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.l1642754929aciro1642754929tsihn1642754929oslif1642754929@spih1642754929swoll1642754929ef1642754929 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.

2021 Spring Filson Fellowship Awards Recipients

Megan Armknecht, Ph.D. Candidate, Princeton University, Diplomatic Households and the Foundations of U.S. Diplomacy, 1789-1870

Aisha Djelid, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Reading, “dey jus’ puts a man and breedin’ woman together like mules”: Forced Reproduction in Antebellum North and South Carolina, 1808-1865

Daniel Farrell, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Cincinnati, Assessing Loyalty, Suppressing Treason: United States Civilians Living Under Martial Law During the Civil War Era, 1861-1868

Cody Nager, Ph.D. Candidate, City University of New York, From Different Quarters: Regulating Migration and Naturalization in the Early American Republic, 1783-1815

2021 Fall Filson Fellowship Awards Recipients