The Bibliographical Society of America’s New Scholars Program seeks to promote the work of scholars who are new to the field of bibliography, broadly defined to include any research that deals with the creation, production, publication, distribution, reception, transmission, and subsequent history of all textual artifacts (manuscript, print, digital, from clay and stone to laptops and iPads).
Each year, the New Scholars Program invites three scholars in the early stages of their careers to present fifteen-minute talks on their current, unpublished research in the field of bibliography as members of a panel at the annual meeting of the Society, which takes place in January. Those selected for the panel will receive an honorarium of $1,000, and will be invited to present their work as part of BSA’s 2021 annual meeting. (Please note that, in 2021, BSA will hold its annual meeting online, and that New Scholars will be asked to present their work virtually rather than in person.) Expanded versions of papers presented by the BSA New Scholars will be submitted to the editor of The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA) for publication, subject to peer review. Applicants should, therefore, submit new work that has not been accepted for publication elsewhere either in the form of a book chapter (or portion thereof) or article.
In keeping with the values of the Society, the New Scholars selection committee welcomes bibliographical scholarship pursuing new methods and new approaches, including applications from candidates applying bibliographical theory and principles to diverse materials and media. In addition, the committee welcomes scholarly submissions that embrace diverse, multicultural perspectives. The committee particularly encourages applications from those who have not previously published, lectured, or taught on bibliographical subjects.
The 2020 BSA New Scholars as well as their paper abstracts are listed on BSA’s website.
The committee encourages applications from all who are new to bibliography, including junior (i.e., untenured) academics, graduate students at the dissertation level, members of the book trade, librarians, curators, collectors, and others of any race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status. BSA seeks to promote equity, inclusion, and diversity within the field, and encourages work that offers new research on previously under- or misrepresented groups or individuals.
For this year’s application cycle, the selection committee will be accepting joint applications; joint applications require a single abstract and cover letter, along with individual CVs combined into a single PDF, as well as individual recommendation letters. The award will be divided among members of the joint application.
How to Apply
BSA uses Kaleidoscope to manage applications to our programs, and all candidates and recommenders are required to submit materials through that website. The application form requires:
1. A letter of application describing their background in bibliography, and incorporating a short abstract for their proposed paper as well as a brief overview of their proposed 15-minute talk, to be presented at BSA’s annual meeting;
2. A curriculum vitae;
3. A letter of recommendation.
Applicants will be prompted to supply the name and email address for a recommender, who will provide a confidential letter of recommendation. Recommenders should be an advisor or colleague who is familiar with the project, and who can speak to how the project will make a contribution to the field of bibliography. (N.B.: Doctoral candidates should request a recommendation from their dissertation director.)
International applicants are welcome to apply.
Mail-in applications and letters of recommendation are not accepted. If the application form is inaccessible for any reason, please contact BSA Executive Director Erin Schreiner at email@example.com and she will work to accommodate your needs.
The application deadline for consideration in 2021 is September 8, 2020.
Additional note: BSA held an information session for prospective applicants on Friday, June 26. Co-moderated by Barbara Heritage and Cynthia Gibson, the session provided general advice on the application process, and featured former BSA New Scholars Theresa Goodman, Megan Piorko, Simran Thadani, and Matthew Wills, and also included members of the New Scholars Selection Committee. Click here to watch the recording of this session on YouTube.
New Scholars applications are evaluated based on their eligibility, overall completeness, and quality, as well as the strength of letters of recommendation. Instructions provided in the BSA’s New Scholars application form are intended to help applicants prepare a competitive submission.
Those selected for the panel will receive an honorarium of $1,000, and will be invited to present their work as part of BSA’s 2021 annual meeting. Expanded versions of papers presented by the BSA New Scholars will be submitted to the editor of The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA) for publication, subject to peer review. Applicants should, therefore, submit new work that has not been accepted for publication elsewhere either in the form of a book chapter (or portion thereof) or article. They will also receive a complimentary one-year BSA membership, and may apply for travel funds to attend a subsequent BSA annual meeting within two years following their presentation to the Society.
Please note that honoraria paid to non-US citizens may be taxable, and a portion of the honorarium may be withheld for payment to the IRS. Winners of all nationalities will receive award packages with instructions on the forms required for payment.
Inquiries regarding the program may be directed to Barbara E. Heritage, Chair, New Scholars Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org.