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Fellowships / Prizes

The Bancroft Library Study Award
The Gunther Barth Fellowships
The Reese Fellowship
The Hill-Shumate Book Collecting Prize
The Arthur J. Quinn Memorial Fellowships
The Magnes Fellowship in Jewish Studies


Application forms and submission instructions

Fellowships/Prizes application form may be obtained from The Bancroft Library Administrative Office (510-642-3782), or The Bancroft website:

Download Application Form
Download Cover Letter Form

Submit your application in writing to:
Bancroft Library Fellowship Committee
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Attn: Diana Vergil

Submit your application by email to:
dvergil@library.berkeley.edu

All applications and awards will be made within the framework of existing fellowship programs. For all questions please call Diana Vergil at (510)642-3782.

Awards will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of The Bancroft Library held in the spring of each year. Winners should plan to attend the Annual Meeting.


The Bancroft Library Study Award

Application deadline is the first Monday in February by 5pm

Eligibility for awards:
Kenneth E. and Dorothy V. Hill Fellowship Fund will provide one year-long fellowship to graduate students from any campus of the University of California who are conducting research that would benefit from the use of source materials in The Bancroft Library. The holders of the fellowships, designated as Bancroft Fellows, will conduct their research in The Bancroft Library during the one-year tenure of the fellowship and must therefore be registered during the academic year at Berkeley or their home campus under the inter-campus exchange program.

Students must be beyond the first year of graduate study; in the past, awards have generally gone to students who have passed their qualifying examinations, have exhausted other forms of support, and are engaged in dissertation research.

In addition, The Friends of The Bancroft Library will award $15,000 in fellowships for summer study to graduate students from any University of California campus in the form of stipends ranging from $1,000 (2-4 weeks residence) to $3,000 (6-8 weeks residence).

The applicant's statement of purpose must describe how the research project will make use of The Bancroft Library's collections, which include:

  • Manuscripts, printed materials, and oral histories on the history of California and western North America, as well as on aspects of English and continental European history
  • Writings of Mark Twain and other major American and European authors
  • History of science and technology
  • Rare books, and material on the history and art of the book
  • Pictorial collections
  • University archives

Applying for Awards:
Completed applications must include: statement of purpose; official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework; two letters of recommendation from instructors, and, for summer fellowships, the estimated length of time that the applicant would be in residence. The selection committee will balance all of these factors in determining the recipients of the full year fellowships as well as the summer fellowships.

All applications and awards will be made within the framework of existing fellowship programs. For all questions please call Diana Vergil at (510)642-3782.

Awards will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of The Bancroft Library held in the spring of each year.

List of Past Awardees


The Gunther Barth Fellowships

Application deadline is the first Monday in February by 5pm

The Gunther Barth Fellowships, established in memory of Gunther Barth, Professor of History, support short-term research projects (stipend up to $1500) at The Bancroft Library by formally enrolled college and university students. Such projects will generally be in the area of nineteenth-century history of the North American West, with preference given to special areas of interest to Professor Barth: the environment, exploration, immigrants, urban history, cultural landscapes, and built environments (such as city or memorial parks).

Eligibility for Awards:
The program is designed to support qualified enrolled researchers as defined above, regardless of academic degree.

Applying for Awards:
All awards are made by The Bancroft Library Fellowship Committee. Completed applications must include a statement of purpose, the scope of their proposed projects and how collections at The Bancroft Library will support their research. The application, along with documentary evidence of current enrollment at a college or university and two letters of recommendation must be sent by the first Monday in February.

All applications and awards will be made within the framework of existing fellowship programs. For all questions please call Diana Vergil at (510)642-3782.

Awards will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of The Bancroft Library held in the spring of each year.

List of Past Awardees


The Reese Fellowship

Application deadline is the first Monday in February by 5pm

The Reese Fellowships in American Bibliography and the History of the Book in the Americas have been established by the William Reese Company to encourage research on material printed in or related to the Americas. The fellowships will support individuals pursuing research in these areas at the institutions participating in the fellowship program.

Scope of Eligible Projects:
The program will support any research work relating to either systematic bibliography of any part of the Western Hemisphere, or any investigation of the history of the book in the Americas. Preference will be given to projects in materials printed prior to 1920. Projects may investigate any printed genre (e.g. books, prints, pamphlets, photographs intended for publication, broadsides, etc.). They may be purely bibliographical, or they may address any issues of ownership, readership, or use of printed materials. Support for work in manuscript collections will be limited to projects related to printed materials (e.g. annotations in books, publishers' business archives, etc.). They are not intended to support the editing of an author's papers.

Eligibility for Awards:
The program is designed to support qualified researchers regardless of academic degree.

