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Memorial Libraries Research Fellowship

Historic Deerfield offers a short-term visiting research fellowship to promote in-depth library and archival research in the Memorial Libraries, a library jointly administered with the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association (PVMA).

The opportunity is open to applicants engaged in scholarly research for a period of four to six weeks; graduate students doing dissertation research are encouraged to apply.  We welcome proposals relevant to the Libraries’ focus areas, which include American material culture and decorative arts, and the history of early New England, the Connecticut River Valley, and western Massachusetts.

Historic Deerfield’s Henry N. Flynt Library contains approximately 23,000 printed volumes, numerous periodicals, and manuscripts with strengths in the decorative arts, architecture, and material culture of early New England.  Collections of note include the Stephen L. Wolf Collection of books on paint, varnish, and the history of color; the Epaphras Hoyt Sketch-Book Collection (17 journals of a Deerfield resident’s thoughts and experiences from 1820-1849); and an extensive architectural pattern book collection.

The PVMA Library collections document the life and thought of Deerfield from the close of the 17th century to the 20th.  The library’s 24,000 books, many with histories of local ownership, include literature, sermons, history, travel, biography, and works on agriculture, animal husbandry, and domestic economy.  The library is also rich in material on families and local history that includes the minutiae of daily life with an extensive manuscript collection representing more than 150 families from the Deerfield area and western Massachusetts.  The collection includes more than 600 account books kept by merchants, professionals, farmers, craftspeople, and business firms; nearly 200 diaries; personal correspondence; and records of the town of Deerfield and voluntary societies.

Applicants may search our website for more information, subject guides to both collections, finding aids, and a link to the online catalog of the Flynt Library.  More information on the PVMA Library’s holdings can be accessed here.

Historic Deerfield’s museum collection has over 30,000 objects made or used in America between 1650 and 1850.  Applicants are encouraged to search the museum’s database for relevant objects.

Deerfield, a scenic New England town, is located in western Massachusetts one hour north of Hartford, CT.  The mile-long Main Street was laid out in 1671 and is still lined with 18th- and 19th-century houses, most on their original sites.  The area is home to many historic museums and houses, educational institutions, cultural centers, and state parks.

Applications are due April 15, 2024. Selected fellows will be notified by early June for residencies beginning September 1, 2024 through May 30, 2025.

For more information, please contact Jeanne Solensky, Librarian, at jsolensky@historic-deerfield.org.

Stipend:  $2,500 for four weeks; $3,750 for six weeks. Depending on the time of the residency, fellow housing may be available in a newly restored 18th-century house within walking distance of the library.


  • Fellows are expected to be onsite at least 4 days per week.

  • Fellows will be asked to present a work-in-progress presentation to the Historic Deerfield community during their residency.

  • Fellows will be asked to contribute a blog post or a few social media posts about interesting sources or research findings in the library during or soon after their fellowship.

  • Fellows will be asked to submit a report following their residency.


Selection is based on the applicant’s scholarly qualifications, the significance of the project, and the suitability of the collections to support the proposed research.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or already hold the J-1 or F-1 visa and a U.S. taxpayer identification number.


The deadline is April 15, 2024.  Complete our online application with the following materials:

  •   Description of proposed research project (2 double-spaced pages maximum)
  •   Bibliography of sources and objects you wish to examine (2 pages maximum)
  •   Current CV (3 pages maximum)
  •   One letter of recommendation about the research project; for graduate students, this must be from your thesis or dissertation advisor.

2023/2024 Research Fellows

  • Rebecca Edwards, Professor of History, Rochester Institute of Technology.  Book project: “Exploring Deerfield’s Deaf History.”
  • Allison Fulton, Ph.D. candidate, University of California, Davis.  Dissertation: “Disciplining Craft: The Gendered Making of Nineteenth-Century American Science.”

Historic Deerfield is committed to a policy of Equal Opportunity Employment and nondiscrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, marital status, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, age, disability, veteran status, or any other classification protected under state or federal law.

Fellows’ housing is in the Creelman House, a newly renovated space with a full kitchen, two shared bathrooms and air-conditioned dorm-style bedrooms (singles) furnished with bed, desk, chair, lamp, shelving and closet space. WiFi internet access is available. Each Fellow has their own room.

A washer and a dryer are available onsite.  A car is recommended; off-street parking is available.