Houghton Library Visiting Fellowships and the Hofer Collecting Prize

Applicants for Houghton Library Visiting Fellowships and the Philip Hofer Collecting Prize for Books or Art should submit their applications by clicking below.

For more information on all of Houghton's fellowships, see our Grants and Fellowships page. For more information and to apply for an undergraduate fellowship at Houghton, visit the Harvard Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program (SHARP) page. For more information and to apply for the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium award, visit NERFC.

The Creative Fellowship program invites poets, writers, translators, visual artists, composers, and scholars to propose creative projects that would benefit from the resources available in the Woodberry Poetry Room.

The fellowship includes: a stipend of $5,000, access to the Woodberry Poetry Room and its collections, and research support from the WPR curatorial staff. Thanks to the generosity of the T. S. Eliot Foundation, the fellowship recipient will also receive a one-week residency to work on their project at the T. S. Eliot House in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The residency may be scheduled between May-October of the fellowship year, but does not have to coincide with your research visit to Harvard. 

There is no minimum-stay requirement for your Harvard visit. The fellow's Harvard ID is active for one year, allowing for a great deal of flexibility in terms of scheduling. It is hoped that the $5,000 stipend (which is the comprehensive honorarium for individual and collaborative recipients) will help to offset travel and lodging costs.

For additional information, please visit the WPR Creative Fellowship website.

Houghton Library is Harvard’s principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The Visiting Fellowship Program offers scholars at all stages of their careers funding to pursue projects that require in-depth research on the Library’s holdings.

The application deadline for 2023-2024 fellowships is January 20, 2023.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to save applications in progress; do not submit your application until it is complete.

Applicants are required to provide the following:

  • a project proposal
  • a preliminary list of Houghton Library collection materials that will likely be consulted, including HOLLIS catalog call numbers and permalinks
  • a curriculum vitae
  • one letter of reference


Please note: Other than the Katharine F. Pantzer Jr. Fellowship in Descriptive Bibliography, the specific fellowship best suited to an applicant's research will be determined by the Selection Committee.

Recipients will be notified by April 1, 2023.

The Philip Hofer prize is awarded each year to a student or students whose collections of books or works of art best reflect the traditions of breadth, coherence, and imagination exemplified by Philip Hofer, A.B.'21, L.H.D. '67. Hofer was the founder and first curator of the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts at Houghton Library and secretary of the Fogg Art Museum.

Contest entries are judged on the purpose, consistency, and quality of the collection, and the presentation of the essay and bibliography. The cost and rarity of collection items and the size of the collection are not criteria.

The panel of judges reserves the right to make awards only to contestants whose collections are considered to be of exceptional quality. The first prize brings an award of $3,000, second prize $1,500, and third prize $750.

Winners will also be invited to participate in an awards ceremony in April and to lend representative books or works of art to an exhibition at the library.

The prize, which is to encourage student interest in collecting, was established by Melvin R. Seiden, A.B. '52, L.L.B. '55.

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