Center for the Teaching of History

Fellowships

Swensrud Teacher Fellowships

Each summer, the Swensrud Teacher Fellowship program offers educators the opportunity to research and create educational materials using documents and artifacts from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. The fellowships carry a stipend of $4,000 for four weeks of research at the MHS and for the creation of 3 document sets (see details below).

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) will offer three Swensrud fellowships to public and/or parochial schoolteachers and library media specialists during the summer of 2021.  Applications are welcome from any K-12 teacher who has a serious interest in using the collections at the MHS to prepare primary-source-based curricular materials, supported by documents and visual aids, in the fields of American history, world history, or English language arts.  Applicants may propose their own topics or refine one of the suggestions below:

  • Medicine in Early America
  • The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment
  • Immigration & Immigration Reform
  • Massachusetts Women in WWI and WWII
  • Civil Liberties & Human Rights in History
  • 20th Century History

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to search the Society's online catalog ABIGAIL, online collection guides, and/or consult with MHS education (education@masshist.org) and library reader services staff (library@masshist.org or https://www.masshist.org/library/chat) prior to submitting their proposals.

You can read about the Teacher Fellowship application process below.

Due to Covid-19 concerns, onsite access to collections may be limited for the foreseeable future.  Therefore, Swensrud Fellows will be asked to complete the equivalent of 4 weeks or 20 working days of research that may be completed onsite (if available), remotely, or a combination of both.  Our Library Resource Staff will help digitize collections material for you to work with, and we also invite you to use resources currently available on our website.  You may complete the entire fellowship remotely, if you so choose.  This research has no set timeline, and can be completed at any time during the course of the fellowship.

After completing the 20 days of research, Swensrud Fellows will be asked to produce 2 or more document sets and associated materials for other educators to use.  These document sets should include at least 15 documents or artifacts combined across all of your sets (ex. three sets of 5 items each, or one of 10 items and another of 5).  Each document set should include the following:

  • A short overview of the topic (3-4 paragraphs)
  • List of applicable standards from MA History and Social Studies or ELA/Literacy framework
  • Several essential questions that relate to the document set
  • A document set (i.e. list of items with links to citation) of at least 3 documents, document excerpts, or artifacts.  Each item should have the following:
    • A one-paragraph description of each item's significance/educational value
    • An image or photograph of each item, or links to images on our website
    • A transcript of any written excerpts for use in the classroom
  • 2-3 sample classroom activities based on the document set

Research must be completed and document sets submitted by January 15th, 2022.  In the future, these resources will be made available through our website for other educators to use.

Kass Teacher Fellowships

Each summer, the Kass Teacher Fellowship program gives educators the chance to perform 20 days of research at the Massachusetts Historical Society on the topic of their choice. The Kass fellowships are designed to offer K-12 teachers the opportunity to focus on historical research that will support their classroom efforts. This fellowship will carry a stipend of $2,000 for four weeks of research with MHS collections, and teachers will complete a 3-page report on their findings at the end of the fellowship.

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) will offer one fellowship to public and/or parochial schoolteachers and library media specialists during the summer of 2021.  Applications are welcome from any K-12 teacher who has a serious interest in using the collections at the MHS to identify material that will support their teaching in the fields of American history, world history, or English/language arts.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to search the Society's online catalog ABIGAIL, online collection guides, and/or consult with MHS education (education@masshist.org) and library reader services staff (library@masshist.org or https://www.masshist.org/library/chat) prior to submitting their proposals.

You can learn more about the Teacher Fellowship application process below.

Due to Covid-19 concerns, onsite access to collections may be limited for the foreseeable future.  Therefore, Kass Fellows will be asked to complete the equivalent of 4 weeks or 20 working days of research that may be completed onsite (if available), remotely, or a combination of both.  Our Library Resource Staff will help digitize collections material for you to work with, and we invite you to also use resources currently available on our website.  You may complete the entire fellowship remotely, if you so choose.  This research has no set timeline, and can be completed at any time during the course of the fellowship.

After completing the 20 days of research, Kass Fellows will be asked to produce a report of approximately 3 pages or 1500 words on their research process and findings.  They will also be asked to submit a list of some highlights among the sources they used during their research.  These materials will be used to create a blog post on our website and as reference materials on our website for other educators.  Research must be completed and the final report submitted by January 15th, 2022.

