Approximately 30 visiting doctoral students and candidates will have the opportunity to conduct research in Southern studies at the Wilson Special Collections Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the next three years. A grant of $252,500 from the Watson-Brown Foundation will underwrite a new graduate fellowships pilot program, providing both financial and intellectual support.
Wilson Library is the home for rare print and unique archival materials at Carolina’s University Libraries. Its five collections include some of the world’s most important historical records and documents related to the American South.
The grant will fund two types of awards. Pre-dissertation prospectus awards will allow doctoral students to spend a month at Wilson Library exploring resources related to their dissertation topics. Dissertation research awards will make it possible for doctoral candidates to spend up to three months at Wilson Library to consult collection materials.
“This program will provide an intellectually intense and archivally creative experience that will connect fellows not just to our historic collections but also to the faculty and other rich resources available at Carolina for the study of the American South,” said María R. Estorino, associate University librarian for special collections and director of Wilson Library.
“Putting these collections at the fingertips of emerging scholars will lead to remarkable discoveries and a more complete understanding of the South’s past and present,” said Estorino.
The grant will add to a growing program of fellowships and grants for research and creativity at Wilson Library. These include summer visiting research fellowships and research grants for undergraduate creative artists.
Graduate fellows will become part of a community of fellows at Wilson Library and at the University. They will present their work as part of the Library’s Research Forum.
The grant will also support Wilson Library in organizing a capstone symposium on emerging trends in Southern studies.
The first group of approximately 10 fellows will be in residence in Chapel Hill in 2019. Application materials and information about requirements and deadlines will be available in early 2019 on the Wilson Special Collections Library website.