Research Fellowships

Research Fellowships

The Filson Historical Society’s fellowships encourage the scholarly use of the Filson’s nationally significant collections by providing support for travel and lodging. Fellows are expected to be in continuous residence at the Filson. Application deadlines are twice per year, February 15 and October 15.

The Filson is Kentucky’s largest privately supported historical society with research collections documenting the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley, and the Upper South. The collections include rare books, maps, and 2.1 million manuscripts in addition to extensive collections for the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A large nineteenth-century portrait collection as well as over 100,000 photographs and fine prints provide visual images for all periods. The online research tools can be explored here.

Areas of collections strength include:

  • Trans-Appalachian Frontier
  • Lewis & Clark Expedition
  • African American History
  • Civil War & Memory
  • Southern Jewish History
  • Agriculture & the Environment
  • Architecture & Material Culture
  • Gilded Age and Progressive-era
  • Suffrage and Women’s Rights
  • Transportation History
  • Urban History

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 gro.l1618531650aciro1618531650tsihn1618531650oslif1618531650@spih1618531650swoll1618531650ef1618531650 with any questions concerning the Fellowship programs. Full application instructions can be found here. To view a list of accommodations close to the Filson, click here.

Filson Fellowships are made possible in part by the Bullitt Homestead Preservation Trust and the Boehl Trust.

Fellowship Types


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

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.


Eligibility:  ABD, Ph.D., or holder of an equivalent terminal degree

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 nearby who travel from outside the greater Louisville area.


Eligibility: Ph.D. or holders of an equivalent terminal degree

Full support of $2,000 for scholars living outside of Kentucky is available for a one-month residence. Partial support is available for scholars residing nearby who travel from outside the greater Louisville area. Applicants for Breaux Visiting Fellowships are automatically considered for Filson Fellowships.

2020 Spring Filson Fellowship Awards Recipients

Ben Bascom, Assistant Professor of English, Ball State University, Feeling Singular: Queer Masculinity and Archive Desires in the Early United States

Tayana Hardin, Associate Professor of African American Literature, University of Denver, Meditations on Black Becoming in the Kentucky Border State

Lucas Somers, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Southern Mississippi, Embattled Learning: Education and Emancipation in the Post-Civil War Upper South

David Swartz, Associate Professor of History, Asbury University, To Live and Die in Dixie: Civil War Memory in Jessamine County, Kentucky

2020 Fall Filson Fellowship Awards Recipients

Laura E. C. Bergstrom, Ph.D. Candidate, Purdue University Relationships of Reform: Frances MacGregor Ingram, Immigrants, and Southern Progressivism in Louisville, Kentucky, 1900-1940

Jonathan Lande, Assistant Professor, Purdue University Warriors, Rebels, and Runaways: A History of Black Soldiers’ Struggle for Freedom during the American Civil War

Jessica Riley, M.A. Student, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Hogsheads and Cigarettes: The Campbell Family’s Tobacco Company and its Louisville Business Peers, 1880-1933

Venue Rental

Spaces Available for Rent Beginning 2022

The Filson Historical Society is a unique venue that blends the historic with the modern and provides a stunning background for any event. Several areas of the campus are available to be rented for dinners, retreats, meetings, receptions, parties, or weddings. The venues have access to 74 free parking spaces and wifi, as well as small catering areas. All of the Filson’s facilities have accessible parking.

View a virtual tour of our spaces!

Visit the Filson

1310 S. 3rd St., Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 635-5083

The Filson is temporarily closed to the public to protect our staff, volunteers, and patrons during the coronavirus pandemic. All events are currently being held virtually; to register for our live virtual events, please visit our Events Page; for information on recorded lectures and other activities, please visit us online at Bringing History Home.

We continue to provide remote research services; please email gro.l1618531650aciro1618531650tsihn1618531650oslif1618531650@hcra1618531650eser1618531650.


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