Press "Enter" to skip to content

Smithsonian Libraries Research Opportunities 2015

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.


The Baird Society Resident Scholar Program awards stipends of $3,500 per month for up to six months to support scholarly research in the Special Collections of the Smithsonian Libraries in Washington, DC and New York, NY, in an extensive range of subject areas. Doctoral students and post-doctoral scholars are welcome to apply.

Collections include printed materials on world’s fairs (19th and early 20th centuries); manufacturer’s commercial trade catalogs in the National Museum of American History Library (285,000 pieces representing 30,000 companies dating from the 19th and 20th centuries); natural history rare books in the Cullman Library (pre-1840 works on topics such as botany, zoology, travel & exploration, museums & collecting, geology, and anthropology); air and space history in the National Air and Space Museum Library’s Ramsey Room (ballooning, rocketry, and aviation, late 18th to early 20th centuries); James Smithson’s library in the Cullman Library; rare materials in European and American decorative arts, architecture, and design in the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library (18th to 20th centuries); and history of art and artists (exhibition catalogs, catalogues raisonnés, serials, dissertations and artists’ ephemera) at the American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library.

The Dibner Library Resident Scholar Program awards stipends of $3,500 per month for up to six months to support scholarly research in the Special Collections of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology in Washington, DC. Doctoral students and post-doctoral scholars are welcome to apply.

The Dibner Library has manuscripts and rare books dating primarily from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Collection strengths are in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, classical natural philosophy, theoretical physics (up to the early twentieth century), experimental physics (especially electricity and magnetism), engineering technology (from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century), and scientific apparatus and instruments.

The Margaret Henry Dabney Penick Resident Scholar Program supports scholarly research into the legacy of Patrick Henry and his political circle, the early political history of Virginia, the history of the American Revolution, founding era ideas and policy-making, as well as science, technology, and culture in colonial America and the Early National Period.

The stipend for this long-term post-doctoral fellowship is $45,000 for nine consecutive months. Senior scholars are particularly encouraged to apply. Applicants must hold a PhD by January 1, 2015. Resident scholars are expected to give at least one public lecture during the tenure of the fellowship as well as to show progress toward a publishable manuscript by the end of the fellowship period, and may also be asked to cooperate with the Smithsonian Libraries administration in planning scholarly programs.

Scholars must be in residence at the Smithsonian during the award period, which must be during the 2015 calendar year.  The deadline for all programs is March 15, 2014. For further information about the Smithsonian Libraries’ Resident Scholar Programs listed above, including application information, please visit our web site:

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *