Teacher & Student Fellowships

Swensrud Teacher Fellowship

Each summer, the Swensrud Teacher Fellowship program offers educators the opportunity to create lesson plans using documents and artifacts from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. The fellowships carry a stipend of $4,000 for four weeks of on-site research at the MHS. Applications are welcome from any K-12 teacher who has a serious interest in using the collections at the MHS to prepare primary-source-based curricula, supported by documents and visual aids, in the fields of American history, world history, or English/language arts.

Apply for a Teacher Fellowship

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) will offer three fellowships to public and/or parochial schoolteachers and library media specialists during the summer of 2017.  Applicants may propose their own topic or refine one of the suggestions below:

  • Loyalists in the Era of the American Revolution, 1764-1776
  • Founding families (Adams, Jefferson, Saltonstall, etc.)
  • Medicine in Early America
  • Culinary History
  • Boston and the American West
  • The Spanish American War
  • Immigration & Immigration Reform, 1880-1920
  • Massachusetts Women in WWI and WWII
  • Civil Liberties & Human Rights in History

Prospective applicants are encouraged to search the Society's online catalog ABIGAIL, online collection guides, and/or consult with MHS education (education@masshist.org) and library reader services staff (library@masshist.org) prior to submitting their proposals. Applicants may also view selected projects from previous years online (www.masshist.org/education) or in the library.

Applications should be postmarked no later February 1, 2017. Applicants should provide the following materials:

  • A current résumé.
  • A letter of intent (no longer than two pages, single spaced) outlining the topic of interest as well as the nature, scope, and goals of the proposed project.
  • A list of potential primary source materials to be used.
  • A letter of support from the school principal or department head.

The fellowship process is competitive. Awards will be made on the strength of 1) project design; 2) the plan for using MHS collections; 3) the creativity of the proposed classroom activities; 4) usability in other classrooms and 5) recommendations.

2017 Teacher Fellowship Schedule

  • We will announce recipients approximately six weeks after the deadline.
  • Fellowship recipients must spend 20 days in residence at the MHS by September 30, 2017.
  • Fellowship recipients should plan to spend at least one week (five days) in residence in July and/or August.
  • Curriculum projects must be completed by December 15, 2017.

Please direct questions to the MHS Education Department at education@masshist.org (617) 646-0557. Completed application packets should be mailed to:

Education Department
Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215

John Winthrop Student Fellowship

This award encourages high school students to make use of the nationally significant documents of the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) in a research project of their choosing. Although students are welcome to work at the MHS Reading Room in Boston, online access to hundreds of recently-digitized documents from our collections now makes it possible for students from across the country to identify, incorporate, investigate, and interpret these primary sources in their work. The Winthrop Student Fellow and his/her teacher will each receive a $350 stipend.

Apply for a Student Fellowship

Applications should be postmarked no later than February 1, 2017.

  • Decide on a research project in consultation with a teacher-advisor at your school (a current or past History or English teacher, a member of the Library/Media staff, etc.)
  • This can be a project already assigned in class. Primary source documents in the MHS collections must be used in this project.
  • Write a brief proposal of no more than 500 words describing the core question you will investigate, 3-5 documents from MHS collections that you intend to examine, and what evidence you hope to find in those documents.
  • Prospective applicants are encouraged to search the Society's online catalog ABIGAIL, online collections (http://www.masshist.org/collections/online), and/or consult with MHS education (education@masshist.org) and library reader services staff (library@masshist.org) prior to submitting their proposals.

2017 Winthrop Fellowship Schedule

A panel of educators and librarians will read the proposals and select one finalist.

  • We will announce recipients approximately four weeks after the deadline.
  • Projects must be completed by June 1, 2017.
  • The teacher-advisor will notify MHS when s/he is satisfied with the fellow’s work.
  • The Winthrop Fellow will write a short entry for the MHS blog about his or her experiences using the documents, and provide helpful recommendations for other students using MHS collections no later than July 30, 2017.

Please direct questions to the MHS Education Department at education@masshist.org or (617) 646-0557. Completed application packets should be mailed to:

Education Department
Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215


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