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About the Program

The Buchanan Library Fellows Program

The Buchanan Library Fellowship program is designed to create in-depth learning experiences for students. The program is open to undergraduate students who are interested in participating in strategic projects for Vanderbilt Libraries over the course of a semester. With faculty and professional librarians as mentors, students work on experiential library projects that will benefit library users. Fellows commit to attending weekly seminars where they work together on multidisciplinary teams to complete their project. They present their work at the end of their fellowship. Selected students learn new skills and complete immersive projects that add to their expertise and resumes. Projects may involve work with rare print and digital collections enhancing accessibility, social media, exhibits and print resources. Through the Buchanan Library Fellowship program, our libraries promote undergraduate research.

Program Benefits

  • Opportunity to add discrete project to resume and build contacts
  • Expand research skills
  • Applied learning opportunity
  • 10 weekly classes supplement independent teamwork
  • Work with leading experts in the library field

Frequently Asked Questions

    • When is the deadline for applying for a fellowship?

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by mentors until the positions are filled. There is no deadline but earlier is always better, Once the fellowship is full we post a notice to the website that applications are no longer being accepted.

    • Are first-year students encouraged to apply? If so, are opportunities especially competitive for first-years?

First year students are welcome! Each application is reviewed by the project mentors on their own standards.

    • Can students only be chosen as a Fellow one time during their entire undergraduate experience?

Yes, in order to offer the program to as wide a group as possible, students may only be fellows once during their Vanderbilt career.


 

Spring 2021 Fellowships

The Artist's Workshop in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: Curatorial and Collections Fellowship with the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery | Apply here

Two Buchanan Library Fellows will spend both spring and fall semesters of 2021 on this gallery exhibition project. Spring 2021 will focus on object research and writing for the winter 2021 exhibition "The Artist's Workshop in Medieval and Renaissance Europe" at the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery. The two curatorial and collections fellows will investigate a selection of medieval and renaissance objects in the Fine Arts Gallery collection, drawing from observation of physical artworks, Gallery object records, and research conducted through the Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries. This research and writing will ultimately contribute to a printed exhibition catalog, signage and exhibition labels. In the fall 2021 semester, the fellows will refine several pieces of writing to be included in exhibition labels and the catalog, and will and gain hands-on experience with exhibition production and installation for an art gallery. Contact: Emily WeinerKali Mason

Books through the Ages: Genre in the Nineteenth Century 

No Longer Accepting Applicants 

What was the last book you got lost in? In the nineteenth century, people read potboilers for pleasure, consulted almanacs about weather, and learned how to manage their households and businesses from monthly magazines. Nineteenth-century innovations in book making and printing changed the world and created new opportunities for reading. Buchanan Library Fellows will choose from a range of bound materials that highlight the new and expanded genres that exploded onto the 19th century scene: children's literature, magazines, almanacs, novels, poetry, religious literature, scientific literature, political literature, and more.

In addition to examining the printed materials of the nineteenth century, Fellows will learn the foundations of curatorial practice and book history. Using critical thinking and interpretive methods, Fellows will curate an exhibition of materials from Special Collections. The exhibition will be available online and, covid-19 permitting, in the Library's Second Floor Gallery. Contact:  Rachel Lavenda, Mary Anne Caton

From Golden Type to Wild Waves: Fine Press Books in Vanderbilt Special Collections 

No Longer Accepting Applicants 

William Morris used the most up-to-date nineteenth-century technology—photography—to create handmade replicas of Medieval romances and epic poems. Morris' designers and artists at Kelsmcott Press produced fine press work and intricate designs. His works drove Aesthetic Movement design and influenced book artisans long after his death in 1896. Vanderbilt Special Collections is home to many fine press books that build on Morris' philosophy: Morris'own Kelmscott Chaucer, Robert Burns' poems, Emerson's essays, and modern works by Welsh artist Shirley Jones, among others.

In this Buchanan Library Fellowship, one student will develop and run virtual programs for the late Spring 2021 online exhibition that will explore the Nettie Hale Rand Collection of Fine Bindings and other fine press works. Programming will include an art workshop for audiences to explore aesthetics, books arts, and poetry and a digital interactive component. Working with the exhibition curator, Fellows will develop a social media campaign for the exhibit and assist with object research. Fellows typically work 3-5 hours weekly. Due to COVID-19, this spring semester fellowship will be conducted remotely. Contact: Mary Anne Caton

Gateway to Traditional Chinese Monuments: Data Curation and Web Development for Cultural Heritage Preservation | Apply Here

This program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Recipients of this Buchanan Library Fellowship will help faculty to develop data for Architectura Sinica, a Chinese architectural history dynamic site archive and architectural thesaurus. Fellows work with A&S faculty and library staff to develop entries on individual sites and/or add visual material for thesaurus of technical terms for Traditional Chinese Architecture. Fellows are acknowledged as co-authors for digital publication of the entries they complete. Pre- or co-requisite of History of East Asian Art (HART 1200) or Architecture and the Mapping of Empire in Asia (HART 2100), or faculty recommendation is required to participate. Contact: Yuh-Fen Benda, Dr. Tracy Miller

Misinformation, Social Media, and the Effects on Society 

No Longer Accepting Applicants 

Flush with the spirit of techno-optimism (information wants to be free!), the internet promised liberation by eliminating barriers to information, and enabling its spread instantaneously and globally. However, in recent years we have seen that misinformation spreads equally rapidly, generating profound social repercussions. From filter bubbles and echo chambers, to the cascading effects of conspiracy theories, we will explore the spread of misinformation on a variety of social media platforms, interrogate its meaning and its strategies, and question the efficacy of unregulated free speech or simple hierarchies of credibility as antidotes to misinformation. To engage further with the topics covered in the fellowship, students will record and produce podcasts as part of a developing series on media and society. Contact: Melissa Mallon, Bobby Smiley, and Andrew Wesolek 

Modalities of Text Mining: Exploring British Periodicals at Scale

No Longer Accepting Applicants 

How can you identify and explore patterns across millions of documents? In this fellowship, Buchanan Library Fellows will learn state-of-the-art techniques for text mining at scale. Fellows will join an ongoing research project to analyze constellations of information in Proquest's British Periodicals Collections. Depending on interest, Fellows will learn to use Apache Spark, a framework for querying distributed data sets; BaseX, a native XML database; or Netsblox, a block-based programming language. After completing the fellowship, Fellows will be able to extract information from big data sets in the humanities, social sciences, or other fields with relative ease and confidence. Contact: Dr.  Cliff Anderson,  Dr. Mark Schoenfield

Telling the Story of Civil War Nashville through Storymaps 

No Longer Accepting Applicants 

Using records, maps and photographs from the Vanderbilt Special Collections and other historic Nashville collections, this Buchanan Library Fellowship will create Storymap projects: interactive, GIS-based visual tools that combine information on many individual locations into a single visual product, telling the exciting stories of Civil War Nashville. The projects will include mapping the fortifications of Nashville or mapping the hospitals of Civil War Nashville. Mapped locations will be matched with information from photos, stories, period maps and articles.
Fellows will assist with historical research and work with faculty to compile and organize available photos, articles and maps of important locations within Civil War Nashville. Fellows will help build Storymaps using ArcGIS software and convert data into file formats amenable to ArcGIS. Contact: Brandon Hulette, Stacy Curry-Johnson