In keeping with the central value the Society places on bibliography as a critical framework, the BSA funds a number of fellowships to promote inquiry and research in books and other textual artifacts in both traditional and emerging formats.
Bibliographical projects may range chronologically from the study of clay tablets and papyrus rolls to contemporary literary texts and born-digital materials. Topics relating to books and manuscripts in any field and of any period are eligible for consideration as long as they include analysis of the physical object – that is, the handwritten, printed, or other textual artifact – as historical evidence.
Projects may include establishing a text or studying the history of book or manuscript production, publication, distribution, collecting, or reading, and the history of bibliographical study itself. Fellowship awards may be used to fund travel to collections and other expenses associated with research, publication, or other scholarly outcomes related to the topic for which the award was made. Projects that are primarily enumerative (lists) will be considered for funding provided the proposal states a clear objective, describes the need for such work within its field, and specifies the extent to which textual objects will be described. Sample entries for project results are also welcome, if applicable.
For projects that involve significant computer applications or use of digital surrogates, the proposal must explain how the digital analysis relates to the researcher’s examination and study of original artifacts. Projects that rely wholly on digital surrogates without prior analysis of original materials will not be funded.
Normally, BSA fellowships support research and are not intended to fund time spent writing. Exceptionally, during the 2022 cycle, when Covid-19 restrictions on travel may still be in effect, the Committee will consider proposals for writing projects based on prior bibliographical research.
Projects involving more than one researcher are eligible for consideration if they meet the criteria described above. Detailed instructions for group applications are offered in the application form.
Applicants should read the fellowship titles and descriptions below to assess the general suitability of their projects to BSA’s program. Please note that individuals who have not received BSA fellowships in the previous five years will be given preference.
Fellowship opportunities include numerous distinct topics, with awards ranging from $1,500 to $6,000, and the majority of awards being $3,000.
E. Haven Hawley, BSA Fellowship Committee Chair