Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Spring 2014 Newsletter

Fellowship program to benefit from anniversary endowment

Reading Room

The Reading Room at the Harry Ransom Center.
Photo by Pete Smith.

During the fellowship program's 25th-anniversary year, the Center will launch a campaign for the establishment of an endowment to support the growth of the fellowship program, with increased dissertation fellowship funding as a priority.

The Center will enlist former fellows and other supporters to raise the initial $25,000 needed to establish the anniversary fellowship endowment. Additional gifts and grants will be added to the endowment, building a steady stream of support that will ensure the program's growth and continued success.

Dissertation fellowships were introduced to the Center's fellowship program in 2004 to encourage archival research among a new generation of scholars. Until that point, the fellowship program provided funding only for post-doctoral research. The $1,500 dissertation fellowship stipends help students defray the costs associated with traveling to and residing in Austin. Dissertation fellows also receive office space at the Ransom Center and borrowing privileges at The University of Texas at Austin general libraries. The fellowship stipends and associated support provide young scholars with an opportunity they might not otherwise be able to afford: a dedicated time and space to work with the Center's extensive collections, enriching their dissertations and shaping their future scholarship.

According to Danielle Brune Sigler, Ransom Center Associate Director for Research and Programs, the number of dissertation fellowship applications has grown dramatically. "In the first year of the dissertation fellowship program, we received 21 applications. Last year we received nearly four times as many. This increase in the number of applications has been accompanied by a concomitant increase in quality. Each year we are faced with the unenviable task of rejecting highly qualified applicants with a compelling need to visit the Center."

Establishing an endowment with dissertation fellowships as a priority would increase the number of awards the Center could support each year. Sigler noted, "Dissertation fellowships are fundamental not only to supporting our mission but to fostering the appreciation of archival research in new generations of scholars. These scholars will not only publish their work, but they will take their passion for research into the classroom as they assume teaching positions at universities across the country and around the world. We hope former fellows, who have benefitted from the program and share this passion, will make an investment in the program to ensure that we can provide the support necessary for the next generation of scholars."

If you would like to make a gift to support the fellowship endowment, please contact Margie Rine at 512-471-9643 or margierine@austin.utexas.edu.  

The fellowship program is sustained by the generous support of its existing endowments and annual sponsors:

American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS), British Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, Henriette F. and Clarence L. Cline Memorial Endowment Fund, Fleur Cowles Endowment, Robert De Niro Endowed Fund, Dorot Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Jewish Studies, David Douglas Duncan Endowment for Photojournalism, Filmscript Acquisitions Endowment, Erle Stanley Gardner Endowment for Mystery Studies, Hobby Family Foundation Endowment, Alfred A. and Blanche W. Knopf Fellowship, The Limited Editions Club Endowment, Norman Mailer Endowed Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment, Marlene Nathan Meyerson Photography Fellowship Endowment, The Carl H. Pforzheimer Endowment, Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, Warren Skaaren Film Research Endowment, C. P. Snow Memorial Fund, South Central Modern Language Association (SCMLA), The University of Texas at Austin Office of Graduate Studies, Frederic D. Weinstein Memorial Fellowship in Twentieth-Century American Literature, and Woodward and Bernstein Endowment.

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