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Seeking Applications for 2013 Dibner and Baird Resident Scholars!

Situated at the center of the world’s largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Libraries is a vital part of the research, exhibition, and educational enterprise of the Institution. Each Smithsonian scholar engages in an individual voyage of discovery using the artifacts and specimens of the Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with the Libraries’ written and illustrated record of the past. The Libraries is uniquely positioned to help scholars understand the continuing vitality of this relationship, via exceptional research resources ranging from 13th-century manuscripts to electronic journals.


Stipends of $3,500 per month for up to six months are available to support scholarly research in the Special Collections of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries in Washington, DC and New York, NY, in an extensive range of subject areas. Historians, librarians, doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows are welcome to apply.

The Spencer Baird Resident Scholars will use collections including rare books in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History (pre-1840 works on topics such as botany, zoology, travel & exploration, museums & collecting, geology, anthropology, and James Smithson’s library); World’s Fairs printed materials from the 19th and early 20th centuries (located at the Dibner Library, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum/ National Portrait Gallery, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and National Museum of American History libraries); manufacturers’ commercial trade catalogs at the National Museum of American History Library; rare materials in the history of ballooning, rocketry, and aviation from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries at the National Air and Space Museum Library’s Ramsey Room; European and American decorative arts, architecture, and design collections from the 18th to the 20th centuries at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum Library’s Bradley Room; and rare materials on the history of art and artists, exhibition catalogs, catalogues raisonnés, and artists’ ephemera at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library.

The Dibner Library Resident Scholars will use Th e collection of the Dibner Library contains over 20,000 rare books and 1,800 manuscript groups covering a wide variety of subject areas and time periods. Th e strengths of the collection are in the fields of the physical sciences, particularly mathematics, astronomy, classical and Renaissance natural philosophy, theoretical and experimental physics (especially electricity and magnetism), engineering technology, as well as scientific apparatus and instruments. The periods covered range from early printed works of ancient Greek and medieval scholars through the Renaissance and Early Modern eras up through the 19th century. The collection includes significant holdings of works by Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, Sacrobosco, Regiomontanus, Apian, Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Newton, Laplace, Euler, Gauss, Oersted, and many others.  The Dibner Library is located in the National Museum of American History on the Mall in Washington, DC.

 For further information about the Resident Scholar Program, including application forms and procedures, please visit the SI Libraries’ website: Additional inquiries may be addressed to or Smithsonian Institution Libraries / Resident Scholar Programs / P.O. Box 37012 / NMAH 1041 MRC 672 / Washington, DC 20013-7012. Resident Scholars are required to be in residence during the award period, which must be taken during the 2013 calendar year. All application materials must be submitted by March 15, 2012.


Image: Reading machine or book wheel from Le Diverse et Artificiose Machine, 1588 by Agostino Ramelli

One Comment

  1. Olivia Vacation

    $3,500 per month is pretty good amount for support. I am sure there will be huge interest and positive response!

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