Students are invited to apply for one-semester, or summer fellowship with the Lafayette libraries’ Special Collections & Archives.

The Friends of Skillman Library Fellowships provide hands-on learning opportunities intended to build research skills and understanding of archives, rare books, and special collections. Through sustained focus on bibliographic or archival material, the activity will focus on experiential projects with original historical sources held in Skillman Library.

End products of fellowships can be exhibits or collections, either physical or digital, through curatorial and interpretive work. Other types of projects that make use of the unique collections of the college may also be considered. While we are open to projects concerning all types of topics and interests, we prioritize projects that help to surface the experiences of underrepresented groups; and/or prepare students for careers in archives, libraries, and museums.

More information

    • Fellowships are offered during the regular fall and spring semesters, or during the summer for 4-8 weeks depending on the project.
    • Students are expected to spend approximately 5 hours per week on their project throughout the course of the fellowship.
    • Stipends will be $1200 per semester for academic-year fellowships; stipends for summer fellowships will be variable depending on length and students’ needs. On-campus housing may also be covered for summer student fellows.
    Travel to libraries and museums in the region can also be covered by the funding.
    • Students will be expected to submit a report at the end of the fellowship, in addition to completing their fellowship project.

Potential projects could include:
Marquis de Lafayette for the 21st Century: Contribute research for exhibitions related to Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette, and consider how Lafayette related items can inform contemporary conversations in politics, the concept of revolution, and the establishment of more equitable societies.
Beyond the Biography of a College: Work within the archives of Lafayette College and examine physical and digital historically significant documents pertaining to student groups and student experiences and place them in expanded historical contexts.
History of Science and Observation: Investigate the library’s collection of rare books related to natural science to determine new ways to view these items as textual artifacts capable of informing larger questions about race and gender, and to highlight any absences, gaps, and silences that exist in these materials.
Histories of the Lehigh Valley: Explore the library’s physical and digital collections pertaining to local histories of Easton and its surrounding region.
Exploring Digital Collections: Make use of the library’s digital holdings (including images, text objects, maps, oral histories, and other items) in the Lafayette Digital Repository.

Application process
Students interested in applying for a fellowship should first contact Thomas Lannon, Director of Special Collections & Archives, to discuss their interests and identify a possible project.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. However because the number of fellowships is limited to 2 per semester, students should apply as soon as possible.

After discussing their project with the Director of Special Collections, students should submit an application including:

    • A personal statement about why the student is interested in the fellowship, including any specifics about how the fellowship would advance their future academic or career goals. (250 words maximum)
    • A description of the project the student intends to work on. If applicable, include a description of how the fellowship project can have a positive impact on the college, including any possible connections with the diversity, equity and inclusion goals of the college; or possible connections to the curriculum, co-curricular activities, or student life. (250 words maximum)
    • If applicable, budget needed in addition to the stipend to complete the project, including travel, materials, summer housing, etc (though funds may also be requested in the middle of the project if needs arise).