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Application Process

To be considered for a Buchanan Library Fellow position, candidates must be undergraduate students enrolled at Vanderbilt University in good academic standing. Application is through a linked RedCap form on the Fellows' homepage. Required documents include:

  • Curriculum vitae including name, address, email, and telephone
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty member

Previously selected Library Fellows may not reapply for a new project.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until filled, at which time the opportunity is closed. Accepted students will receive a formal notice of acceptance. For general information about the Buchanan Library Fellows program, contact

Fall 2022 Fellowships


Action! Cut! Producing a Science and Engineering Library Video

Fellows will produce a video documenting the story of the Sarah Shannon Stevenson Science and Engineering Library from the student perspective. The fellows will have this opportunity to learn various aspects of a university library, including esteemed benefactors, librarians, study spaces, and personalized services – and will be responsible for all phases of production (user analysis, script/storyboarding, pre-production planning, shooting, editing, etc.) to create, distribute, and promote the video to their colleagues.  

Mentors: Francisco Juarez, Carla Beals


Building a University: Vanderbilt's Third Decade, 1895-1905

This fellowship explores primary sources about the university’s third decade. Have you ever wondered about the early years of Vanderbilt University? The third decade of Vanderbilt saw a new medical school built on campus, a dynamo to provide electricity, and, sadly, the destruction of the administration building by fire. You’ll examine historically significant university archives and manuscripts in the Special Collections Library and place them in context within the university’s and the nation’s history. This fellowship blends curatorial practice and the history of the University. Students will research and interpret books and other items from the Special Collections Library and place them in context of historic events and cultural production. Fellows will curate an exhibition about their chosen books and present on what they learned. This fellowship requires a five-to eight-hour commitment weekly including class meetings. Fellows receive a small salary and learn how to think critically about primary sources while building an exhibition. The course meets Wednesdays at 3:00pm. Lab time (in Special Collections or on Zoom) will also be scheduled during the semester to maximize your time with your materials. Labs are hands-on time for building your curatorial work. You’ll be able to ask questions about the objects you have selected, learn how to interpret your objects, discuss research materials available, and plan your exhibit case description.

Mentors: Teresa Gray, Kathy Smith


DC 3D Imaging: From Your Imagination to [Augmented] Reality?

This Buchanan Fellowship provides students with an opportunity to explore creative and technical applications in digital imaging. The Digital Imaging Lab at the Digital Commons features a 3D scanner capable of imaging objects to create virtual replicas of those objects, which can then be edited and modified for a variety of purposes. Students will work with the Digital Commons team to learn about the creative and technical perspectives of digital imaging, using 3D imaging and editing tools to create a digital exhibit of virtual objects of their choosing. Fellows will also participate in the Digital Commons’ virtual reality / augmented reality working group, which meets approximately monthly to explore uses of virtual objects in a variety of fields. Participating in this group will allow Fellows to learn about applications of digital imaging in different contexts and potentially to connect with Vanderbilt faculty on research projects. Fellows will meet weekly with mentors to connect their digital imaging projects with their professional or personal interests, as well as develop a plan to share the digital exhibit of their work. The time commitment for this Fellowship will be about 3 to 5 hours per week during the semester. Applicants can have any major or majors. and familiarity with Adobe Photoshop and/or Lightroom is helpful (but not required). Mentors: Cazembe Kennedy, Connor Gilmore


The Diverse World of Yusef A. Lateef: From Archives to Performance

Vanderbilt Libraries recently acquired the collection of Yusef A. Lateef, a genre-defying, multi- instrumentalist who composed in a variety of musical styles and for various instrumental forces. Using the Yusef A. Lateef Collection, fellows will explore the 300+ music manuscripts in this archive. Students will examine and select scores for performance, collaborating with other fellows in the program to perform a lecture-recital at the end of the semester that explores some aspect of Lateef’s diverse output. Non-performers will research and contextualize the musical works and contribute to the lecture portion of the recital. Fellows may have the opportunity to explore other parts of the Lateef Collection and will learn how to use primary source material to conduct research in music. Working with the instructors, the fellows will develop a social media campaign for the lecture-recital to advertise both the collection and the recital. Mentors: Holling Smith-Borne, Jake Schaub


Misinformation, Social Media, & the Effects on Society

APPLICATIONS CLOSED 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, this fellowship explores the spread of misinformation on a variety of social media platforms, interrogates its meaning and its strategies, and questions the efficacy of unregulated free speech or simple hierarchies of credibility as antidotes to misinformation. To engage further with the topics covered in this fellowship, students will record and produce podcasts as part of a developing series on media and society.

