Dean’s Undergraduate Research Awards (DURA) are available for students working on relevant humanities and social sciences research projects that specifically utilize primary source materials in the rare book, manuscript, and archival collections of the Sheridan Libraries at JHU. These collections span 5,000 years of rare and unique objects and texts, from ancient cuneiform tablets and Egyptian papyri fragments, to illuminated medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, incunabula and earliest illustrated books, to masterpieces of 18th century fine printing and the graphic arts, as well as printed books from Industrial Revolution to arts of the book in the modern era, up to the present day. Also of relevance to Sheridan Libraries/AGHI DURA candidates are the University Archives, which preserve the history of Hopkins and the papers of many of the most influential faculty members ever to conduct research and teaching at JHU.
These collections are held collectively in the Milton S. Eisenhower Library Department of Special Collections, the George Peabody Library in downtown Baltimore, and the John Work Garrett Library at Evergreen Museum & Library in North Baltimore. Students may consult these collections in the Reading Room of the Brody Learning Commons on the Homewood Campus during regular operating hours (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday). Sheridan Libraries/AGHI DURA Fellowships may also include research using the rich rare book collections of the Institute for the History of Medicine in East Baltimore, whose primary source holdings are integrated into the Sheridan Libraries’ on-line catalogue, Catalyst.
The Sheridan Libraries/AGHI DURA awards support research conducted over the summer months only (May to August 2018), and are meant to be used as cost-of-living stipends for awardees for the duration of their research. In recent years, awards have consisted of $1,250 for a four-week research period, up to a maximum of $3,750 for a 12-week period of funding, although levels may vary based on the application. Any additional research expenses during the research period must be drawn from the total amount of the student award, though some costs such as digitization may be possible without charge. Students typically live in Baltimore for the summer months of this research, and use the Libraries’ collections for intensive research; a minimum of 25 hours per week of work with the designated research materials is required.
Applicants must identify a faculty and/or curatorial mentor to direct a Sheridan Libraries/AGHI DURA project, who can help applicants identify materials for research and formulate a realistic project proposal well in advance of the application deadline. Research outcomes might take the form of a traditional research essay, a digital exhibition, a video, or something else entirely. At the satisfactory completion of an awarded Sheridan Libraries/AGHI DURA Award, a formal certification will be places in the successful applicant’s permanent academic record.
The fellowships are restricted to freshman, sophomore, and junior applicants; seniors graduating in 2018 are not eligible. Applicants should NOT use the standard Krieger School DURA application form. Questions and applications may be directed to the Sheridan Libraries/AGHI DURA Program contact, Earle Havens, Nancy H. Hall Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must include:
A two- to three-page, single-spaced proposal that addresses each of the following: (1) the specific topic to be explored and question(s) you want to investigate; (2) specific rare book, manuscript, and archival materials in the Sheridan Libraries’ collections and (if relevant) at other rare book libraries that you propose to examine; (3) tour qualifications for conducting the research (e.g., your undergraduate status, general academic interests, related classes, personal experience, work experience, related research); (4) your timeline for completion of the project scheduled in weekly intervals, including how often you and your mentor will meet about the project; (5) expected outcome of the project (e.g., honors thesis, essay, exhibition, digital project); (6) an itemized award budget.
One letter of recommendation from your proposed faculty or curatorial DURA mentor. This letter of recommendation may simply be sent via e-mail from your advisor directly to the Sheridan Libraries/AGHI contact: email@example.com. This letter should include specific information about how long and in what capacity the faculty or curatorial mentor has known the student, the student’s academic strengths, qualifications, ability to conduct independent research, and the general quality of the research proposal.
The application deadline is Friday, March 9, 2018, by 11:59 p.m., all materials sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed after that date. The approximate date of notification will be sent to all applicants will be Friday, March 16.