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Boston Medical Library Fellowships in the History of Medicine at the Countway Library, 2018-2019

The Boston Medical Library Fellowships in the History of Medicine at the Countway Library

Through the Boston Medical Library, the Center for the History of Medicine offers annual fellowships to support research in the history of medicine.  The mission of the Boston Medical Library, incorporated in 1877, is "to be a Library for the dissemination of medical knowledge, the promotion of medical education and scholarship, and the preservation and celebration of medical history, and thereby to advance the quality of health and heathcare of the people."  Support for the fellowship program is provided by the BML's Abel Lawrence Peirson Fund.

Established in 1960 as a result of an alliance between the Boston Medical Library and the Harvard Medical Library, the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine houses the combined collections of its two partners and is the largest academic medical library in the United States.  It serves Harvard's academic needs and the constituency of the BML which includes the other three medical schools in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and practicing physicians. The Countway Library maintains a collection of approximately 700,000 volumes.  Its Center for the History of Medicine holds 250,000 books and journals published before 1920 and its printed holdings include one of the most complete medical periodical collections, an extensive collection of European medical texts issued between the 15th and 20th centuries, and excellent holdings of pre-1800 English and pre-1900 American imprints.  The book collection is strong in virtually every medical discipline and is particularly rich in popular medicine, medical education, public health, Judaica, and travel accounts written by physicians.  The Countway's collection of archives and manuscripts, approximately 20 million items, is the largest of its kind in the United States. The manuscript collection includes the personal and professional papers of many prominent American physicians, especially those who practiced and conducted research in the New England region, or who were associated with Harvard Medical School, such Grete Bibring, Maxwell Finland, Henry K. Beecher, Walter Bradford Cannon, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Collins Warren, Stanley Cobb, and Benjamin Waterhouse.  The Countway Library also serves as the institutional archives for the Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.  The printed, manuscript, and archives holdings are complemented by an extensive print and photograph collection, artwork, and the collections of the Warren Anatomical Museum.  Established in 1847, the museum houses an exceptional collection of medical artifacts, pathological specimens, anatomical models, and instruments.     

The Boston Medical Library Fellowships in the History of Medicine provide stipends of up to $5,000 to support travel, lodging, and incidental expenses for a flexible period between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.  Besides conducting research, the fellow will submit a report on the results of his/her residency and may be asked to present a seminar or lecture at the Countway Library.  The fellowship proposal should demonstrate that the Countway Library has resources central to the research topic. Preference will be given to applicants who live beyond commuting distance of the Countway.  The application, outlining the proposed project (proposal should not exceed five single-spaced pages), length of residence, materials to be consulted, and a budget with specific information on travel, lodging, and research expenses, should be submitted, along with a curriculum vitae and two letters of recommendation, by February 15, 2018.

Applications should be sent to:

Boston Medical Library Fellowships
Center for the History of Medicine
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine
10 Shattuck Street
Boston, MA 02115.  

Electronic submissions of applications and supporting materials may be sent to: chm@hms.harvard.edu.

Awards will be announced in April 2018.