‘A Proclaimed Prize!’

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Are you studying Shakespeare at college, university, or for leisure? Are you going to be using the archives or library of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust? You might be interested in applying for the Louis Marder Shakespeare Centre Scholarship (or recommending it to a friend).

This annual scholarship of £1,000 will be awarded to ‘a worthy Shakespearian currently pursuing a Ph.D. or similar study, who pledges to produce an original, publishable article on a previously approved literary, historical, or biographical topic about William Shakespeare (as opposed to character analysis or authorship studies) from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Library or Archives, approved by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s assigned authorities, within two years of the accepted funds. The intent of the award is to inspire, stimulate, and promote archival scholarship.’ Think of it as an opportunity to come to Stratford and spending a few weeks working in our reading room at the Shakespeare Centre.

‘Publishable’ means that your work might be part of a book, thesis, scholarly article, or conference paper which might be published in whole or in part in print or in a virtual medium. The publication should acknowledge The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the receipt of the award. Since our library and archive include at least 55,000 books devoted to Shakespeare’s work, life, and times, and hundreds of thousands of documents relating to the genesis and evolution of Stratford-upon-Avon 400 years before and 400 years after Shakespeare, there’s plenty to immerse yourself in! And then there is the archive of The Royal Shakespeare Company from 1879 to the present day, and other special theatre collections, too.

Last year’s scholarship was awarded to a Ph.D. student working on performance spaces in Stratford-upon-Avon during Shakespeare’s time; a previous scholarship was awarded to someone working on theatrical music manuscripts in our collection. But please note: you don’t have to be doing a Ph.D. The award could just as easily be given to someone writing a book or a significant series of articles.

If you are interested in applying, you should submit a letter of intent that states what your project is, how it relates to the collections of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, what you expect to accomplish, how you expect to pursue it, some details about your own personal credentials (previous publications, experience with historical documents, for example your ability to read Elizabethan handwriting, etc.), and the names of the principal archives and libraries where you are expecting to work. The scholarship wants to award work which is novel, original, enlightening, or biographically and historically exciting.

Send your letter of application to education1@shakespeare.org.uk, clearly marked The Louis Marder Shakespeare Centre Scholarship. The deadline for submissions is Monday 23 April. The winner will be informed on Tuesday 15 May.

Please pass the notice about this award on to anyone who you think might be interested.

Good Luck. Be bold. Amaze us!

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Author:Paul Edmondson

Head of Research and Knowledge and Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival for The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Follow Paul on Twitter @paul_edmondson

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