Gary E. and Carolyn J. Strong Special Collections Fellowship

Questions? Contact Dulce Kersting-Lark, Head of Special Collections and Archives, at

DEADLINE: April 10, 2024

Call for Applications

The University of Idaho Library invites graduate students from any discipline at the University of Idaho to apply for the Gary E. and Carolyn J. Strong Special Collections Fellowship. This program funds one student each year to work with the faculty and staff at the Library to increase the visibility and use of previously unprocessed collections in the University of Idaho Library’s Special Collections & Archives. The fellowship occurs during the summer for six to eight weeks, with exact dates to be negotiated with the successful applicant. Though priority is given to doctoral students, masters students may be selected. Eligible applicants must have plans to enroll in the fall semester after the fellowship.

Applicants may select from projects listed below that they find interesting, and/or may submit a proposal for a different project which forwards the goals of increasing the visibility and use of previously unprocessed collections in the U of I Library’s Special Collections and Archives. The activities of the fellow will be focused on processing and digitizing previously unprocessed accessions. University of Idaho Library personnel will assist and guide the work; applicants are not required to have experience in creating digital collections.

The deliverables from the fellowship will be materials such as finding aids that assist in discovery and use of the collection, a digital collection hosted by the U of I Library, or a multi-modal interpretative essay that uses embedded digital items (images, PDFs, videos, etc.) from the fellow’s research to introduce their research and describe their experience on the fellowship. All deliverables will be made publicly available through the U of I Library webpage.

The award includes a $4,500 student fellowship and up to $500 in research funds to help cover the cost of materials and supplies, project-related travel expenses, etc.

Since 2021, Strong Fellowship recipients have improved access to a variety of collections, including the League of Women Voters of Moscow records, the Women in Natural Resources collection, the Palouse Science Fiction Association collection, and the Lyle J. Reed collection related to the Old Time Fiddle Festival.

Application Process

Applicants must submit:

  1. A letter of no more than 300 words detailing interest in this fellowship and previous experience, education, and/or training that prepare the applicant for the work of this project.
  2. A summary of no more than 300 words detailing the proposed project and outlining how it increases the visibility and use of previously unprocessed collections in the U of I Library’s Special Collections and Archives.
  3. A current resume or CV.
  4. A letter of support from a U of I faculty member.

Applications are due Wednesday, April 10th by the end of the day and a decision will be announced within two weeks of the deadline.

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Application materials are clearly written and demonstrate the applicant’s understanding of the nature and purpose of the project, how it relates to other work in the field, and it includes a plan for accomplishing project goals.
  • Project forwards the goals of increasing the visibility and use of the University of Idaho’s Special Collections and Archives.
  • Proposed project allows student to take intellectual ownership and can be reasonably completed in the allotted time.
  • Proposed project provides an opportunity for the student to advance their thesis or dissertation work, or develop a new skill set.
  • Student is prepared for the project (coursework, experience, interest and ability to navigate and use primary sources, etc.)
  • Faculty member has submitted supportive recommendation.

Potential Projects:

  1. Calvin Warnick papers
    • Civil engineering professor at U of I, founding director of the Water Resources Research Institute; papers related to professional work and personal research.
  2. Virginia Wicks papers
    • Famed jazz publicist for musicians including Nat Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, and Ella Fitzgerald.
  3. Alumni Association records
    • Scrapbooks, photos, and class histories spanning 1910-2000.
  4. University of Idaho Photo Services materials
    • Wide variety of campus life photos from the 1980s-1990s.
  5. Wildlife Resources Department records
    • Correspondence, memos, lantern slides, film and glass negatives.
  6. Idaho State Climate Laboratory Observation records
    • Meteorological observations and other records from 1978-1992.
  7. Charles Wellner papers
    • Correspondence, reports, publications, and other papers from U of I alumnus dedicated to forestry.
  8. Bessie Olmstead Storm papers
    • Personal papers and keepsakes of U of I alumna dated 1912-2006.
  9. Idaho Conservation League records
    • incorporate recently donated materials into existing ICL collection.

Interested students are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposals with the Head of Special Collections and Archives, Dulce Kersting-Lark, as they are developing their application materials. Dulce can be reached at