Two main categories of scholarships are available: those awarded by Rare Book School and those conducted through partner organizations. The 2017 scholarship cycle has now ended. Applications for the next cycle of RBS-awarded scholarships will be available in early September 2018. Participation in the scholarship program implies acceptance of the scholarship Terms and Conditions.

RBS-Awarded Scholarships

There are several types of scholarships awarded by RBS each fall, all of which are conducted through a single application process. Applicants who submit a completed application by the 1 November deadline will be considered for all of the awards for which they are eligible. Scholarships are awarded without reference to admission to any particular course. Once a student is admitted to an RBS course, the scholarship award may be redeemed. Applications for first-time and returning RBS students will be read by separate committees.

Scholarship recipients will be announced in early January. Scholarship recipients must claim their award within two years (e.g., scholarships awarded in January 2018 must be claimed by 31 December 2019). For more details about the scholarship program, see the Frequently Asked Questions page.

The following scholarships are awarded by RBS Scholarship Committees:

Directors’ Scholarship

  • Awarded to students and professionals in all fields that intersect with RBS course content
  • Preference given to applicants early in their careers who have not previously attended RBS
  • Approximately twenty awards given each year

William T. Buice III Scholarship

  • Awarded to returning RBS students with demonstrable financial need, including those who have received RBS scholarships in the past
  • Preference given to applicants from smaller institutions and those serving underrepresented populations
  • Approximately ten awards given each year

ABAA Southeast Chapter Scholarship

  • Awarded to an early-career bookseller doing business within the chapter’s coverage area
  • One award given each year

ASECS Scholarship

  • Awarded to current ASECS members who have not previously attended RBS
  • Up to three awards given each year

Atlas Systems Scholarship

  • Awarded to a current or aspiring special collections librarian or archivist who is interested in the use of digital technologies in support of special collections librarianship
  • One award given each year

Bibliographical Society of America Scholarship

  • Awarded to students and professionals working on a bibliographical project that intersects with and could be informed by RBS course content
  • Preference given to applicants early in their careers
  • One award given each year

Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia (BSUVA) Scholarship

  • Awarded to students and professionals in all fields that intersect with RBS course content
  • Approximately five awards given each year

Caxton Club Scholarship

  • Awarded to an individual living in the Midwest with professional interests in bibliography, book history, or the book arts who has not previously attended RBS
  • Preference given to applicants early in their careers who are ineligible for funding or financial aid through their places of employment
  • One award given each year

James Davis Scholarship

  • Awarded to an applicant who displays an especially strong record of good citizenship and stewardship in the bibliographical community, and who has not previously attended RBS
  • One award given each year

NEH-GBHI Scholarship

  • Awarded to members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, or those working in organizations that primarily serve such communities
  • Eligible applicants may be students or professionals in any field that intersects with RBS course content
  • Successful applicants will demonstrate how they intend to share the knowledge learned from RBS course content with their colleagues and peers
  • 14 awards may be given in the 2018 scholarship cycle

New SHARP Scholar Bursary

  • Awarded to current graduate students and recent masters/Ph.D. recipients
  • Preference is given to applicants from outside the U.S.
  • One award given each year

RBS Scholarship Committees

The 2017 Scholarship Committee comprises: Richard Ring, chair (Head Curator & Librarian, Watkinson Library, Trinity College); Jeremy Dibbell (Director of Communications and Outreach, Rare Book School); Kristi Eastin (Associate Professor of Classics and Humanities, California State University, Fresno); Jerushia Graham (Art Foundations Instructor, Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur); Miriam Intrator (Special Collections Librarian, Ohio University Libraries); and Rebecca Romney (Honey & Wax Booksellers). The members of the 2017 Buice Scholarship Committee are: Julia Blakely (Special Collections Cataloger, Smithsonian Libraries); Sam Fore (Assistant Director, Harlan Crow Library); Ethan Henderson (Curator of Rare Books, Georgetown University Library); and Laura Perrings (Program Manager, Rare Book School). The members of the 2017 NEH-GBHI Scholarship Committee are: Vance Byrd (Associate Professor of German, Grinnell College ); Agnieszka Czeblakow (Rare Books Librarian, University of Texas San Antonio); Linda Isaac (Special Collections Cataloging Librarian, University of Miami); Amanda Nelsen (Director of Programs & Education, Rare Book School); Curtis Small (Senior Assistant Librarian, University of Delaware); and Sandra Tharp-Thee (Digital Inclusion Corps, Oklahoma Department of Libraries & National Digital Inclusion Alliance)

Outside Scholarship Opportunities

Several other bibliographical organizations generously offer scholarships towards RBS course tuition. Each organization has its own criteria and selection process; however, eligibility may be contingent on admission to an RBS course. Applicants will need to refer to the providing organization’s website for full details.

ABAA Scholarship

The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) maintains scholarship funds which may be applied to RBS course tuition. ABAA scholarship funds are open to full and associate members of the ABAA and employees of members. For more information, contact ABAA staff.

Books Tell You Why Scholarship

Books Tell You Why, Inc. offers a scholarship for full or part-time librarians to attend an RBS course. To receive application information, fill out the request form.

IOBA Scholarship

The Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) awards an annual scholarship to one of its members which may be used for Rare Book School, California Rare Book School (Los Angeles), or London Rare Books School. It does not require pre-acceptance to a specific course; members have up to 18 months to attend a program after being awarded the scholarship. The scholarship covers full tuition plus an additional stipend to offset some travel costs. For more information, contact IOBA staff.

NCC/ABAA George Robert Kane Scholarship

The Northern California Chapter of the ABAA (NCC/ABAA) accepts applications for the George Robert Kane Scholarship, which will provide funding to attend courses offered by Rare Book School, the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar, or California Rare Book School (Los Angeles). These scholarships honor the memory of long-time NCC/ABAA member George Robert Kane (6 October 1913–28 November 2009) and are designed to promote professionalism and education relevant to the book trade. Please email NCC Secretary Alexander Akin at to obtain an application (due back by 1 May 2017).

Tavistock Books Educational Scholarship

The Tavistock Books Educational Scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship opportunity that is available to all antiquarian booksellers admitted to Joel Silver’s course, Reference Sources for Researching Rare Books (L-25). One Tavistock Scholarship will be awarded each year this course is offered. Preference will be given to individuals in the early stages of their careers and to those who would not otherwise be able to attend RBS without scholarship assistance. See the scholarship page for additional details.