The American Trust for the British Library and the Virginia Fox Stern Center for the History of the Book in the Renaissance at Johns Hopkins University 2023–2024 Transatlantic Fellowship 

The American Trust for the British Library (ATBL) Transatlantic Fellowship Program is conceived as an integral part of the ATBL’s mission to promote and support the work of the British Library, one of the world’s greatest research libraries. The ATBL seeks to promote transatlantic understanding through related events, lectures, and discussion in the United States and within the United Kingdom, as well as providing incremental financial and in-kind gift support for the British Library’s collection, preservation, and outreach activities.

The ATBL’s Transatlantic Fellowship Program supports research projects that make use of collections in any department in the British Library as well as those housed with a partner institution in the United States. The term “transatlantic” refers not to the subject matter of a Fellow’s proposed project (though projects with transatlantic subjects are always welcomed), but instead to the transatlantic collaboration between the ATBL, on behalf of the collections of the British Library, and the holdings of an American partner organization.

The Program especially targets graduate students, recent PhDs, early career scholars, adjunct faculty, independent scholars, librarians, or curatorial staff who otherwise do not have access to departmental research funds.

The 2023–2024 ATBL and the Virginia Fox Stern Center Transatlantic Fellowship Program

This Transatlantic Fellowship focuses on pre-modern and early modern books and manuscripts scholarship.

This 2023–2024 Transatlantic Fellowship is designed to support at least four weeks of research between both the British Library and the Virginia Fox Stern Center for the History of the Book in the Renaissance, located in the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University, with at least one week of research time at each institution. A projected schedule of study will be outlined as part of the Fellowship application. The successful applicant, hailing from any academic discipline, will propose a research project that makes equal use of primary source material found in any collection of the British Library as well as in the Virginia Fox Stern Center.

For the Transatlantic Fellowship Program, collections intended for consultation should be those not currently digitized by either organization, thereby requiring the applicant’s in-person use of the holdings. We appreciate that some projects concerned with object materiality may require in-person consultation of holdings currently digitized. In this instance, we ask applicants to explain the need to conduct on-site research using already digitized resources in their research proposal.

Applicants may wish to reach out to reference and research staff at both the British Library and at the Houghton Library prior to application to determine the feasibility of proposed collection access. For subject area expertise inquiries at the British Library, please consult the Library’s expertise page. For general field inquiries at the British Library, please consult the Library’s reference contact information. For inquiries regarding the collections at the Virginia Fox Stern Center, please reach out to Earle Havens at

The Stern Center’s website will be launched in Fall of 2022. In the meantime, you may begin to explore the collections on the Sheridan Libraries’ rare book page. Researchers using Johns Hopkins University’s online library catalogue should restrict their searches to the three rare book libraries: the John Work Garrett Library, George Peabody Library, and MSEL Special Collections. 


The amount of the Fellowship will be $5,000 USD and will be awarded by the ATBL following the successful Fellow’s confirmation of research appointments at both the British Library, and at the American institution. The Fellowship is open to doctoral candidates or post-doctoral researchers 18 years or older, resident in the US or abroad. 

In addition to the $5,000 USD award, the Fellow will join the ATBL as a complimentary one-year Library Fellow for the calendar year following completion of the Fellowship Program. 

Fellows will be required to produce a brief written report (750 words) at the conclusion of the research period, geared towards a general knowledge audience, that will be published and promoted on the ATBL’s website and shared with the Virginia Fox Stern Center. The Fellow will have the opportunity to present on the research completed on a designated ATBL panel at the Modern Language Association’s (MLA’s) annual conference and at the ATBL’s Annual General Meeting.

The ATBL-Virginia Fox Stern Center Transatlantic Fellow also has the opportunity to organize a sponsored panel at the annual Renaissance Society of America (RSA) conference on the topic of the Fellow’s choosing. NB: the Fellow will be responsible for organizing the panel and meeting all RSA submission deadlines, in consultation with Earle Havens, director of the Virginia Fox Stern Center.

Fellows may also be asked if they wish to provide additional multi-media content (i.e., brief interviews or short summary copy) for the ATBL website and for newsletter publications, though this is not a condition of Fellowship acceptance. Partner organizations may, at their discretion, provide other opportunities for Fellows to participate in the life of the organization or showcase the Fellow’s work.


The Fellowship is open to graduate students at a doctoral level or post-doctoral or equivalent experience applicants 18 years or older, resident in the US or abroad.  Fellowships will not be open to students or faculty at Johns Hopkins University.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The American Trust for the British Library and its Transatlantic Fellowship Partner Organizations do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, height, weight, physical or mental ability, veteran status, military obligations, and marital status when considering Fellowship applicants. Any demographic information related to the above may be voluntarily provided by the Fellowship applicant on the online application form, but this information will be collected solely for internal recordkeeping and will neither be available or accessible to the review committees of the American Trust for the British Library and Partner Organizations, nor be considered in relation to the applicant’s submitted materials as part of their formal Fellowship application.

The review committees of both the American Trust for the British Library and the Virginia Fox Stern Center will abide by a conflicts of interest policy which recuses review committee members from evaluating candidates with whom members directly work or share current institutional affiliations, or of whom members have direct and personal knowledge. All applications will be assessed in relation to the applicant’s demonstrated connections between the proposed research topic and the collections to be consulted at both the British Library and the Virginia Fox Stern Center according to the criteria specified by each individual Fellowship Program.

How to Apply

Applicants should apply via the application portal (accessed via button below) and by emailing noted application materials to (see instructions below).

All applications must include the following:

  1. Cover letter. 
  2. Curriculum vitae.
  3. Research Proposal of 1,000 – 1,200 words.  Research proposals must indicate the collections at both the British Library and the Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University to be consulted.
  4. Two confidential academic letters of recommendation, emailed directly to, that speak specifically to the import and significance of the research project proposed in relation to the respective institutional collections. Applicants may use digital dossier services (such as Interfolio, ChronicleVitae, or others) to submit letters of recommendation if desired. Recommenders or dossier submissions MUST include the name of the applicant in the subject line of their email.
  5. Proposed research schedule.
  6. One-page bibliography specifying materials to be consulted both at the British Library and at the Virginia Fox Stern Center.

Except for the letters of recommendation, the potential Fellow must upload all application materials to the application portal as ONE pdf file.

The Fellow’s application PDF should be entitled as follows: [FIRST INITIAL][LAST NAME]_ATBL2023

The email subject line should be ATBL_VFC_2023.

The deadline for submission of a completed application is January 15, 2023. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered for the Fellowship.

The review of applications will be conducted jointly by the ATBL and the Virginia Fox Stern Center for the History of the Book in the Renaissance at Johns Hopkins University.

Notification of award will be emailed by the end of April 2023.

The Fellow will be responsible for securing housing as well as for coordinating the research visits with both the British Library and the Virginia Fox Stern Center.

Research must be completed at both organizations within one calendar year of the date of receipt of Fellowship funds.

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