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 2014.  Applicants may propose their own topic or refine one of the suggestions below:

  • The Adams Family and Slavery/Anti-Slavery
  • The Coming of the American Revolution, 1764-1776 
  • Massachusetts and the Civil War
  • Women and War
  • Boston/New England and the Atlantic World
  • New England and the War of 1812
  • Thomas Jefferson's Architectural Drawings, Farm Book, Garden Book, or Notes on the State of Virginia
  • Travelers' Impressions of Foreign Places (Nora Saltonstall, Mary Gardner Lowell, Henry Adams)
  • Local, State, and National Anti-Slavery Organizations
  • Henry Cabot Lodge and 20th-Century Politics
  • The China Trade

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 than March 15, 2014. 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.

2014 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 December 12, 2014.
  • 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 12, 2014.

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

Kathleen Barker, Assistant Director of Education & Public Programs
Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215

John Winthrop 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 March 15, 2014.

  • 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.

2014 Winthrop Fellowship Schedule

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

  • We will announce recipients approximately six weeks after the deadline.
  • Projects must be completed by June 2, 2014. Education and Library staff members at MHS are always happy to provide guidance – not answers!
  • 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 June 16, 2014.

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

Kathleen Barker, Assistant Director of Education & Public Programs
Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215

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