New Scholars Program

The Bibliographical Society of America (BSA) New Scholars Program strives to welcome researchers who have not previously published, lectured, or taught on bibliographical subjects by nurturing and promoting their scholarship. Each year, three New Scholars receive a cash award of $1,000, a $500 travel stipend, and the opportunity to present their work by participating in a two-pronged program. Read more

  • Preceding the BSA’s Annual Meeting (held each January in New York City during Bibliography Week), each New Scholar presents a fifteen-minute talk that is based on their submitted proposal.

  • Expanded versions of the New Scholars’ papers are submitted to the editors of the Society’s quarterly journal, The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA) for publication, subject to peer review. Scholars can expect to work closely with the editors throughout the submission and review process. In addition to the $1,000 cash award and $500 travel stipend, New Scholars may apply in one of the next two subsequent years for a stipend of the same amount to attend a second Annual Meeting. New Scholars also receive a complimentary one-year membership in the BSA, which includes a subscription to the PBSA

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Application information

Eligibility ↑

We strongly recommend a careful review of the following eligibility requirements for the New Scholars Program.

General

Booksellers, librarians, curators, collectors, junior (i.e., untenured) academics, graduate students at the dissertation level, and independent scholars are all welcome to apply. BSA encourages applications from individuals 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 membership is not required for New Scholars Program applicants.

Residency

The New Scholars award is limited to US citizens and residents. We regret that we cannot accept applications from others at this time.

Newness in the field of bibliography

The New Scholars Program is designed to uplift work by individuals who are new to bibliography. Successful applicants to the BSA New Scholars Program have not previously published, lectured, or taught on bibliographical subjects.

What is bibliography?

The New Scholars Program defines bibliography to include studies of the creation, production, publication, distribution, reception, transmission, and subsequent history of all textual artifacts. This includes manuscript, print, and digital media, from clay and stone to laptops and smart phones. Bibliographical scholarship pursuing new methods and new approaches is welcome, including applications from candidates applying bibliographical theory and principles to diverse materials and media. 

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and access

Guided by the Society’s Equity Action Plan, the committee welcomes submissions that embrace diverse, multicultural perspectives. BSA seeks to promote equity, inclusion, and diversity within the field, and encourages work that offers new research on previously under- or mis-represented groups or individuals.

How to apply ↑

The call for applications to the 2025 New Scholars Program will be announced in late spring 2024. Please check back for details and the link to the application form.

BSA uses Kaleidoscope to manage applications to our programs, and all candidates and recommenders are required to submit materials through the Kaleidoscope website.

The application form requires:  Read more

  1. A letter of application describing the applicant’s background in bibliography, a short abstract for their proposed paper, and a brief overview of their proposed 15-minute talk (see below)

  2. A curriculum vitae

  3. A letter of recommendation (see below)

Letter of application

Applications should propose papers and talks covering new work that has not been accepted for publication elsewhere in the form of an article, book, or book chapter (or portion thereof).

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. The recommender 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. Doctoral candidates should request a recommendation from their dissertation director.

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The awards ↑

Five named awards have been established for the New Scholars program. These are awarded by the New Scholars selection committee on an individual basis to candidates whose work aligns with each of the award’s intended purpose.

In addition to those listed below, the BSA New Scholar Award may be awarded by the committee to scholars for bibliographical research in any subject, geographic region, time period, or discipline. This last award is sometimes, but not always, funded by individual donors. Contact Executive Director Erin McGuirl to talk about supporting this award!

The Jacob Blanck New Scholar Award ↑

The Jacob Blanck New Scholar Award honors Jacob Blanck, editor of the Bibliography of American Literature (1943–1974). This award recognizes bibliographical and book historical scholarship focusing on printed works of writers of the United States and their publishers. It is funded annually by an anonymous donor.

The Malkin New Scholar Award ↑

The Malkin New Scholar Award honors Mary Ann O’Brian Malkin (1913–2005), a book collector and longtime contributor to the Antiquarian Bookman/AB Bookman’s Weekly who pursued bibliographical interests in dance, Americana, and the booktrade. Established by Terry Belanger in 2006.

The D. F. McKenzie New Scholar Award ↑

The D. F. McKenzie New Scholar Award supports bibliographical research in any subject, geographic region, time period, and/or discipline. This award is funded by an anonymous donor.

The Pantzer New Scholar Award ↑

The Pantzer New Scholar Award honors Katherine F. Pantzer (1930–2005), best known for her work on the revised Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland & Ireland, and for English Books Printed Abroad, 1475–1640. This award is funded in part by the Pantzer Bequest.

The Dorothy Porter Wesley New Scholar Award ↑

The Dorothy Porter Wesley New Scholar Award supports new bibliographical scholarship conducted by a Black individual. This award was endowed with a lead gift from Lisa Unger Baskin in honor of Dorothy Porter Wesley.