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Charles Deering McCormick Library Research Grant

The Northwestern University Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives is home to many of the Libraries' rarest materials, including manuscripts, archives, prints, and artifacts. In addition to the University Archives which document the history of Northwestern, its faculty, staff, alumni and the city of Evanston, the McCormick Library has particular strengths in 20th-century music and performance art, women’s history, journalism, and social, political, and literary movements of the 1960s in the United States. It additionally holds a diverse array of significant discrete print and hybrid collections of material including ones related to the Siege and Commune of Paris of 1870-71, the Roman poet Horace, the archive of the Gate Theatre of Dublin, 19th and early 20th century anarchism, and 20th century art and literary movements such as Dadaism, Surrealism, and Futurism.

This grant was established in 2021 to facilitate and support research and/or creative projects that significantly benefit from substantial onsite use of these rare and unique collections.


  • Each year we will award one or more grants, up to a total of $6,000
  • Grants will be awarded to reimburse expenses for transportation, accommodations, and meals for one or more on-site visits to Northwestern University Libraries.


  • Open to academic and independent researchers. We encourage applications by those working in traditional academic practice as well as those whose research is interdisciplinary, or oriented towards creative arts and practices.
  • There are no restrictions as to the applicant’s nationality or academic status.
  • Research may be in any field supported by the collections of the McCormick Library.
  • Applicants who are not awarded the grant in a specific year may resubmit in following years without prejudice.
  • An applicant may receive only one award for any one project as determined by the selection committee and Northwestern Libraries
  • At the discretion of the selection committee and Northwestern University Libraries, the grant may be awarded to an individual applicant, a team, or divided among multiple applicants and/or teams. Further, if a suitable recipient is not identified among the applications received, we reserve the right to withhold the grant for that particular year.
  • Researchers affiliated with Northwestern University will not be considered for this travel grant.

How to apply

To apply, please submit the following:

  1. project proposal (1,200 words max) that:
    1. Describes the proposed research
    2. Explains the significance of the collection materials to the project
    3. Proposes specific outcomes (e.g., dissertation, article, book, creative or artistic work) that will result from this research
  2. A curriculum vitae
  3. A detailed budget indicating the total amount requested with itemized list of projected expenses for transportation, accommodations, and meals. For meals and incidentals, applicants should use the U.S. General Services Administration Per Diem Rates for Meals & Incidentals (M&IE) for Chicago. Applicants should indicate any other sources of funding that will be applied to the project, if applicable. For additional information on planning a budget, see allowable expenses and Out-of-Town Visitor Resources.
  4. Applicants should arrange for one (1) letter of recommendation from someone qualified to judge the quality, feasibility, and significance of the proposal and the qualifications of the applicant to successfully complete the project to be sent in support of their proposed project. Those writing recommendations should submit their letters directly to

Applicants should submit the research description, curriculum vitae, and budget by e-mail attachment (PDF format) to

Please note: The selection committee is unable to provide feedback with regard to unsuccessful applications.


  • All grant recipients will be required to submit receipts for expenses incurred and will be reimbursed, in accordance with Northwestern University policies. For meals and incidentals, we require that recipients use the U.S. General Services Administration Per Diem Rates for Meals & Incidentals (M&IE) instead of itemized receipts. Reimbursement requests must be made within 30 days of last day of visit.
  • Grant awardees must conduct their research visit within the academic year following the grant being awarded (between September 1st and August 1st).
  • Following their visit, grant recipients will be required to submit a brief report [1-2 pages] summarizing the use of the collection(s) and how the visit benefited their research to