rosenwald Curator; Eric Frazier, Reference Librarian Rare Book and Special Collections. We are also indebted to John Y. Cole,  Library of Congress Historian and founder of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

American Printing History Association 2019 Annual Conference

One Press, Many Hands: Diversity in the History of American Printing”

Registration Now Open!

University of Maryland, College Park   October 25-27, 2019

APHA invites you to join us for our first conference expressly devoted to the rich history of printing and publishing in America from diverse groups. Our 2019 annual conference will join the conversation on intersections of printing history, the book arts, bibliography, and print culture studies with gender studies, queer theory, ethnic studies, Black studies, Jewish studies, and Latin@ history. Through lectures, panels, and workshops, participants will have the opportunity to engage with a critical exploration of the history of printing among America’s underrepresented communities. The full schedule includes keynote addresses, panels of presentations by scholars and practitioners, workshops, and visits to University of Maryland collections and Pyramid Atlantic book arts studio. 

Keynotes and artists:
Colette Gaiter, multimedia artist, graphic designer, and writer, Professor of Visual Communications and Visual Studies at the University of Delaware’s Department of Art & Design and the Department of Africana Studies

Kinohi Nishikawa, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies at Princeton University, where he currently holds the John E. Annan Bicentennial Preceptorship

Lynette Spencer, professional artist and educator who specializes in relief printing and bookmaking

Information regarding the conference including the schedule, registration, and travel details 

Direct link to online registration

As a reminder, you will need to be a member of APHA to attend at this year’s conference: APHA membership information

We look forward to seeing you all in College Park!

Contact Jesse Erickson, APHA VP for Programs, for questions or concerns: jericksn@udel.edu