Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dibner Library Resident Scholar Program at Smithsonian

The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology Resident Scholar Program, supported by The Dibner Fund, awards stipends of $3,500.00 per month for up to six months for individuals working on a topic relating to the history of science and technology who can make substantial use of collections in the Dibner Library. Historians, librarians, doctoral students, and post-doctoral scholars are welcome to apply. Scholars must be in residence at the Dibner Library during the award period. Scholars wanting to do research in other areas of SI Libraries' Special Collections should apply for the Baird Society Resident Scholar Program.

The core of the holdings of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology consists of approximately 10,000 rare books and manuscripts that were generously donated to the nation by the Burndy Library (founded by Bern Dibner) on the occasion of the nation's Bicentennial (1976). The strengths of the Dibner Library collection are in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, classical natural philosophy, theoretical physics (up to the early twentieth century), experimental physics (especially electricity and magnetism), engineering technology (from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century), and scientific apparatus and instruments.

The rare books, which date from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, include significant holdings of works by Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Euclid, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Leonhard Euler, René Descartes, and Pierre Simon, marquis de Laplace, and Aristotle. Scientists represented by significant manuscript papers include Dominique François Arago, Humphry Davy, John William Lubbock, Isaac Newton, Henri Milne-Edwards, Hans Christian Øersted, Henry Hureau de Sénarmont, Benjamin Silliman, Jr., and Silvanus P. Thompson. The Dibner Library collections support the research interests of Smithsonian staff in the National Museum of American History, and provide valuable resources for the other Smithsonian museums and research units.

To be competitive, the applicant should describe in detail how he/she intends to use the collections of the Dibner Library. While the Libraries' extensive general collections may be used to support scholars' research, the focus of their projects must center around the Dibner Library's Special Collections.

To learn more about the collection, please visit the Dibner Library's website. Our holdings are searchable via the SI Libraries' online catalog, SIRIS.

How To Apply

To apply, download the application in Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf) from the link below, and return the completed application to the address below.

To have an application form mailed to you or for further information, call 202-633-3872, or email

The deadline is April 1st, 2010 for appointments during the 2011 calendar year. Applications must be postmarked by this date to be considered.

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