The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York


ERI CUNY GC/Morgan Library and Museum Graduate Fellowships – applications due March 15, 2021

The Early Research Initiative invites applications for two Morgan Library & Museum graduate fellowships (Summer/Fall 2021).  These $4,000 fellowships will be offered to Graduate Center Ph.D. students from any program with primary research interests related to the collections at the Morgan Library & Museum. The primary responsibilities of the award winners will be to collaborate with curators, librarians, and catalogers from the Morgan in order to gain experience in creating and organizing collections or exhibition planning, research, and design, processing uncatalogued collections, and improving public access to documents and related materials.


Applicants are invited to take one of the following approaches:


(1) Apply to conduct one of the specific projects detailed below. This year the Morgan offers CUNY Fellowships in the following areas: a. musical compositions by Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, and others working in Paris during the Belle Époque; and b. the letters of Maria Tunno (1783-1853).


Dance and Modernism in the Early 20th Century (Department of Music Manuscripts and Printed Music)

From the Ballets Russes’ stunning first season in 1909, dance took a surprise leading role in ushering in modernism and moving beyond the juggernaut that Wagner’s legacy represented. The Lehman Collection on deposit at the Morgan holds autograph manuscripts for many of the most iconic Ballets Russes scores, including Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, and other major dance works beyond the Ballets Russes such as Ravel’s Boléro. This project seeks a candidate to research these manuscripts and the figures who brought them to life, with a focus on performer and impresario Ida Rubinstein, and dancer and choreographer Bronislava Nijinska. The candidate will work with primary sources and summarize relevant scholarly material. The candidate should read music and have broad familiarity with European music history, though expertise in this specific era is not required.


Nineteenth-century English letters: research and cataloging (Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts; Department of Collection Information Systems)

The Morgan is engaged in a major project to create detailed catalog descriptions of literary and historical letters from the collection of scholar Gordon N. Ray, who bequeathed his holdings to the Morgan. The Fellow will be tasked with deciphering, researching, and describing a group of around 50 items from the Ray collection, namely a group of letters by Maria Tunno (1783–1853), a resident of Buckinghamshire with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, including correspondents in Continental Europe. Working under the supervision of a senior Morgan cataloger, the Fellow will produce useful enhancements to the Morgan’s catalog while gaining insights into professional methods for processing primary source material.


(2) Apply to conduct a research project of your own choosing that requires the use of primary source material (manuscripts, rare books, music, archives, and other works of art) in the Morgan’s collections. Students are especially encouraged to submit proposals related to modern art, literature and publishing making use, for example, of the Carter Burden Collection of American Literature and the Man Booker Prize Collection below.

o   The Carter Burden collection of American literature contains materials related to major modern American authors since Henry James, including Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Jack Kerouac, Ezra Pound, Edith Wharton, Gertrude Stein, and Tennessee Williams. Additional strengths of the collection comprise inscribed copies, post-war poetry broadsides, ephemera, yearbooks, and magazines.

o   The Man Booker Prize Collection includes approximately 20 cubic feet of manuscript and archival material documenting or related to the history and administration of the Booker Prize, specific titles submitted to the prize, and many of the authors, judges, publishers, editors and others associated with the prize. In addition, the collection includes hundreds of first editions, variants, proofs, and subsequent editions of every shortlisted, longlisted, and winning book between 1969 and 2012—some of which are annotated by authors or judges.



It is required that fellowship recipients be in residence for 120 hours over the summer and/or fall of 2021 at the Morgan. This year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, fellows may be offered the option to work an extended blended schedule, a combination of on-site and remote work. Fellows will be supplied with digital images of collection materials, when possible and necessary, to facilitate remote work. In addition, recipients will be required to give a brief public presentation on their work at the Graduate Center and write a blog post (for Tales from the Reading Room, one of the Morgan’s blog series) about their experiences at the end of the relevant period before the end of the Fall 2021 semester. Additional opportunities for presentations or social media contributions to the Morgan’s accounts are also possible.


To apply please send a letter of interest describing your research interests and related experience with specific reference to one of the projects described below, a c.v., a current Graduate Center transcript (Students may submit the unofficial student copy that can be printed from CUNYFirst), and a letter of support from your primary advisor.


Instructions for submitting your application:

1)         Please combine the above materials (except for the letter of recommendation) into a SINGLE file (either as a pdf document or a word document).

Use the following format when naming your document: Last Name, First Name, Program


2)         Email your file directly to

Please use your graduate center email address when sending the file.


Instructions for Faculty Recommenders

1)         Prepare your reference letter as a regular word or pdf document.

2)         Please use the following format when naming your document:

Student Last Name, First Name

3)         Email your file directly to



Application Deadline: March 15, 2021