Houghton Library Fellowships and Hofer Collecting Prize

Houghton Library supports research on its collections by scholars, poets, artists, and Harvard University undergraduate students through four annual fellowship programs: Visiting Fellowship, Undergraduate Fellowship, WPR Creative Fellowship, and New England Regional Consortium Fellowship. The library also sponsors the Philip Hofer Collecting Prize for Books or Art for currently enrolled Harvard undergraduate and graduate students.


Now accepting applications for 2022-2023. Deadline: January 14, 2022.


  • Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Fellowship

Now accepting applications (see link below). Deadline: February 15, 2021. 


Open to Harvard undergraduates only.  Due to the upcoming building renovation at Houghton Library, the Undergraduate Fellowship Program is on pause for 2019-2020. 


Now accepting applications. Deadline: February 18, 2022.


Apply for Harvard Library’s Pforzheimer Fellowships to work on an important Harvard Library project with a librarian or archivist this winter/spring 2022. Fellowships provide an opportunity for GSAS graduate students to learn about library careers, while advancing their own research skills—getting to know a library from the inside. For more information about the Pforzheimer Fellowships, including descriptions of the available projects, check the Harvard Library 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 2022-2023 fellowships is January 14, 2022.

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
  • two letters 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, 2022.


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.

Houghton Library