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.l1674901021aciro1674901021tsihn1674901021oslif1674901021@spih1674901021swoll1674901021ef1674901021 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.

2022 Spring Filson Fellowship Awards Recipients

Mary Fesak

Ph.D. Candidate, University of Delaware

Thoroughbred Landscapes, Racing Humans: How Equestrian Landscapes and Culture Remade Class, Race, and Masculinity at the Turn of the Century

Katherine Grandjean

Associate Professor of History, Wellesley College

In the Kingdom of Devils: The Harp Murders and the Legacies of the American Revolution

Lucien Holness

Assistant Professor of History, Virginia Tech

The Making of Free Soil, Free Labor, and Black Freedom in the Borderland of Southwestern Pennsylvania: 1754-1870

Kevin Kokomoor

Lecturer, Coastal Carolina University

Twenty Years on the Dark and Bloody Ground: How a Generation of Struggle on the Southern Frontier Shaped the Early United States

Scott C. Martin

Professor of History & American Culture Studies, Bowling Green State University

The Psychoactive Civil War:  Alcohol and Drugs in the American Civil War and Its Aftermath

Michael A. Schoeppner

Associate Professor of History, University of Maine, Farmington

The First Illegal Immigrants: Black Migrants and Border Law before Reconstruction