Scholarships

Two main categories of scholarships are available: those awarded by Rare Book School and those conducted through partner organizations. Applications for the next cycle of RBS-awarded scholarships will open 1 October 2020 and be due 1 November 2020. Scholarship awards will be announced in early January. Applications for the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage and the M. C. Lang Fellowship in Book History, Bibliography, and Humanities Teaching with Historical Sources will remain open until 30 November 2020. 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 2021 must be claimed by 31 December 2022). Please note that the Access 2021 Scholarship is an exception and may only be used in the summer of 2021. For more details about the scholarship program, see the Frequently Asked Questions page.

The following scholarships are awarded by RBS Scholarship Committees:

Access 2021 Scholarship 

  • Available for 2021 courses only
  • More than 100 awards to be given in 2021
  • Awarded to applicants whose usual professional development funds will be greatly limited or unavailable

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 20 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
  • 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

George Gloss Scholarship

  • Awarded to applicants from all fields whose work or interests focus on the study of the physical book
  • One award given each year

Heritage Book Shop Scholarship

  • Awarded to applicants from all fields whose work or interests focus on the study of the physical book
  • One award given each year

Kenneth Karmiole Scholarship

  • Awarded to applicants from all fields whose work or interests focus on the study of the physical book
  • 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
  • Please note, the NEH-GBHI Scholarship is no longer accepting new applicants.

Jeremy Norman Scholarship

  • Awarded to applicants from all fields whose work or interests focus on the study of the physical book
  • One award given each year

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Manuscripts Scholarship

  • Awarded to applicants from all fields whose work or interests focus on the study of the physical book
  • One award given each year

Claudia Skelton Scholarship

  • Awarded to applicants from all fields whose work or interests focus on the study of the physical book
  • One award given each year

Washington Rare Book Group Scholarship

  • Awarded to an individual living in the Washington, D.C., area with interests in bibliography, book history, book arts, or other aspects of rare-book scholarship
  • One award given each year

Whitmore Rare Books Scholarship

  • Awarded to applicants from all fields whose work or interests focus on the study of the physical book
  • One award given each year

RBS Scholarship Committees

The 2020 Scholarship Committee comprises Laura Eidam (Program Manager, Rare Book School); Mireille Djenno (Librarian for African Studies, Herman B. Wells Library, Indiana University Bloomington); Kate Siebert Medicus (Special Collections Cataloger and Associate Professor, Kent State University); and Rebecca Romney (Type Punch Matrix). The members of the 2020 Buice Scholarship Committee are Rebecca Baumann (Head, Lilly Library Public Services, and Assistant Librarian, Lilly Library, Indiana University Bloomington); Julia Blakely (Special Collections Cataloger, Smithsonian Libraries); Ethan Henderson (Curator of Rare Books, Georgetown University Library); and Ruth-Ellen St. Onge (Associate Curator of Collections, Rare Book School). The members of the Access 2021 Scholarship Committee will be announced soon.


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's (ABAA) Elisabeth Woodburn Fund offers annual scholarships for RBS course tuition. ABAA scholarship funds are open to full and associate members of the ABAA, as well as employees of members. For more information, contact ABAA Headquarters.

IOBA Scholarship

The Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) awards two annual scholarships to IOBA members that may be used for Rare Book School, California Rare Book School (Los Angeles), or London Rare Books School. These awards do not require pre-acceptance to a specific course and are valid until December 31 of the year following the one in which the scholarship is awarded. For more information, including application instructions, visit the IOBA scholarship page.

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,  CABS—Minnesota, or California Rare Book School (Los Angeles). These scholarships honor the memory of longtime 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 Kim Herrick at books@thebooklair.com to obtain an application.

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.