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RBS 2006 Scholarships and Fellowships

Scholarships

In 2001, Rare Book School began offering scholarships with resources provided by the school's James Davis Scholarship Fund (see below for more information about James Davis, UCLA's Rare Books Librarian and a long-time RBS staff member).

Those seeking RBS scholarships submit applications each fall without reference to any particular RBS course or session, and scholarships in turn are awarded without reference to admission to any particular course. Those awarded scholarships will have credit in the RBS tuition bank that they can then use to pay for any course to which they are thereafter admitted during the following two years.

To apply for an RBS scholarship, please scroll down to the Application Procedures section, or click here.

The current Davis Scholarship Committee comprises:

Melissa Mead (Digital and Visual Resources Librarian, University of Rochester) chair, through 2007; David Zeidberg (Avery Director, Huntington Library) through 2006; Nathaniel Adams (formerly Assistant Director for Programs, RBS) through 2008; Vic Zoschak (Tavistock Books, Alameda, CA) through 2009.

IMLS

In June 2005, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency, made a substantial grant to RBS for an expanded scholarship program, under IMLS's “Librarians for the 21st Century” program: 50 IMLS-funded scholarships were awarded in the fall 2005 cycle, and an additional 50 awards will be available in each of the 2006 and 2007 scholarship cycles. The RBS scholarship fund also receives annual support from the Book Club of California and from the Friends of Rare Book School, and it has received generous support from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

In making its awards, the RBS Scholarship Committee will give special consideration to applicants who represent under-served communities or whose institutions do so. The Committee is grateful to those who have helped advertise the availability of RBS scholarships by downloading, posting, or otherwise distributing this flyer (PDF) describing the program.

Application Procedures

Applications for RBS scholarships will be accepted between August 15th and October 2nd. The RBS Scholarship Committee chair will notify scholarship applicants of their decision via email on November 15th. Please note that the timelines between the awarding of scholarships in November and the January sessions are very tight. If you contemplate applying for a January course, please indicate your intention as part of your personal statement when you submit your scholarship application. Additionally, while scholarship recipients receive free tuition to an RBS course, these awards do not include support for other expenses such as transportation or housing.

RBS scholarship applications may be submitted electronically, by fax or by mail. If sent electronically, materials should be sent as individual email attachments to . The deadline for receiving applications this year is October 2nd. Applications that lack any components at the time of the deadline will not be considered.

To compete for a RBS scholarship, please provide the following:

  1. An application form (PDF)
  2. A current résumé or C.V.
  3. A confidential letter of recommendation, following these guidelines:
    • If you are employed: a letter from your supervisor or employer, including information regarding what institutional support for RBS, if any, is available to you. The person writing this recommendation should send it directly to the Scholarship Committee. Ask the person writing the recommendation to include the following information: "This is a letter of recommendation for [your name], who is applying for a scholarship at Rare Book School in the current cycle."
    • If you are self-employed or a student: a letter from a person (or instructor) who is familiar with your work and interests. The person writing this recommendation should send it directly to the Scholarship Committee. Ask the person writing the recommendation to include the following information: "This is a letter of recommendation for [your name], who is applying for a scholarship at Rare Book School in the current cycle."
  4. A personal statement (no longer than one page) in which you also:
    • Explain how you anticipate that attending RBS will help you in developing your professional skills.
    • Explain why receiving this scholarship is necessary for you. If you are currently employed, please explain the likelihood of receiving institutional support for tuition, travel, housing, &c., or the circumstances which might preclude such support.

RBS scholarship applications may be submitted by email: by fax: 434-924-8824 (Attn: RBS Scholarships) or by US Post:

Rare Book School
114 Alderman Library
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400103
Charlottesville, VA 2904-4103

Please note: Those seeking RBS scholarships submit applications without reference to any particular RBS course or session, and scholarships in turn are awarded without reference to admission to any particular course. Those awarded scholarships will have credit in the RBS tuition bank that they can then use to pay for any course to which they are thereafter admitted during the following two years.

Fellowships

Rare Book School's fellowship program began with the E. Ph. Goldschmidt Fellowship, followed in 1999 by the Reese Company and San Garde Fellowships, and in 2001 by the Ian Willison Fellowship.

To read more about the RBS Fellowship Program, visit the Fellowships section of our Web site.

James Davis Scholarship Fund

James Davis, 1989James Davis attended his first Rare Book School in 1985. He joined the RBS program staff in 1986, and he returned annually thereafter, both throughout RBS's Columbia years and then on to Virginia in the 1990s. He used to say that he already had as much management as he wanted to do at home (he was Rare Books Librarian at UCLA); at RBS, he developed a collection of non-administrative duties he made entirely his own, stretching from one end of each RBS week to the other: from mugshot photographer on Sunday night to course evaluation editor over the succeeding weekend. In between, he did the bulk of the RBS supplies-and-equipment shopping, edited Museum labels, acted as the Director's conscience ("It's just me: Jiminy Cricket!"), and made himself generally available to do whatever had to be done next. He was unfailingly interested in RBS students, and he spent a great deal of time talking to them both at breaks and after class in the evening.

James Davis, 1997We expected him as usual at the RBS January 2000 session, but he stayed home to undergo what he told us was a fairly routine bypass operation. In the event, he never regained consciousness after surgery, and he died in the hospital on February 3rd.

The RBS staff operates on the principle of interchangeable parts: there are few jobs that can't, if necessary, be done by whoever's handy. But nobody on our staff was like James Davis, who combined a vast knowledge of RBS's collections and customs with an unflaggingly sunny disposition, and RBS cannot be the same without him.

Over the years, we have had many discussions with both RBS students and RBS prospective students about the need for scholarship support for our courses. Here, finally, is a program that has the potential to grow to become a force of considerable benefit to the field of rare books. Present and future contributions to the James Davis Scholarship Fund endowment are welcome. Checks should be made payable to the James Davis Scholarship Fund and sent to Rare Book School.