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New Scholars Program

The Bibliographical Society of America (BSA) New Scholars Program strives to welcome researchers who have not previously published, lectured, or taught on bibliographical subjects by nurturing and promoting their scholarship. Each year, three New Scholars receive a cash award of $1,000, a $500 travel stipend, and the opportunity to present their work by participating in a two-pronged program:

  1. Preceding the BSA’s Annual Meeting (held each January in New York City during Bibliography Week), each New Scholar presents a fifteen-minute talk that is based on their submitted proposal.
  2. Expanded versions of the New Scholars’ papers are submitted to the Editors of the Society’s quarterly journal, The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA) for publication, subject to peer review. Scholars can expect to work closely with the Editors throughout the submission and review process.

In addition to the $1,000 cash award and $500 travel stipend, New Scholars may apply in one of the next two subsequent years for a stipend of the same amount to attend a second Annual Meeting. New Scholars also receive a complimentary one-year membership in the BSA, which includes a subscription to the PBSA

DEADLINE EXTENDED: As of September 6, 2023 applications are due on September 26, 2023. (Original deadline, Sept. 5.)


We strongly recommend a careful review of the following eligibility requirements for the New Scholars Program.

Booksellers, librarians, curators, collectors, junior (i.e., untenured) academics, graduate students at the dissertation level, and independent scholars are all welcome to apply. BSA encourages applications from individuals of any race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class status.

The New Scholars award is limited to US citizens and residents. We regret that we cannot accept applications from others at this time.

Newness in the field of bibliography
The New Scholars Program is designed to uplift work by individuals who are new to bibliography. Successful applicants to the BSA New Scholars Program have not previously published, lectured, or taught on bibliographical subjects.

What is bibliography?
The New Scholars Program defines bibliography to include studies of the creation, production, publication, distribution, reception, transmission, and subsequent history of all textual artifacts. This includes manuscript, print, and digital media, from clay and stone to laptops and smart phones. Bibliographical scholarship pursuing new methods and new approaches is welcome, including applications from candidates applying bibliographical theory and principles to diverse materials and media. 

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access
Guided by the Society’s Equity Action Plan, the committee welcomes submissions that embrace diverse, multicultural perspectives. BSA seeks to promote equity, inclusion, and diversity within the field, and encourages work that offers new research on previously under- or mis-represented groups or individuals.

How to Apply by September 26, 2023

The application deadline for consideration for the 2024 awards is September 26, 2023.

BSA uses Kaleidoscope to manage applications to our programs, and all candidates and recommenders are required to submit materials through the Kaleidoscope website.

Start your application here.

The application form requires: 

  1. A letter of application describing the applicant’s background in bibliography, a short abstract for their proposed paper, and a brief overview of their proposed 15-minute talk;
  2. A curriculum vitae;
  3. A letter of recommendation (see below).

Applications should propose papers and talks covering new work that has not been accepted for publication elsewhere in the form of an article, book, or book chapter (or portion thereof). 

Letters of Recommendation
Applicants will be prompted to supply the name and email address for a recommender, who will provide a confidential letter of recommendation. Recommenders should be an advisor or colleague who is familiar with the project, and who can speak to how the project will make a contribution to the field of bibliography. Doctoral candidates should request a recommendation from their dissertation director.

The Awards

Five named awards have been established for the New Scholars program. These are awarded by the New Scholars Selection Committee on an individual basis to candidates whose work aligns with each of the award’s intended purpose. In addition to those listed below, the BSA New Scholar Award may be awarded by the Committee to scholars for bibliographical research in any subject, geographic region, time period, or discipline. This last award is sometimes, but not always, funded by individual donors. Contact Executive Director Erin McGuirl to talk about supporting this award!

  1. The Jacob Blanck New Scholar Award honors Jacob Blanck, editor of the Bibliography of American Literature (1943–74). This award recognizes bibliographical and book historical scholarship focusing on printed works of writers of the United States and their publishers. It is funded annually by an anonymous donor.
  2. The Malkin New Scholar Award honors Mary Ann O’Brian Malkin (1913–2005), a book collector and longtime contributor to the Antiquarian Bookman/AB Bookman’s Weekly who pursued bibliographical interests in dance, Americana, and the booktrade. Established by Terry Belanger in 2006.
  3. The Dorothy Porter Wesley New Scholar Award The Dorothy Porter Wesley New Scholar Award supports new bibliographical scholarship conducted by a Black individual. This award was endowed with a lead gift from Lisa Unger Baskin in honor of Dorothy Porter Wesley.
  4. The D. F. McKenzie New Scholar Award supports bibliographical research in any subject, geographic region, time period, and/or discipline. This award is funded by an anonymous donor.
  5. The Pantzer New Scholar Award honors Katherine F. Pantzer (1930–2005), best known for her work on the revised Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland & Ireland, and for English Books Printed Abroad, 1475–1640. This award is funded in part by the Pantzer Bequest.

New Scholars are evaluated based on their eligibility, the completeness of their applications, the overall quality of their research, and the strength of their letters of recommendation. Instructions provided in the BSA’s New Scholars application form are intended to help applicants prepare a competitive submission.


Inquiries regarding the program may be directed to Barbara E. Heritage, Chair, New Scholars Program, at

For assistance with the Kaleidoscope application portal please see below, or email

Application Tech Support

Applicants and recommenders experiencing technical difficulties with Kaleidoscope are encouraged to contact the Kaleidoscope help desk by email at any time. Someone from their tech support team replies to emails within 24-hours; most emails receive a response within 3 hours.

Kaleidoscope Tech Support:

Submitting Letters of Recommendation

Kaleidoscope sends prompts to every recommender entered into the system by an applicant. Unfortunately, institutional firewalls often prevent Kaleidoscope’s messages from being delivered. If your recommender has not received a prompt to submit your letter of recommendation, please share the information below and contact the Kaleidoscope help desk if you need further assistance.

Instructions to Applicants and Their Recommenders

Applicants: Communicate with your recommender about the process, sharing the information below (or a link to this page). Your recommender needs to know the email address that you submitted to Kaleidoscope for them.

Recommenders: Follow the instructions below to create and/or login to your Kaleidoscope account to submit the letter of recommendation. This process should take no more than 15-20 minutes if your letter is ready for upload.

  • Visit the Kaleidoscope login page:
  • If the recommender has never used Kaleidoscope to submit a recommendation letter: Follow the prompt below the login fields (email address, password) reading, “Are you a nominator, endorser, reference, school counselor, third party contributor or review board member? An account has already been created for you! Click here to set your password.” Click “click here” and follow the prompts to set a password to access your account. (Here’s a picture of that screen.)
  •   If the recommender has used Kaleidoscope to submit a recommendation letter: Login with your existing username and password, as long as it is the same email address as that submitted by the applicant. If you have used Kaleidoscope in the past but registered with a different email address, you will need to follow the process outlined for first-time users above.
  • Once the recommender has logged in: The recommender dashboard will display the recommendation request awaiting completion. Click on the prompt and follow the instructions to complete the upload.