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Library Research Grants

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on visits to the Princeton University campus, the Friends of the Princeton University Library have made the difficult decision to suspend the Research Grants Program for the 2021-2022 period. We invite you to check in Fall 2021 for updated information. In the meantime, if you have questions, please direct them to We appreciate your interest in the Research Grants Program.

Each year, the Friends of the Princeton University Library offer short-term Library Research Grants to promote scholarly use of the research collections. The Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Fund also supports a limited number of library fellowships in Hellenic studies, the Elmer Adler Fund supports research in Graphic Arts, and the Cotsen Children’s Library supports research in its collection on aspects of children’s books. The Maxwell Fund supports research on materials dealing with Portuguese-speaking cultures. In addition, awards will be made from the Sid Lapidus '59 Research Fund for Studies of the Age of Revolution and the Enlightenment in the Atlantic World. This award covers work using materials pertinent to this topic donated by Mr. Lapidus as well as other also relevant materials in the collections. 

These Library Research Grants, which have a value of up to $4,000 plus transportation costs, are meant to help defray expenses incurred in traveling to and residing in Princeton during the tenure of the grant. The length of the grant will depend on the applicant’s research proposal, but is ordinarily up to one month. Library Research Grants are tenable from May of the year they are awarded to the following April.

Applicants are asked to read the FAQ before beginning the application process.

The application process recently changed and now includes setting up an account in the application system. In the system, applicants will be asked to complete an application form and upload a curriculum vitae or résumé (Word or PDF) as well as a research proposal not exceeding one thousand words in length. Two letters of recommendation are required as part of the application process, and invitations can be sent to recommenders directly within the system. You will be able to submit your application once the letters of recommendation have been received. 

The proposal should address specifically the relevance to the proposed research of unique resources found in the Princeton University Library collections. Applications will be considered for scholarly use of archives, manuscripts, rare books, and other rare and unique holdings of the Department of Special Collections, including Mudd Library; as well as rare books in Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology, and in the East Asian Library (Gest Collection). Prospective grantees are urged to consult the Library’s home page for detailed descriptions of the collections, especially those in the Department of Special Collections. Applicants should have specific Princeton resources in mind as they prepare their proposals. The general circulating collections and electronic resources of the Princeton University Library are not relevant for purposes of this grant program. 

A committee consisting of members of the faculty, the library staff, and the Friends of the Princeton University Library will award the grants on the basis of the relevance of the proposal to unique holdings of the library, the merits and significance of the project, and the applicant’s scholarly qualifications. 

The application period for 2020-2021 has passed. As noted above, due to COVID-19, the program has been suspended for 2021-2022. 

If you have a current application, you can access the Grant Application System.

Click the links below to see past grant recipients: