This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are used for visitor analysis, others are essential to making our site function properly and improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Click Accept to consent and dismiss this message or Deny to leave this website. Read our Privacy Statement for more.
Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
News and Announcements: Fellowships and Grants

Call for Applications: Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection Research Fellowships

Thursday, March 5, 2020  
Share |

Pitts Theology Library at Emory University invites applications to serve as one of two Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection Research Fellows for the 2020–21 academic year. Kessler Research Fellows will work virtually for a full academic year studying a single item or a single aspect of the Richard C. Kessler Collection. While residence in Atlanta is not required, each fellow will make a Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 visit to Pitts Theology Library to be in residence for three days each visit. During each visit, the fellow will have access to the Kessler Collection for research and will offer one public lecture and conduct one research workshop. During the visit, the fellow will also meet with graduate students and library staff to discuss research methods. Throughout the academic year, the fellow will meet virtually with the Director of Pitts Theology Library and the Rare Book Cataloger to discuss research progress.

The fellowship will work toward the creation of detailed metadata for the item(s) studied, a research-quality essay to be published by the library, and a digital exhibition to be hosted by the library. Funding Each fellowship will consist in an honorarium of $5,000 for the academic year. The fellowship also includes funds to cover all travel, food, and lodging expenses associated with two visits to Pitts Theology Library.


 Kessler Fellows are required to produce the following:

  • A publication-worthy essay on the item(s) studied, consisting at least 10,000 words, to be published online, by the library, and potentially in a leading journal
  • A digital exhibition, to be hosted by Pitts Theology Library, which highlights the focus of the fellowship
  • Two visits to Pitts Theology for three days each, during which time the fellow will offer a public lecture, lead a research workshop, and meet with graduate students


 All scholars of theology, history, art history, book history, or related fields, connected to printed works of the 16th century, are eligible to apply. Eligible scholars will be either ABD in a PhD program or will have completed a PhD in a related field in the last 10 years.

Application Process

 Applicants should email the following application materials:

  • A letter of introduction, describing the trajectory of the scholar’s career and how the fellowship fits within an ongoing research program
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A research proposal of no more than 500 words, identifying the item or collection of items to serve as the focus of research
  • A letter of recommendation from a colleague, teacher, or mentor, who can speak to the applicant’s research potential

About the Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection

 The Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection was established in 1987, when Richard and Martha Kessler donated their private collection of Reformation imprints and manuscripts to Emory University. These materials were combined with Reformation holdings at the Pitts Theology Library, and an effort was launched to enlarge and sustain this collection in the years to come. In the sixteenth century the social and theological movements of central Europe, known collectively as the Reformation, critically shaped religion, law, education and other institutions in the West, and their long shadow has extended even to the present. The purpose of the Kessler Collection is to document these changes by collecting print and manuscript materials down to 1570 by Martin Luther (1483–1546) and those whom he influenced or engaged in debate. In this way historians and theologians will be able to hear the full range of voices that were raised in this dynamic period.

The holdings of the collection now exceed 3,900 items, a mark approximated by only two other libraries in North America; no American library approaches the Kessler Collection's 1,000+ publications of works written by Luther himself. An advisory committee of Lutheran laypersons and clergy and of Candler School of Theology faculty and administrators oversees the nurture of the collection and its programs.

The Reformation Notes newsletter ( provides annual updates on the growth of the collection, and the Reformation Day at Emory program of music and lectures each October ( celebrates the collection and its contributions to music, history, and theology.

Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal