Notice: All students, staff, and faculty must scan their MSU ID to access the MSU Library building between 10:00 pm – 7:30 am on Sunday - Thursday.
Notice: All students, staff, and faculty must scan their MSU ID to access the MSU Library building between 10:00 pm – 7:30 am on Sunday - Thursday.

MSU Libraries Visiting Scholars program

Call for Proposals:

Michigan State University Libraries is now accepting applications for visiting scholars for the summer of 2023. The grants are intended to support scholars who live more than 50 miles from East Lansing and whose research would benefit from on-site access to the rich primary source collections housed in MSU Libraries’ Stephen O. Murray & Keelung Hong Special Collections and University Archives & Historical Collections. The 2023 Visiting Scholars program awards are made possible through the generous support from the MSU Libraries Special Collections Endowment, Snow Endowment for Hispanic Collections, and the Barnett Rosenberg Endowment for University Archives.

Five (5) monetary awards of $3,000 will be granted based on the overall promise of the research project and the significance of MSU’s Special Collections and/or University Archives to the scope of work. The on-site research period must run for at least one week between May 1 and September 30 of the year awarded. Travel exceptions are considered due to the on-going public health crisis.

Research strengths of Murray & Hong Special Collections, and University Archives are deep and varied, including:

  • an outstanding comic art collection;
  • American radicalism on the extreme right and left;
  • extensive holdings on Latino and Chicano activism and artists;
  • popular culture, including dime novels, science fiction pulps, and genre fiction;
  • zines, an extensive and growing collection in both British punk and music zines, underground and alternative culture, with a wealth of unique, under-represented perspective perspectives;
  • Africana and African activism; and world-wide anti-apartheid activism;
  • the country’s largest collection of Samaritan manuscripts;
  • exceptional rare book holdings in almanacs, cookery, the history of science, veterinary medicine, Italian unification, conduct books;
  • one of the country’s oldest and most extensive LGBTQ+ collections;
  • a peerless collection documenting the contemporary men’s movements;
  • the papers of numerous Michigan writers including Richard Ford and Diane Wakoski;
  • official and foremost repository for records pertaining to the history of Michigan State University (the nation’s first land-grant college);
  • administrative and photographic records of the 4-H club in Michigan;
  • the papers of Ransom E. Olds and the REO Motor Car Company and other Lansing area manufacturers;
  • over one hundred Civil War collections concerning residents of Michigan;
  • records of several prominent Michigan lumber companies with land holding across the United States;
  • the John Harvey Kellogg Papers which include the continuum of businesses started by Kellogg, comprising the Sanitas Nut Food Company, the Kellogg Food Company, and finally the Battle Creek Food Company.

Please consult our manuscript collections page and library catalog for more information on MSU’s unique holdings.

How to Apply

Any researcher, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, artists, activists, or independent researchers, residing more than 50 miles from East Lansing, is eligible to apply. International scholars are responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa, which may have travel limits. Current or incoming MSU students are not eligible.

Please submit the following documents, preferably as a single PDF, to MSU Libraries Visiting Scholar Applications ( by 11:59 PM EST, Friday, February 3, 2023.

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae of no more than four pages
  • Description of research topic, its significance, and specific materials within University Archives & Historical Collections and/or the Murray & Hong Special Collections to be used (two pages maximum)
  • First and second choice of dates in residence. On-site research period must run for at least one week between May 1 and September 30. Please note: our summer reading room hours are Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm.
  • One letter of recommendation from a professional and/or academic reference speaking to the value of your project and the quality of your work. Recommendation letters can be submitted with the application or separately to the same email address.

A travel guide has been prepared to assist in developing your travel plans, submission of a budget is not required:

All grant recipients will give an informal presentation about their research at the library during their visit. Recipients are also asked to acknowledge the grant in any publications resulting from funded research in MSU Libraries and to provide a copy of the final publication. Award recipients may be subject to tax implications, depending on how the awarded funds are spent. For international award recipients, this may include tax implications in the United States and in their country of origin.

The grants committee will begin reviewing applications promptly after the deadline and grant recipients will be notified by March 17, 2023.

Questions about the award or application should be directed to the Visiting Scholars committee:

Last updated: November 18, 2022.