Applications open for Platzman Memorial Fellowships

The University of Chicago Library invites applications for short-term research fellowships for the summer of 2020.

Any visiting researcher, writer, or artist residing more than 100 miles from Chicago, and whose project requires on-site consultation of University of Chicago Library collections, primarily archives, manuscripts, rare books, or other materials in the Special Collections Research Center, is eligible.

The Special Collections Research Center is the principal repository of rare books, manuscripts, and archives in the University of Chicago Library.

The Rare Book Collection includes titles from the fifteenth century to the present. Areas of strength in the Rare Book Collection include works and editions of Homer, classical literature and antiquities, the history of science and medicine, English and American literature, history, and economics, nineteenth-century English poetry, modern English and American poetry, historical children's books, Jewish life and culture, theology, Renaissance humanism, and the printed works of Frederick Chopin.

Early manuscripts include texts from the ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and early modern periods. Holdings include the Goodspeed Manuscript Collection of early Byzantine Gospels and liturgical texts; late medieval and Renaissance secular and religious texts, including books of hours and works of Boccaccio and Chaucer; court and manorial documents of the Bacon family; and legal documents from northern Italy in the Rosenthal collection.

Modern manuscripts include collections on the early history of Kentucky and the Ohio River valley; Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Civil War era; civil rights leader Ida B. Wells; Poetry magazine and modern poetry; post-World War II atomic scientists political organizations, Cold War intellectual politics, and world constitutionalism; Native American education and community organization; modern commercial printing; Chicago labor and social reform; Chicago medical history; the Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago; and the Chicago Jazz Archive.

The University Archives documents the history of the University of Chicago, the work of its faculty, and the life of the academic community. Among areas of particular strength are the history of higher education, including race and gender on campus; the development of academic disciplines and area studies; and records and papers in economics, sociology, history, anthropology and ethnology, education, law, social thought, social work, theology and history of religions, ecology, physics, astrophysics, and geophysical science, among other fields.


Fellowship Applications

Support for beginning scholars is a priority of the program. Applications from underrepresented groups are encouraged. Applications in the fields of late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century physics or physical chemistry, or nineteenth-century classical opera, will receive special consideration.

Awards will be made based on the applicant's ability to complete the proposed on-site research successfully within the timeframe of the fellowship. Applicants should explain why the project cannot be conducted without on-site access to the original materials and the extent to which University of Chicago Library collections are central to the research. Up to $3,000 of support will be awarded to help cover estimated travel, living, and research expenses.

Successful applicants who are not US citizens must hold a J1 visa and meet other requirements for J1 visa status: https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/page/important-information-j-1-scholars


The deadline for applications is February 10, 2020. Notice of awards will be made by March 6, 2020, for use between June 15, 2020, and September 18, 2020.

Applicants must provide the following information:

  • A cover letter (not to exceed one page) including the project title; a brief summary; estimated dates of on-site research; and a budget for travel, living, and research expenses during the period of on-site research
  • A research proposal not to exceed three double-spaced pages. Applicants should include references to specific archival finding aids and catalog records of particular relevance to their proposed project whenever possible.
  • A curriculum vitae of no longer than two pages
  • Two letters of support from academic or other scholars. References may be sent with the application or separately.

Submit application in one electronic file to: scrcfellowship@lib.uchicago.edu

Letters of reference in electronic form are preferred; print letters of reference can be sent to:

Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships
Special Collections Research Center
The University of Chicago Library
1100 E. 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

For additional information contact:
Daniel Meyer, Director, Special Collections Research Center.