Primary Sources Teaching Fellowships


Fellowship awards overview

The Primary Sources Teaching Fellowship supports Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) students interested in learning about teaching with primary sources such as

  • Archives
  • Manuscripts
  • Rare books
  • Photographs
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Born digital materials
  • Digitized materials

And interested in teaching student groups including

  • K-12
  • College
  • University
  • Community audiences

Up to eight fellowships will be awarded to graduate students in one of North Carolina’s five public Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) programs. The fellowship includes

  • A five-week online summer training program
  • A three-day in-person workshop at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Placement in an internship at a cultural heritage institution local to the fellow
  • Award of
    • $5,000 for fellowship participation
    • $3,500 stipend for an internship

MLIS students from historically underrepresented groups in the library and archives professions are especially encouraged to apply. 

Fellowship Eligibility

  • Must be currently enrolled as an MLIS student in one of the following programs:
    • Appalachian State University’s Department of Leadership and Educational Studies
    • North Carolina Central University’s School of Library and Information Sciences
    • East Carolina University’s Library Science Program within the Department of Interdisciplinary Professions
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science
    • University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Department of Library and Information Science
  • Demonstrate an interest in teaching with primary sources either through past or current educational/professional experiences, or future aspiration
  • Agree to:
    • Submit a 500-750 word personal statement
    • Commit to a five-week online training program, which includes
      • Two (2) one-hour-and-fifteen-minute-long online meetings a week
      • Online discussions of topics and readings
      • Online Q&A sessions with librarians, archivists, and other teaching professionals from around the United States
    • Commit to a three-day in-person workshop at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which includes
      • Travel funding
      • Professional social and peer networking events
      • Hands-on work with primary source materials
      • Devising a lesson plan for how to teach students with primary source materials
    • Commit to a paid internship at a cultural heritage institution regionally close to you during the fall semester after the training program (equivalent to 15 hours a week for 12 weeks)
    • Participate in the intellectual life of the fellowship program, which includes
      • Active discussions of topics and readings with other fellows and participants
      • A public presentation of your lesson plan
      • An anonymous assessment of the Fellowship program

Application instructions

All application materials must be received by midnight ET on January 31. Submit them electronically via Interfolio using the Primary Sources Teaching Fellowship Application.

The online application requires the submission of the following supporting materials:

  • Personal Statement: 500-750 words describing:
    • How learning about teaching with primary sources will impact your intended career path
    • The kinds of students/users you hope to teach
    • The kinds of primary sources you hope to work with
    • The kinds of settings in which you hope to teach
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • A list of 2-5 libraries, archives, special collections, and other cultural heritage institutions regionally close to you where you would be interested in working as a paid intern
    • Please list them in order of preference
    • Please include 2-3 sentences explaining your interest in each institution
    • These may be institutions where you have existing connections or institutions where you aspire to work but have no existing connections
  • One letter of recommendation from a faculty member or library/archive supervisor
  • A brief letter from your program’s Director of Graduate Study verifying your current standing as a student

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated interest in teaching in libraries, archives, special collections, or other cultural heritage institutions, including K-12, college, university, and community settings
  • Demonstrated potential to teaching diverse groups with empathy, creativity, and critical approaches
  • Demonstrated understanding of one or more types of primary sources (including manuscripts, archives, rare books, ephemera, photography, audio and video, born digital materials, and digitized materials)

Priority will go to applicants who do not have other opportunities for learning to teach with primary sources.


  • December 1: Applications open for electronic submissions via Interfolio
  • January 31: All application materials are due by midnight ET
  • March 31: Successful applicants are notified by email
  • May 13 – June 14, 2024: All fellows attend the online training program
  • June 19 – 21, 2024: All fellows attend the in-person workshop
  • August 1 – December 31: 12-week internship placement

Awarding of funds

Fellowship awards will be disbursed after the start of the online training program.


UNC Libraries and the Louis Round Wilson Special Collection Library gratefully acknowledge the generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, which makes our Primary Sources Teaching Fellowship Program possible.

Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Emily Kader via