This year’s bumper crop of forty-eight applications for visiting fellowships and travel grants, representing scholars from thirty-four institutions from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, yielded a total of twenty-six awards, eight travel grants and eighteen visiting fellowship awards, including the joint Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library/Lewis Walpole Library eight-week fellowship. Incoming 2019-2020 Fellowship and Travel Grant recipients will be in residence in Farmington sometime between July 1 and June 30 either for four weeks if awarded a fellowship or two weeks for a travel grant. The Beinecke/LWL fellowship recipient will split his time between Farmington and New Haven. Typically the summer is the busiest season for fellowship visits, and this year the month of August looks to be especially popular.
A follow-up survey for recent fellows on the most valuable aspect of their fellowship experience yields four common themes: the unique and rich collection holdings, the proximity of the Root House to the library, interaction with other fellows, the helpfulness of knowledgeable staff. Not only do the fellowships afford the scholars the opportunity to spend concentrated time working with the Library’s collections, but they may borrow circulating books from the main campus and use the resources of other Yale repositories like the Beinecke or the Center for British Art. The scholars participate in the joint fellows’ lunchtime seminar series of informal talks in New Haven, and they give informal talks at coffee at the LWL. Staying in the quiet private rooms in the Root House in Farmington, free from the distractions of the city, enables researchers to focus productively on their work. The common “language” of the British long eighteenth-century shared by researchers in residence leads to the exchange of ideas, lively discussions, and exciting new insights. Lasting bonds of camaraderie and friendship are forged among our community of scholars that last long after their departure from the Lewis Walpole Library. List of 2019-2020 Fellowship and Travel Grant recipients.