The Filson fellowships are designed to encourage research in all aspects of the history of Kentucky and the regions of the Ohio Valley and the Upper South.  The Filson’s collections are especially strong for the frontier, antebellum, and Civil War eras of Kentucky history. The Filson fellowships and internships are funded by a variety of sources in order to facilitate the scholarly use of our nationally significant collections by providing support for travel and lodging.

Applicants for The Filson fellowships should indicate how The Filson’s collections are relevant to their research topics.  Fellows will have the opportunity to present the results of their research to scholars and the general public as appropriate. Internships are designed to provide practical experience in collections management and research for graduate students.

Application deadlines for fellowships and internships are October 15th and February 15th of each year (or the Monday following the 15th if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday). Applications are reviewed two times a year. Fellows and interns are expected to be in continuous residence at The Filson. The Filson anticipates that fellows will publish the results of their research in Ohio Valley History, a peer-reviewed journal published jointly by The Filson, the Cincinnati Museum Center, and the University of Cincinnati.

Please contact The Filson's Director of Research, LeeAnn Whites, with any questions concerning the Fellowship and Internship Programs.

Application Information  


Master's Thesis Fellowships

Eligibility:  M.A. candidate at the thesis stage.

Tenure of Fellowship: One week.

Amount of Award:  $500.

Full support of a single $500 award is available for a one-week fellowship period to encourage use of our research collections by M.A. students developing and researching thesis topics. Partial support is available for students residing in Kentucky who travel from outside the greater Louisville area.

Filson Fellowships

Eligibility:  Ph.D. or equivalent, or doctoral candidate at the dissertation stage.

Tenure of Fellowship: One week.

Amount of Award: $500

Full awards are $500 per week and may be awarded for up to two weeks. Awards must be used within eighteen months of their receipt. Partial support is available for scholars residing in Kentucky who travel from outside the greater Louisville area.

C. Ballard Breaux Visiting Fellowships

Eligibility: Ph.D. or equivalent.

Tenure of Fellowship: One month.

Amount of Award: $2,000.

Full support for post doctoral scholars living outside of Kentucky is available for a one-month residence. Partial support is available for scholars residing in Kentucky who travel from outside the greater Louisville area. Applicants for Breaux Visiting Fellowships are automatically considered for Filson Fellowships.


H. F. Boehl Summer Interns

Eligibility: Current enrollment in or recent completion of a graduate program in history or a related field.

Tenure of Internship: One to three months summer residence.

Amount of Award: $1,200 per month.

Interns work with appropriate curatorial staff and faculty advisors in areas of collections management and research.

Filson Fellowship Awards recipients made possible in part by the Bullitt Homestead Preservation Trust and the Boehl Trust.

2017 Fall Filson Fellowship Awards Recipients

Master's Thesis Fellowship:

Mr. Eric Becerra, University of North Carolina, "A New Guardian: The Values of the American Revolution in Late Eighteenth-Century Spanish Louisiana"

Filson Fellowship:

Ms. Laura Ellen Smith, University of Mississippi, “Populism and Democratization in the Presidential Election of 1832”

Dr. Timothy J. Williams, University of Oregon, “Civil War Prisons and the Making of Confederate Nationalism, 1861-1900”

Mr. Joseph Harold Larnerd, Stanford University, “The Makings of Cut Glass in America, 1876 to 1916”

C. Ballard Breaux Fellowship:

Dr. Bryan C. Rindfleisch, Marquette University, "From Creek (Mvskoke) to Cherokee (Tsalagi): The Entangled Histories of Native America, 1600-1800"

2016 Fall Filson Fellowship Awards Recipients

Two-Week Filson Fellowship: 

Ms. Kelsey Frady Malone, PhD Candidate, University of Missouri, "Sisterhood as Strategy: The Collaboration of American Women Artists"

One-Week Filson Fellowships:

Ms. Sheila Ashley Jordan, PhD Candidate, Howard University, "Neighbors: Comparing and Contrasting the Loves of African Americans in the Free State of Ohio v. the Slave State of Kentucky"

Ms. Rebecca Montgomery, Professor, Texas State University-San Marcos, "Building a Base for Progress: Southern Women and African American Education, 1880-1920"

Mr. James Parisot, Instructor, PhD from Binghamton University, follow-up on dissertation entitled "Westward the Course of Empire!: How the American Empire Became Capitalist"

Ms. Alexis Smith, PhD Candidate, Indiana University, "Blurred Bondage: Native American and African American Slavery in the Ohio Valley, 1660-1820"

Mr Andrew Wiley, PhD Candidate, University of Calgary, "'A Steady Opposition to Every Evolution of Radicalism': Conservatism, Conservatives, and the Civil War Era"

Half-Week Filson Fellowships:

Ms. Anne Delano Steinert, PhD Candidate, University of Cincinnati, "How Did That Ever Get There?: Locating the Covington-Cincinnati Bridge in the Industrialized City" 

2016 Spring Filson Fellowship Awards Recipients

One-Week Filson Fellowships:

Ms. Jamie Brummitt, Doctoral Candidate, Duke University, "Protestant Relics: Religion, Objects, and the Art of Mourning in the Early American Republic"

Mr. William Cossen, PhD Candidate, Penn State University, "The Protestant Image in the Catholic Mind: Interreligious Encounters in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era"

Ms. Charlene Fletcher-Brown, Doctoral Student, Indiana University, "Confined Femininity: Race, Gender, and Incarceration in Kentucky, 1865-1920"

Mr. Jack Furniss, Doctoral Candidate, University of Virginia, "It is for this party... to save the country: The Constitutional Union Party and the Fate of Compromise"

Ms. Lauren Haumesser, Doctoral Student, University of Virginia, "The Party of Patriarchy: Democratic Gender Politics and the Coming of the Civil War"

Mr. Brandon Layton, Doctoral Candidate, University of California, Davis, "Children of Two Fires"

Dr. Amy Lueck, Assistant Professor, Santa Clara University, "Composing the American High School: The Rhetoric of Institution Building and Pedagogical Reform

Half-Week Filson Fellowships:

Ms. Danae Jacobson, Doctoral Candidate, University of Notre Dame, "Nuns and Nature: An Environmental History of Religious Sisters in Nineteenth Century North America"

Ms. Briel Koback, Doctoral Student, University of Chicago, "Straight Whiskey and the Consumer It Protects"  

To view a list of accommodations close to The Filson, please click here.

For more information, contact Dr. LeeAnn Whites, Director of Research, The Filson Historical Society, 1310 S. Third Street, Louisville, KY 40208 or email