Research Fellowships for Creative Artists

2022-23 Lane Fellowship application guidelines

Amherst College students are invited to apply for a research fellowship with the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections. The Lane Fellowship provides up to five fellows with financial and research support while using historical and rare source materials for arts projects. 

Following a cohort-support model, Fellows will work with library staff and support one another in the process of growing creative research skills and critically engaging with archival structures and processes. Students are encouraged to follow their curiosity, and identify manuscript material or items of interest in our collections to use as inspiration or to draw directly from in produced works. Projects may make use of additional materials as well. ​

Projects may include (but are not limited to):
- Artists’ books
- Costume or set designs
- Creative fiction, non-fiction, or poetry
- Dances
- Documentary film or videos
- Drawings, paintings, installations, sculptures, or videos
- Digital art projects
- Performance of historical music or drama
- Plays or screenplays

Examples of projects:
Fellow A wrote and illustrated a new interpretation of the Iroquois Sky Woman story, drawing inspiration from books in the Kim-Wait/Eisenberg Collection of Native American Literature

Fellow B wrote a series of short stories set in twentieth-century Western Massachusetts. He drew inspiration from news articles and stories found in issues of The Amherst Student and local newspapers, and used reference materials such as regional dialect dictionaries to add authenticity to the characters and situations.

Fellow C developed a sound installation, based on the idea that buildings hold historical memory. Their research focused on materials documenting the Amherst Uprising of 2015 and the Buildings and Grounds Collection, and they used contact microphones to conduct sonic investigations of the library building and other spaces.

Fellow D designed characters for an animated short film about a cluster of daddy long legs spiders. They used rare books in natural history and ornithology to inform the visual look of the characters and scenarios.

Fellow C wrote and performed a play about the life and assassination of Fred Hampton, focused on the hours before his death. The playwright enhanced the historical accuracy and dialog of her play by reading through publications in the Bloom Alternative Press Collection, including issues of The Black Panther magazine.

Proposals must include:
- Short summary of a clearly defined project
- Name of a faculty reference (preferably someone who is advising the project)
- Expected date of project completion
- Optional: images, video, or other non-textual elements in addition to the written summary

Applicants must be currently enrolled Amherst College students; Amherst alumni and students from other members of the Five College Consortium are not eligible. Priority will go to proposals leading to thesis work or other projects developed with faculty or departmental support, and to projects with spring semester completion dates. Awards will be made based on the feasibility and strength of the proposed projects. The program begins in the fall semester and continues through the spring, with all Fellows participating fully, regardless of the completion date of their project.

Deadline for application: Friday, October 7.

Send proposals to Mike Kelly, Head of Archives and Special Collections,
Send questions about the program, the application process, or about how special collections and archival research might be part of your project to Sara Smith, Arts & Humanities Librarian, at

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