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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 tactical 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

Fall 2020 Fellowships

Applications received by May 31, 2020, will be prioritized.

Building a University: Vanderbilt’s First Decade, 1875-1885 Apply here
Have you ever wondered how Vanderbilt University got its name? Or, were curious about why the Stevenson Science and Engineering Library has so many antique instruments on display?  Maybe you would like to learn about what classes were taught and what students did for fun in those early years. If you would like to know more about how curators interpret historic objects, how to find things in the library, or just know more about the place where you will be spending four years of your life, then consider applying for the spring 2019 Buchanan Library Fellowship Program. This semester, four students will examine historically-significant university manuscripts and documents in the Special Collections Library and place them in context with the university’s and the nation’s history. Fellows will curate an exhibition about their topic and present a report on what they learned about Vanderbilt. This fellowship requires a three- to five-hour commitment of your time and agreement to attend weekly classes and labs. Fellows come away with a better understanding of the library, of how to think critically about primary sources, and a completed project on your resume. Contact: Kathleen Smith

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 fellowship will help faculty to develop data for Architectura Sinica, a Chinese architectural history dynamic site archive and architectural thesaurus. Students 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. Students 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. Contacts: Yuh-Fen Benda, Dr. Tracy Miller

Modalities of Text Mining  Apply here
How can you identify and explore patterns across millions of documents? In this fellowship, Library Buchanan 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: Cliff Anderson

Privacy, Surveillance, and Intellectual Freedom Apply here
New online research environments have made the discovery and consumption of information easier than ever. However, these environments often threaten privacy and intellectual freedom by relying on surveillance economies and architectures. In this seminar, fellows will explore the intersection of privacy and intellectual freedom, and the surveillance logics that influence online research and communication practices. Using a variety of formats (such as a podcast, presentation, or video Public Service Announcement), Fellows will create final projects that analyze issues related to technology and privacy. Contact: Andrew Wesolek

Tadoku Collection 2.0 Apply Here
Participants in this project will improve the categorization and usefulness of the Tadoku (extensive reading) collection, which the library provides for Japanese language courses at Vanderbilt. How? By reading books in the collection, creating lists of kotoba (vocabularies) for each of those books, and making suggestions to adjust the reading levels of those books (if necessary). What are the outcomes?

  • a list of key kotoba for each book: these will be attached to the book and will enable more students to enjoy reading a wider array of books than may otherwise be available at their reading level;
  • adjustments to the reading levels of Tadoku books to align them better with the reading abilities of Japanese language students;
  • improvement in the Japanese reading abilities of the fellows;
  • the opportunity to read lots of good books.

Successful completion of JAPN 2201 (or faculty recommendation) is required to participate. Contacts: Yuh-Fen Benda

Summer 2020 Fellowships

The summer fellowship has been cancelled.

“Now We Can Begin”: Women’s Activism After the Vote 
This summer semester fellowship will examine women’s activism both at Vanderbilt and in the Nashville community in the years after the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. We will explore women’s involvement with various issues and causes, including birth control, the civil rights movement, the equal rights amendment, and women’s equity at Vanderbilt itself. Students will learn about exhibition and curatorial techniques while engaging with the Library’s Special Collections materials. Students will work collaboratively and individually to produce an exhibit—online and in the Library’s Second Floor Gallery. Fellows will present on their work at a reception. Contacts: Rory Dicker, Mary Anne  Caton