There are many ways to get involved with the University Library Special Collections. From research projects, to volunteering your time, and encouraging students to engage with collections through competitions.
This scholarship allows researchers to research a topic using the Library’s special collections. The scheme is open to all interested researchers, external to the University of St Andrews, affiliated to another university or independent.
Up to £1,500 is provided to successful applicants to cover travel and accommodation, but not subsistence, during the scholarship. The scholarship lasts between two and eight weeks between 1 July and 31 August 2020.
Deadline for applications: 18 January 2020.
Included in the scholarship
Successful candidates will receive:
- accommodation in a University hall of residence. The cost of this will be paid directly by the University, who will also make all necessary arrangements for residency
- access to the University’s special collections
- invitations to take part in workshops, seminars and other events organised by the Special Collections team
- curatorial support
- Napier Reading Room provision
- University of St Andrews email account
During the scholarship
Successful applicants must:
- adhere to the agreed start date
- deliver a public talk or workshop on the research undertaken during their Scholarship
- produce a summary of the research undertaken during their scholarship, which can be used by the Library for publicity purposes.
Any scholarship holder wishing to make their own accommodation arrangements is free to do so. In this case they will receive a contribution towards cost equivalent to the rent payable in the allocated University accommodation. These costs would be reimbursed at the conclusion of the visit (on production of receipts and completed claim form).
Travel expenses will be processed in arrears (on production of receipts and completed claim form).
All international expenditure, before being presented to the Library, must be converted to GB pounds sterling and include evidence of exchange rate on the day of transaction.
How to apply
The complete application form should include:
- personal details
- an outline of the sources to be consulted in line with essential criteria above
- an up to date CV
- an up to date list of relevant publications
- one reference in support of the application.
Information about the intended research project should also be included in the application form. You need to provide the following details across no more than two pages of A4:
- title of project
- proposed start and end date
- research vision
- intended outputs.
If you’re interested in the work of the University Library Special Collections you might like to learn more through work-experience or volunteering.
Student volunteering (no experience):
A structured programme offered to a small number of students each semester who will work for one half-day per week under supervision on specific projects. This gives valuable experience to support an application for postgraduate training courses or vocational work alongside those already studying by distance-learning.
Internships (opportunities for those with prior experience):
Those with experience in the archives or rare book sectors may be accepted as interns to work with our collections. These placements are often set up in conjunction with projects elsewhere in the University such as the Universal Short Title Catalogue (USTC) project or courses such as the MLitt in Book History. Sometimes arrangements are made directly with individuals.
Occasional, sometimes short-term but regular volunteering by, for example, the newly graduated or newly retired.
Please get in touch with the Special Collections team for more information.
Submit an essay about a collection you have owned and compiled yourself for a chance to win £500. Your collection may consist of books, printed ephemera, manuscripts or photographs, tied together by a common theme. What’s important is that the collection was assembled by you, not the number of items nor the monetary value.
Your essay should be no more than 2,500 words and include an annotated bibliography of the items.
The competition is open to any current student at the University of St Andrews.
This competition runs each year, with a deadline of 1 July.
For more information and to apply for the competition, please view the application form and prize rules:
The prize is offered in honour of James David Forbes (1809-1868), the eminent scientist and Principal of the United College of St Salvator and St Leonard at St Andrews. His library was presented to the University in 1929. The purpose of the prize is to encourage students of the University to build their own collections of books and to promote interest in book collecting.