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Libraries Accepting Applications for Du Bois Library Fellowships

Du Bois Library Fellowships

Through a generous grant awarded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the W. E. B. Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst Libraries, in collaboration with the Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA), is offering post-doc fellowships to assist scholars in conduct research at SCUA in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library. Full-time faculty or independent scholars (with a PhD) are eligible to apply. Fellows will receive a stipend of $4,500 for an eight-week library residency with a housing allowance of $2,500 as well as a research allowance of $600. The deadline for applications is March 16, 2018.

Among the approximately 15,000 linear feet of manuscripts held by SCUA are many valuable collections for the study of social change in the United States, including the papers of the most important exponent of the politics and culture of the twentieth century, W. E. B. Du Bois. Since the arrival of the Du Bois Papers at UMass Amherst in 1973, SCUA has become the steward for a number of collections in which Du Bois is a central figure, including those of his associates James Aronson (acquired 1990), Katherine Bell Banks (2004), Lillian Hyman Katzman (2010), and Catherine A. Latimer (2015), as well as the papers of scholars who studied Du Bois, including William Strickland (2014) and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Levering Lewis (2014). Additionally, there are several collections in which Du Bois appears as a direct influence, including the papers of the educator Horace Mann Bond (1979) and the records of the African America Institute, an organization that for over 60 years has promoted educational and economic ties between African nations and the United States. Of these, Du Bois, Aronson, Banks, Katzman, and Bond are all fully digitized and available online free of charge. 

Fellows may come from any field and any perspective, and they may work on any topic, but their research should explore the major themes that characterize Du Bois’s scholarship and activism. This includes the history and meaning of racial, social, and economic justice; the problems of democracy and political inclusion; the role of capitalism in world affairs; and the global influence of African cultures. Comprehensive, searchable guides and finding aids to SCUA’s collections are available online.

Fellows will be selected on a competitive basis from applicants interested in conducting original research in the Du Bois Papers and other SCUA collections. In addition to the two-month residency, Du Bois Scholars will be invited back to campus to give a public talk to the “Five College Community,” involving UMass Faculty, graduate student fellows, and community college faculty in the humanities and social sciences. The criteria for selection will include the potential of the proposal to contribute to scholarship; the need for the use of SCUA’s collections; and a letter of support. The application will consist of a brief (up to three pages) description of the research project, curriculum vitae, and the letter of support.

For more information, contact the Special Collections and University Archives at scua@library.umass.edu, or (413) 545-2780.