Black feminism and the women’s liberation movement. Transgender archives. American women’s history in the high school classroom.

These are a few of the many topics students and scholars will examine as they travel from across campus and from around the world to use the collections at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. For nearly 75 years, the Schlesinger Library has documented women’s contributions to American history and opened its collections to the public. This year, the library awarded more than $80,000 in research support grants that will create new insights into American history.

“We live in an era of profound social and political change. These scholars and the diversity of the projects they are undertaking underscore how important it is to look into our history in order to understand the present and shape the future,” said Jane Kamensky, the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute and a professor in the History Department at Harvard. “Aided by our research grants, these scholars will amplify the voices of remarkable and everyday women and families in America.”

Researchers will dive into the Schlesinger Library’s manuscripts, rare books, magazines, photos, and audiovisual materials to uncover both the lives of well-known Americans—including the photographer Bettye Lane, the actor and ambassador Shirley Temple, and the public relations executive and feminist Doris Fleischman—and the lives of everyday women, such as students involved in anti-violence movements on American college campuses. New stories will be documented through oral histories of the Native American women of Standing Rock who protested the Dakota Access Pipeline and of black women in New Orleans who are fighting against the mass incarceration of people of color.

Full list of grant recipients


The Schlesinger Library is currently accepting research grant and fellowship applications for the 2018–2019 academic year.