The Library Company of Philadelphia Fellowships Program

The Library Company’s fellowships program, founded in 1987, supports collections-based research in the humanities and fosters intellectual community. Fellows participate in the Philadelphia region’s vibrant intellectual life while conducting research in the print, graphics, manuscript, and art and artifacts collections held by the Library Company and the significant archival resources held by our fellowships program partner, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, located in adjacent quarters on Locust Street.

Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731, the Library Company now holds over half a million rare books and graphics that are capable of supporting research in a variety of fields and disciplines relating to the history of the United States in its Atlantic world context in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The holdings, which continue to grow, include the nation’s second largest collection of pre-1801 American imprints, one of the largest collections of 18th-century British books in the United States, and much more. Information about the subject strengths of the collections can be found here.

Several categories of research support are available: long-term postdoctoral fellowships, long-term dissertation fellowships, and short-term fellowships. Some fellowships support research in particular areas of study (e.g., African American history, women’s history, medical history, economic history, visual culture) while others are open to applicants who wish to draw on any area of the Library’s Company’s collections.

We have awarded more than 1,200 fellowships over the program’s history and our many program alums have published more than 350 books and hundreds of articles that draw on their fellowship research. Visit our YouTube page to view archived public programs, many of which feature alums of our fellowships program, and visit our Events page to learn about upcoming programs.

Image: Chestnut Street and Fifteenth Street. City of Philadelphia (detail). Pen and ink, graphite, gouache, and watercolor. Signed D.K., May 1849. Library Company of Philadelphia, Graphic Arts Dept., drawings & watercolors – K [P.2008.34.15]


Generous support for the Library Company’s Fellowships Program has been provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, the Barra Foundation, the McLean Contributionship, William Reese Company, the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and the following individuals: Davida Tenenbaum Deutsch, Drew Gilpin Faust, Beatrice Garvan, the late William H. Helfand, Louise M. and the late Peter J. Kelly, Randall M. Miller, Steven J. Peitzman, Laura Rosenberg, Jessica Rosenberg, Leah Rosenberg, John C. and Christine K. Van Horne, and numerous additional individual donors.