Size of Awards:
The fellowship is offered in the amount of $2,000, to support a month of study. Awards may be used to defray travel expenses, living expenses, or research costs. It is assumed that the recipient of the award will be in residence for whatever term is set by the awarding institution.

Applying for Awards:
On the application form, applicants should describe the purpose and scope of the proposed project, detailing sufficient information about relevant holdings of The Bancroft Library that would support the project. Indication of qualification of the applicant to undertake the proposed work will help the review committee evaluate the proposal.

All awards are made by The Bancroft Library Fellowship Committee. No awards are made directly by William Reese Company. All applications and awards will be made within the framework of existing fellowship programs. If applying for a Reese fellowship at more than one institution in one year, this should be clearly stated in the application.

The applicant will conduct the research project within one year of notification. All recipients will be asked to write a brief report for The Bancroft Library and the William Reese Company on their research.

Awards will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of The Bancroft Library held in the spring of each year.

List of Past Awardees


The Hill-Shumate Book Collecting Prize

Application deadline is the first Monday in February by 5pm

Eligibility for Awards:
Prizes are open to currently enrolled undergraduates of UC Berkeley. Kenneth E. Hill and Albert Shumate established the prizes to encourage Berkeley students to collect books, to build their own libraries, to appreciate the special qualities of the printed word, and to read for pleasure and education. The Hill-Shumate Prize awards $1500 to the winning entry and $1000 for second place. In addition, all entrants will receive one-year gift memberships in the Friends of The Bancroft Library.

Applying for Awards:
To be considered for the Hill-Shumate Prizes, collections must include at least 50 items. Collections may cover specific authors or subjects, contemporary or historical; they may stress bibliographical features (edition, illustrations, binding, etc.); paperbacks and ephemeral material may be included as long as they significantly reflect the purposes of the collection; modern textbooks should not be submitted.

Judges will give special consideration to how well the collection reflects the student's stated goals and interests. Age, rarity, or monetary value of material in the collections submitted is less important than the thought, creativity, and persistence demonstrated in defining a collection and bringing it into being.

In addition to the application form, students are asked to submit:

  • A brief essay of up to 1000 words describing the nature and character of the collection, how and why it was assembled, when it was begun, its significance, and the future direction(s) the collection may take.
  • An informal list of the items in the collection, citing author, title, place and date of publication, type of binding, and condition. Annotations on the importance of individual pieces may be included.

After reviewing the essays and lists, the judges may ask finalists to bring selected items from their collections to The Bancroft Library for final judging.

All applications and awards will be made within the framework of existing fellowship programs. For all questions please call Diana Vergil at (510)642-3782.

Awards will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of The Bancroft Library held in the spring of each year.

List of Past Awardees


The Arthur J. Quinn Memorial Fellowships

Application deadline is the first Monday in February by 5pm

The Arthur J. Quinn Memorial Fellowships, established in memory of Arthur Quinn (1942-1997), Professor of Rhetoric, support research by doctoral candidates (i..e., those who shall have been advanced to candidacy by the time the fellowship is taken up) in the history of California from any recognized institution of higher education in the United States or abroad, with a preference for students carrying out research in The Bancroft Library.

Eligibility for awards:
The fellowship is designed to support qualified doctoral candidates as defined above.

Applying for Awards:
All awards are made by The Bancroft Library Fellowship Committee. Applicants should indicate the scope and purpose of their proposed projects and how collections at The Bancroft Library will support their research. The application form, along with documentary evidence of current enrollment at a college or university, and two letters of recommendation, must be sent by the first Monday of February.

All applications and awards will be made within the framework of existing fellowship programs. For all questions please call Diana Vergil at (510)642-3782.

Awards will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of The Bancroft Library held in the spring of each year.


The Magnes Fellowship in Jewish Studies

Application deadline is the first Monday in February by 5pm

The Magnes Fellowship in Jewish Studies was established to support for one academic year graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley, whose research would benefit from the use of source materials in the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, The Bancroft Library.

Eligibility for awards:
Recipients of the Fellowship, designated as Magnes Fellows, shall be graduate students enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, who demonstrate high academic distinction. Students must be beyond the first year of graduate study.

Applying for Awards:
Applicant's statement of purpose must describe how the research project will make use of the Magnes Collection. Selection committee, appointed by the Director of The Bancroft Library and including Jewish Studies Program faculty, will determine the recipient based on: statement of purpose, transcripts of undergraduate and graduate coursework, and two letters of recommendation from instructors.

All applications and awards will be made within the framework of existing fellowship programs. For all questions please call Diana Vergil at (510)642-3782.

Awards will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of The Bancroft Library held in the spring of each year.

List of Past Awardees


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