Note: Normally, the deadline for applications for the Smithsonian Libraries Resident Scholar Programs is January 15 for appointments during the following academic year (September 1 through August 31).  Due to the pandemic closure (March 2020 – June 2022), however, we are currently hosting fellows deferred from 2019-2021 and not accepting applications for the 2024 academic year (September 1, 2023 – August 31, 2024).

The Baird Society Resident Scholar Program, funded by the many annual donors to the Smithsonian Libraries, was established to support the study of some of the Smithsonian Libraries’ most unique and valuable holdings: our rare books and Special Collections. Stipends of $3,500 per month for up to six months are available for individuals working on a topic relating to these collections. These collections are located in in Washington, DC and New York City, and include: 19th- and early 20th-century World’s Fair printed materials, natural history rare books in the Cullman Library (pre-1840 works on topics such as botany, zoology, travel & exploration, museums & collecting, geology, and anthropology), air and space history in the National Air and Space Museum Library’s Ramsey Room for the study of ballooning, rocketry, and aviation from the late 18th to early 20th centuries, and much more.

Scholars are expected to be in residence at the Smithsonian full-time during their award tenures (plans to be away should be discussed in advance, if possible), to devote full-time effort to the research proposed, and to be regular users of Smithsonian Libraries special collections. The scholar will have access to the Smithsonian Libraries’ other collections and patron privileges such as interlibrary loan services.

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