Mentors: Andy Wesolek, Bobby Smiley, Melissa Mallon


RE-PAIR Tenneessee Triennial for Contemporary Art at the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery

Curated by Vanderbilt faculty Maria-Magdalena Campos-Pons, Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair Professor of Fine Art, Vanderbilt, the inaugural Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art opens in two dozen venues across the state in January 2023, featuring works from local, national and international artists. Working with the theme of RE-PAIR, the organizers ask us to reconsider the function of the arts, the meaning of art as a critical force in society and enhancer of human experiences. Can Art galvanize our energies to rebuild our towns with forums, and ideas that bring solutions to isolation, poverty, despair? The overarching theme of Re-pair solicits an empathetic consideration of context and space, history and commons, deeply woven into the fabric of Tennessee’s roots. The Tennessee Triennial is a beautiful opportunity to spotlight our community of artists and public(s) through collaboration and through opening the lines of communication locally and to anyone who has roots across the global south, and across the world.  

At Vanderbilt, we are working with artist and curator Raheleh Filsoofi (Department of Art) to produce our biennial exhibition. Our Vanderbilt team is ceramist Raheleh Filsoofi, Exhibition Curator (department of art); Mary Anne Caton (Interim Gallery Curator/Project Manager); Amanda Hellman (Gallery Director); Anais Daly (EADJ Director); Selene Wendt (EADJ Curator Fall 2022). The fellow will assist in developing our programming, visitor engagement and assessment, exhibition planning and development as well as with other aspects of the project. This fellowship is limited to one fellow, and will be for both Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters, allowing the fellow to see exhibit production and learn what happens after the exhibit opens.  Applicants need strong written and oral communication skills as well as an interest in contemporary art. The fellow will work approximately 7-10 hours weekly.

Mentors: Mary Anne Caton, Amanda Hellman, Raheleh Filsoofi, Anais Daly 


Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery: Collection Research and Outreach

Using the Fine Arts Gallery collection, fellows will conduct visitor studies, outreach planning, and hands-on research on collection objects. Fellows will collect data regarding community use (current and potential). This includes visitor studies on current exhibitions and surveys of current university course use. After collating and analyzing the results, students will identify potential gallery programming driven by community needs. Fellows will also develop open access online educational resources reflecting some collection strengths. Such educational resources could include, for example, succinct and researched background on objects and how to incorporate them into thematic course units. The Fellows’ work would be added to our web resources for our stakeholders. Maximum 4 fellows

Mentors: Mary Anne Caton, Susan Dine


Summer 2022 Fellowships


Modalities of Textual Analysis: Exploring British Periodicals (applications closed)

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. In this summer session of the fellowship, students will explore Databricks, a framework for cluster-computing based on Spark. In particular, we will focus on using Databricks SQL to create interactive queries and to compose data-driven dashboards. 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. The fellowship can accommodate up to four students. Applications are no longer being accepted.

Mentors: Cliff Anderson, Mark Schoenfield


Telling the Story of Civil War Nashville with Storymaps 

Fellows will use records, maps and photographs from the Vanderbilt Special Collections and other historic Nashville collections, along with geophysical surveys that they help conduct to create a Storymap, an interactive, GIS-based visual tool that combines information on many individual locations into a single visual product, telling the exciting stories of Civil War Nashville. Mapped locations will be matched with information from photos, stories, period maps and articles. Fellows will help build Storymaps using ArcGIS software and convert data into file formats amenable to ArcGIS.

Mentors: Brandon Hulette, Stacy Curry-Johnson