The Walter O. Evans Fellowship for the Study of Slavery or Race

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in conjunction with the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (GLC) at the MacMillan Center at Yale University is pleased to invite applications for a one-semester post-doctoral fellowship in honor of Walter O. Evans to study the American or global experience of slavery or race in the fall of 2023 or spring of 2024. The fellowship will support scholars who wish to use any of the Walter O. Evans collections, including the Evans Collection of Frederick Douglass and Douglass Family Papers, the Evans Collection of James Baldwin, and the Evans Collection of Ollie Harrington. The fellowship is also open to researchers interested in other collections related to race in the Beinecke Library or at any of Yale Library’s other special collections repositories, including the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters, the Yale Collection of Western Americana, and the Early Modern and Modern Collections.

The fellowship program aims to facilitate research in Yale’s special collections by the broadest possible group of researchers, regardless of institutional association, race, cultural background, ability, sexual orientation, gender, or socioeconomic status. We welcome applications from scholars utilizing traditional methods of archival and bibliographic research as well as from individuals who wish to pursue creative, interdisciplinary, and non-traditional approaches to conducting research in the collections.

The application for the 2023-2024 application cycle is now closed. Please check back in August 2023 for information for the 2024-2025 application cycle. 

Applicants will be notified of all decisions by January 20, 2023

The fellowship must be conducted either in the fall 2023 semester or the spring 2024 semester.

COVID Advisory Note

Our ability to award fellowships to visiting researchers will be dependent on public health conditions and university guidelines. Current library policies can be found on the University library’s website


  • Applicants cannot be enrolled in a degree program at the time of their fellowship.
  • Students currently enrolled in degree-granting programs should apply to the graduate student fellowship program.

Note: Applicants to the Evans Fellowship may also apply to our Short-Term Fellowship. The application is located on Interfolio and a full description of the fellowship is available online. You may use the same materials for both applications. For your letters of recommendation, you may simply request that your recommender submit a letter to each application. Or, you may attach the same letter submitted on your behalf for your Evans application to your Short-Term Fellowship application directly from your Interfolio dossier. Please click here for more detailed instructions on attaching letters to your application.

Expectations for Fellows

  • This is a residential fellowship, and fellows are expected to spend the majority of their time in residence at Yale.
  • Fellows will be expected to participate in the intellectual life of the GLC and the larger Yale community and are encouraged to participate in the activities of library. Fellows are expected to acknowledge the support of the Library, the GLC, and the MacMillan Center in publications and lectures that stem from research conducted during the fellowship term.
  • Fellows will be expected to offer one public presentation during their tenure at Yale and to record an audio or video interview for public dissemination.

Funding Information

Fellows will be awarded in the amount of $8,000 per month to cover the costs of travel, accommodations, and other living expenses. An additional modest travel budget may be awarded if the project would benefit from research at another repository with vital complementary materials; this research would take place directly following the fellowship period at Yale. Fellows’ funding will be awarded at the beginning of the fellowship. All fellows are responsible for paying any taxes related to the receipt of their fellowship.

Application Requirements

All materials must be received by the deadline. Applicants are required to submit the following materials through Interfolio:

  • An application form
  • A curriculum vitae (3 pages max)
  • (Optional) A travel budget for up to $5,000 additional funding for travel and accommodations to do research in other repositories beyond Yale. Please upload this document under “Additional Documents” in the Interfolio application. 
  • A research proposal (1,200 words max) that explains in detail:

o   Significance of the proposed collections research to your larger project

o   Value of your project to your field

o   Feasibility of completing the scope of research proposed within the fellowship period 

  • A detailed list of materials to be examined during your fellowship, including call numbers, collection names and boxes, and any other bibliographic information available. If you anticipate consulting oversize materials (broadsides, posters, maps, etc.), please indicate those clearly in your list.
  • Two confidential letters of recommendation that speak to the impact of your research on your field and the centrality of accessing the collections to this project.

To assist with your application, most of the holdings of the Beinecke Library are described in Orbis, the online catalogue of Yale University Library, and in Archives at Yale, a database of descriptions of archival collections, also known as finding aids.

Applicants will be notified of all decisions by December 22, 2022

If you have any further questions, please contact