Direct from the source. Students, educators, and researchers from around the world are invited to explore primary sources from our collections. Make a research appointment or explore short-term fellowships below.

Research

The Boston Athenaeum collections are available, by appointment, for researchers needing primary sources.  Find out how to make a research appointment.

Book Conservation Fellowship

Two fellowship positions are available each year and are funded through the generosity of David Driscoll and the Michael and Louisa von Clemm Foundation.

Fellowships

The Boston Athenaeum offers short-term fellowships to support the use of our collections for research, publication, curriculum and program development, or other creative projects.

Each fellowship pays a stipend for a residency of twenty days (four weeks) and includes a year’s membership to the Boston Athenæum. Scholars, graduate students, independent scholars, teaching faculty, and professionals in the humanities as well as teachers and librarians in secondary public, private, and parochial schools are eligible. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals holding the appropriate U.S. government documents.

If interested, complete the fellowship application form by April 15. Please note the different deadlines and application instructions for the last two.

Mary Catherine Mooney Fellowship

A Mary Catherine Mooney Fellowship, courtesy of a long-time teacher in the Boston Public School system, offers a stipend of $2,000 for a residency of twenty days (four weeks) and includes a year’s membership to the Boston Athenaeum. Scholars, graduate students, independent scholars, teaching faculty, creatives, and professionals in the humanities as well as teachers and librarians in secondary public, private, and parochial schools are eligible. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals holding the appropriate U.S. government documents.

Caleb Loring, Jr. Fellowship

A Caleb Loring, Jr. Fellowship is available for research on topics concerning the Confederate States and the Civil War. It offers a stipend of $2,000 for a residency of twenty days (four weeks) and includes a year’s membership to the Boston Athenaeum. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals holding the appropriate U.S. government documents.

American Society for Eighteenth- Century Studies Fellowship

The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Fellowship is offered in conjunction with the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies to use the Boston Athenaeum’s holdings relevant to the 18th century and comes with a stipend of $1,500 for a residency of twenty days (four weeks) and includes a year’s membership to the Boston Athenaeum. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals holding the appropriate U.S. government documents.

This fellowship requires membership in the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

American Congregational Association-Boston Athenaeum Fellowship

The American Congregational Association-Boston Athenaeum Fellowship is for research into American religious history involving the collections of the Boston Athenaeum and the Congregational Library. The award includes a stipend of $2,000 for a residency of twenty days (four weeks) and includes a year’s membership to the Boston Athenaeum and to the Congregational Library. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals holding the appropriate U.S. government documents.

Boston Athenaeum Community Fellowship

The Boston Athenaeum Community Fellowship includes a year’s membership to the Boston Athenaeum. Scholars, graduate students, independent scholars, teaching faculty, and professionals in the humanities as well as teachers and librarians in secondary public, private, and parochial schools are eligible. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals holding the appropriate U.S. government documents.

All applicants to the Athenaeum’s fellowships that include a stipend are under consideration for this fellowship. Every year there are more applicants than can be awarded stipends; this fellowship allows worthy applicants who are selected to enjoy full access to all reading rooms, stellar service, book borrowing privileges, etc. You can see all the benefits listed under the heading Membership on our website. There is no need to submit a separate application.

Suzanne and Caleb Loring Fellowship on the Civil War, its Origins and Consequences

The Boston Athenaeum and the Massachusetts Historical Society offer the Suzanne and Caleb Loring Fellowship on the Civil War, Its Origins and Consequences with a stipend of $4,000 for research residencies of at least four weeks at each institution. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals holding the appropriate U.S. government documents. Applications are due February 15 each year. Each institution will automatically refer unsuccessful proposals to its short-term fellowship competition.

  • The Athenaeum’s Civil War collections are anchored by its holdings of Confederate states imprints, the largest in the nation, consisting of books, maps, broadsides, sheet music, newspapers, governmental publications, and other materials organized according to the Parrish & Willingham bibliography.
  • The MHS’s manuscript holdings on the Civil War are particularly strong. They include, for example, diaries, photographs, correspondence from the battlefield and the home front, papers of political leaders, material on black regiments raised in Massachusetts, and extensive holdings on the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

The Athenaeum and the MHS are particularly interested in projects for which both repositories’ resources are vital. For more information and to apply please visit the MHS’s website

New England Regional Fellowship Consortium

The Boston Athenaeum participates in the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, a collaboration of twenty-seven major cultural institutions. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals holding the appropriate U.S. government documents.

Please see the New England Regional Consortium’s website for more information and the application process.

The Driscoll Family & von Clemm Fellowship in Conservation

Each year the Boston Athenaeum’s Conservation Laboratory hosts a fellow selected from recent graduates of the Bookbinding Program* at the North Bennet Street School. This year-long opportunity consists of two, consecutive, six-month fellowships made possible by the generosity of the Driscoll Family† and the von Clemm Foundation‡.

Focusing primarily on book conservation, recipients learn to apply and build upon their skills under the guidance of the Athenaeum’s professional conservators, while also gaining knowledge in the responsible stewardship of special collections. Past fellows have secured positions at some of the most prestigious cultural heritage institutions in the country or have gone on to enroll in Master of Conservation programs.


*Applicants must be recent graduates from the North Bennet Street School Bookbinding Program.

†Created with a multi-year gift commitment from long-time member and Proprietor David L. Driscoll, The Driscoll Family Fellowship honors the memory of the late Leo E. Driscoll and Virginia M. (“Ginny”) Driscoll. Mr. Driscoll’s stalwart support of the Athenaeum’s conservation efforts is rooted in his belief that “conserving historically significant materials for future generations is central to the mission of the Athenaeum.”

‡Funded by a generous ongoing gift from the Michael and Louisa von Clemm Foundation, the von Clemm Fellowship stems from the vision of former Boston Athenaeum Life Member Louisa von Clemm and her husband Michael. Ms von Clemm, a bookbinder, was drawn to the craft by a desire to create lasting objects that represent and preserve humanity’s collective culture and history. The von Clemm Fellowship has continued this legacy since 2003.