Inaugural Call for Proposals

The GLCA Boston Summer Seminar invites proposals from faculty-student research teams to participate in a brand new opportunity to spend three weeks in June 2015 conducting primary source research in some of America’s premier special collections repositories.The new program, sponsored by the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) and hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS), will bring together three to five faculty members from GLCA colleges, each with a team of two to four undergraduate students, for three weeks of intensive primary source research in Boston archives. The 2015 partner institutions are the MHS; the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Harvard University);  the Center for History of Medicine at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine (Harvard University); and Northeastern University’s Archives & Special Collections.

Faculty participants will submit research proposals on a broad theme, such as “Gender and the Civil War,” “Nineteenth-century Food Culture,” or “Personal Narratives of WWI.” Teams from a wide range of humanities disciplines are encouraged to apply; all projects centered on primary source research will be considered.  Students will complete research for their own projects within the broadly-conceived theme, while faculty members will have plenty of time to “dive deep” into their archival research. While we expect the students not to serve simply as transcribers or research assistants for the faculty member, the group dynamic and end work product of each research team will be up to the faculty mentor to design.

Each seminar participant will be paired with a librarian or archivist from one of the partner institutions who will provide on-site support and expertise prior to, during, and after the residency period.

The seminar, to be held June 1 – 18, 2015, will center on primary source research, requiring participants to spend fourteen days in the archive. In addition, the program will include Tuesday and Thursday evening group meetings for guest lectures and discussions, as well as a day-one orientation and a closing celebration when participants will present their work.  Students and faculty members will also have scheduled individual meetings with archivists and with the coordinator of the seminar.

To apply, please visit the To Apply page where you can read or download the full call for proposals.

If you have questions, please email either the Seminar Director Natalie Dykstra ( or one of the two Seminar Archivists: Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook at the Center for the History of Medicine ( or Anna Clutterbuck-Cook at the Massachusetts Historical Society (

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