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Research Fellowships

Smith College Special Collections

Smith College Special Collections, which includes the Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College Archives, and the Mortimer Rare Book Collection, is pleased to offer a research support program of fellowships and awards.

Grants and awards are available to both Smith College students as well as outside researchers wishing to visit Smith College Special Collections for their research.

Grants for Smith Students

Rebecca Samay Rosenthal ‘07 Fellowship (Smith Students)

The Rosenthal Fellowship is named in honor of Rebecca (Becca) Rosenthal, former student worker in the Mortimer Rare Book Collection. Passionate about archival work, she was in the process of earning a graduate degree from Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science before her untimely death in 2012. This fellowship supports current Smith student internships and capstone research in the Archives and Book Studies Concentrations only. The award for an internship is up to $1,500 and for a capstone project up to $1,000. Students may apply for each type of funding once. Rosenthal Fellowship proposals should be submitted by email to the Director of Special Collections, Beth Myers: The application review period is open.

Internships: Interns must complete a 100-hour internship for work related to their Archives and Book Studies Concentrations. Applicants may work 10 hours per week for one semester, 5 hours per week for two semesters, or 35 hours per week for 3 weeks during the January term or summer. Applications should include:

  • A one-page description of the on-campus or off-campus internship, including internship goals
  • A brief schedule of work
  • A completed Archives Concentration Practical Experience Approval Form or Book Studies Concentration Approval Form
  • The deadline for applications is open. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Capstone Projects: Applications should include:

  • A project title and a description of the capstone project
  • A budget reflecting any anticipated travel expenses; be as specific as possible.

Grants for Visiting Researchers

These fellowships are intended to help offset the travel expenses of researchers engaged in studies that will benefit from access to, including initial survey and exploration of, the holdings of Smith College Special Collections, which are the College Archives, Mortimer Rare Book Collection, and Sophia Smith College of Women’s History.


Smith College Special Collections offers five extended-term fellowships with awards of $2,500 each for research visits that extend beyond two weeks:

The Margaret Storrs Grierson Fellowship is named in honor of the founding Director of the Sophia Smith Collection, and former College Archivist and Executive Secretary of the Friends of the Smith College Library.

The two Friends of the Smith College Libraries Fellowships are generously supported by the Friends of the Smith College Libraries in support of research across the collections.

The Ruth Mortimer Fellowship is named in honor of Ruth Mortimer, class of 1953, the distinguished curator of rare books at Smith College from 1975-1994.

The Carel B. Germain Fellowship is named in honor of longtime archives supporter Carel B. Germain, Professor of social work, author, and theorist in the field.


Special Collections also offers several short-term fellowships for research visits up to two weeks in length with awards of $1,000:

Madeleine L’Engle Travel Research Fellowships, named in honor of Madeleine L’Engle, class of 1941, renowned young adult fiction author.


Please complete this application. You will need to include the following:

  • A description of your proposed research project (1,250 words or less)
  • Resume, brief CV (curriculum vitae), or portfolio (please do not exceed 5 pages)

You only need to submit one application to be considered for all of our visiting research fellowship opportunities.

Project Proposal (1,250 words or less)

Proposals should include:

  1. Project title (formal or informal)
  2. A brief description of your project
  3. Collections and materials proposed to be used and their significance to your work
  4. The project’s current status (e.g. not yet started, in progress, final editing)
  5. Estimated length of research visit

Projects can include, but are not limited to:

  • Podcasts
  • Visual, audio, or performing arts projects
  • Research to support coursework or internship
  • Writing projects (fiction or nonfiction)


  • Research interests and objectives would be significantly advanced by extended work in the holdings of Special Collections.
  • These grants are intended to cover travel costs for in-person research; they are not intended to cover reproduction fees.
  • Recipients are expected to present an informal work-in-progress presentation in-person, remotely, or asynchronously to the Smith College Special Collections staff during, or soon after, their residency.


  • Applicants must be 18 years or older.
  • Since these fellowships are intended to support research travel, applicants must live more than 50 miles from Northampton, Massachusetts.
  • Applicants do not need to be affiliated with an academic institution.


Successful applicants will:

  • submit a complete application
  • be interested in using materials from two or more repositories (College Archives, Sophia Smith Collection, Mortimer Rare Book Collection), or several collections within one repository. (Please visit the Search Special Collections website for guidance on finding materials in Special Collections.)
  • intend to use collections or materials unique to Smith College


Special Collections is committed to ensuring equal access for all visitors. Visit Reading Room Accessibility for information about accommodations and the library spaces. Researchers needing accommodations beyond what is listed are welcome to contact our staff at in advance of their visit.


  • Application due date for 2024 awards: Tuesday, November 28, 2023 by midnight EST
  • Awards announced: Friday, January 19, 2024
  • Awards to be used: March 1, 2024 to March 1, 2025

Questions may be sent to

Planning Your Trip

  • For information about getting to Smith and local accommodations, please read Visiting Smith
  • For information about visiting the Special Collections Reading Room, please read Visit Special Collections

Other Fellowship Opportunities

Special Collections is also a partner in the New England Research Fellowships Consortium (NERFC), which offers 8-week, $5,000 stipends to applicants whose research takes them to three or more of its member institutions. Please visit NERFC to learn more.