Short-term Collections-based Fellowships

Book with historic biblical text

Spanning virtually every age and region of the world, the Yale University collections are among the deepest and widest ranging of any university. They form an integral part of Yale’s mission of teaching and research and are accessible in various ways to students, scholars, and the public alike.

The Yale Institute of Sacred Music supports short-term fellowships in Yale collections for research on the aural, material, visual, ritual, and textual cultures of religions. These fellowships are restricted to work in Yale’s non-circulating collections, particularly at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the special collections of the Divinity Library, the Collection of Musical Instruments, the Yale Center for British Art, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and the Yale University Art Gallery. The fellowships are residential for one to three months. Researchers must free themselves of most other work during the fellowship period and are expected to reside in the vicinity of Yale. Yale faculty, staff, and students are not eligible for these fellowships. 

Fellowship Details

Fellowships are available both for doctoral students who are at the dissertation stage, and for any other scholars who hold the Ph.D or equivalent terminal degree. They are granted for a consecutive one- to three-month period at any time during the year (academic year or summer) when the collections are open to the public.

Those accepted as fellows will have access to all of Yale’s libraries and the portion of the collections they have proposed to research, where they will also be given space to conduct their work. Fellows are encouraged also to involve themselves in the life of the university during their stays.  Unfortunately, Short-term fellows will not have access to circulating collections in Yale’s library system.

Scholars must free themselves of other teaching or work responsibilities during the course of the fellowship and may not hold other fellowships simultaneously. Split fellowships will not be granted, and only one application per candidate in a given academic year will be allowed. Please note that attendance will be monitored and grants will be adjusted to reflect shortened fellowship periods. Only J-1 visas will be granted to fellows requiring immigration assistance to undertake research.

Eligibility and Support

Applicants for an ISM Short-term Fellowship must hold a terminal degree in their field or be in the final stage of dissertation research and writing. The ISM provides a grant toward round-trip travel (economy class) from the candidate’s home to New Haven and an honorarium for living expenses of $4,500 per month for doctoral candidates (ABD), or $5,500 per month for any scholar holding the doctorate. Fellows are responsible for locating and initially funding their own housing.

General Inquiries

Send any inquiries regarding the collections themselves to the following addresses:

Beinecke Library of Manuscripts and Rare Books  - Links to email for the library curators

Yale Center for British Art -

Yale Collection of Musical Instruments -

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History –

Yale University Art Gallery – 

All other inquiries may be sent to .

  • <i>Ars notoria, sive Flores aurei,</i> Mellon MS 1 (Beinecke)
    Ars notoria, sive Flores aurei, Mellon MS 1 (Beinecke)
  • <i>Acanthancora sp.,</i> Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History; photo by K. Calderon, 2017
    Acanthancora sp., Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History; photo by K. Calderon, 2017
  • Sansa,Yale Collection of Musical Instruments
    Sansa, Yale Collection of Musical Instruments
  • John Whessell, <i>A Boat Race on the River Isis, Oxford,</i> Yale Center for British Art
    John Whessell, A Boat Race on the River Isis, Oxford, Yale Center for British Art
  • Coat, 18th century, Culture: Persian, Iranian, Islamic, Yale University Art Gallery
    Coat, 18th century, Culture: Persian, Iranian, Islamic, Yale University Art Gallery