Teacher Fellowship Application Process

Kass and Swensrud Fellowship applications should be postmarked or emailed no later than February 18, 2021. Please make sure to indicate which fellowship you are applying for in your application.  Applicants should provide the following materials:

  • A current resume
  • A letter of intent (no longer than two pages, single spaced) outlining the topic of interest as well as the nature, scope, and goals of the proposed project.
  • A list of potential primary source materials you plan to explore. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to search the MHS online collections and to consult with MHS Library staff before submitting an application.
  • A letter of support from the school principal or department head
  • Swensrud applications must also include a sample lesson plan that you have written. It may be on any topic and does not have to be the same as the subject of your application.

The fellowship process is competitive. Awards will be made on the strength of 1) project design; 2) the plan for using MHS collections; 3) the creativity of the proposed classroom activities; 4) usability of the proposed research in other classrooms; 5) recommendations; and for Swensrud, 6) the strength of the sample curriculum.

Please direct questions to the Center for the Teaching of History at education@masshist.org or (617) 646-0588. Completed application packets should be emailed to education@masshist.org or mailed to:

Center for the Teaching of History
Massachusetts Historical Society 
1154 Boylston Street 
Boston, MA 02215

John Winthrop Student Fellowship

This award encourages high school students to make use of the nationally significant documents of the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) in a research project of their choosing and with the support of a teacher mentor.

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) will offer one John Winthrop Student Fellowship to one student or group of students and their teacher advisor during the spring of 2021.  John Winthrop Student Fellow(s) and their teacher will each receive a $350 stipend to complete their project using materials from the MHS archival collections.

Although students are welcome to work at the MHS Reading Room in Boston (if open to the public at that time), online access to hundreds of recently-digitized documents from our collections now makes it possible for students from across the country to identify, incorporate, investigate, and interpret these primary sources in their work.

Due to Covid-19 concerns, onsite access to collections may be limited for the foreseeable future.  Therefore, in addition to materials already on our website, our Library Resource Staff will help photocopy or digitize collections material for you to work with remotely.

Student Fellowship Application Process

Students should decide on a research project in consultation with a teacher-advisor at your school (a current or past History or English teacher, a member of the Library/Media staff, etc.)  This can be a project already assigned in class.

Fellowship applications should be postmarked or emailed no later than February 18, 2021. The application should include the following:

Prospective applicants are encouraged to search the Society's online catalog ABIGAIL, online collections (http://www.masshist.org/collections/online), and/or consult with MHS education (education@masshist.org) and library reader services staff (library@masshist.org or https://www.masshist.org/library/chat) prior to submitting their

After receiving the fellowship, student fellows must complete their project to their teacher mentor's satisfaction and write a blog entry about their experiences for the MHS website by July 1st, 2021.  The teacher-advisor will notify the MHS when they are satisfied with the Fellow's work.

Please direct questions to the Center for the Teaching of History at education@masshist.org or (617) 646-0588. Completed application packets should be emailed to education@masshist.org or mailed to:

Center for the Teaching of History
Massachusetts Historical Society 
1154 Boylston Street 
Boston, MA 02215

Our 2020 Fellowship Winners!

We are proud to announce our 2020 Teacher and Student Fellowship Winners:

Swensrud Teacher Fellowship:

Stephanie Freitas of Somerset Berkley Regional High School, Somerset MA will be researching civil rights activism in the northern United States.

Stephen Guerriero of High Rock Middle School, Needham MA will be researching how the ancient Greek and Roman world was viewed by the Founders and how these views influenced our Constitution and other fundamental documents of the US government.

Kass Teacher Fellowship:

Brian Sheehy of North Andover High School, North Andover MA will be exploring primary sources of World War I through the lens of local history.

John Winthrop Student Fellowship:

Caroline Johnson and Olivia Chickering of Marblehead High School, Marblehead MA will be exploring Boston's response to pandemics and epidemics through history with the support of their teacher Dan Ritchie.

Ishan Narra of Concord Academy, Concord MA will be researching the history of the French and Indian War, focusing on the experiences of Indigenous experiences of war and resistance, with the support of his teacher Ed Rafferty.

Congratulations to our 2020 Teacher and Student Fellows, and we look forward to learning from your research at the MHS this year!