UF’s special collections contain thousands of books, maps, and cultural objects from nearly a milennium of world history.
Every one has a story.
A competition is held each spring within participating colleges for the University Scholars awards that includes a $1750 stipend. The program will consist of undertaking a full research project, under the guidance of a faculty member. The University Scholars Program serves as an exceptional capstone to the academic careers of UF students. Only 200 students from all disciplines are selected through a competitive process to participate in this program.
University Scholars in Special Collections will learn the fundamentals of working with primary source collections as they explore a topic of their choice under the mentorship of a curator.
The information below highlights areas the student may wish to pursue their research. However, it is not limited to this list and is only listed to provide an idea of the range of materials and approaches taken over the course of the fellowship.
To see more of what student researchers are doing in Special Collections, please visit the Storied Books project site at https://storiedbooks.domains.uflib.ufl.edu/Wordpress/
What Makes a Book? Books have been remade and reinvented by new technologies from the time that the codex replaced the scroll, but these changes have not been instant or seamless. Explore how the book has changed from the time of medieval manuscripts to digital journals, and how each change has brought about discussion of what a book ought to be.
Cheap Print and Popular Knowledge: The Rare Book Collection has more than books. Much of what was read before the nineteenth century circulated in small pieces: single sheet songs and flyers, small pamphlets, magazines and newspapers. Those materials were likely never intended to survive, but they provide great perspective on everything from international politics to jokes, songs and games.
Words (and puzzles and pictures) with Friends: Emblems, Albums, and Letters. Before digital social networks people sent clever sayings, news, and pictures to each other the old fashioned way – by drawing them in books. Come see how these albums combine image, text, and create a community of readers.
Preserving Nature: From ancient Greece and Rome to the present day, natural history books attempt to describe and depict the world and how it works. To do so in later periods required a trained eye, a well-stocked bookshelf, and a team of engravers and bookmakers. Our natural history collections preserve the rigor, adventure, and the wonder of human interactions with the natural world.
*Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their area(s) of interest with a curator who can assist in selecting materials.
Applications are due via email to Neil Weijer, Curator of Rare Books (firstname.lastname@example.org) by midnight on February 22, 2021.
Each University Scholar is required to attend an orientation. Orientation is a way for CUR staff to get to know the students and for the students to be able to have an open forum for questions. During this orientation all details of the program requirements will be covered. Orientation will be done in an online capacity. More details will be provided as the deadline approaches.
Every University Scholar is required to meet the publication requirement. Scholars must submit by 11:59 pm on deadline day or will forfeit the final stipend. Mentors decide the option most suitable for the scholar, and their approval is required for all publication submissions.
There are four options to meet this requirement:
Each University Scholar is required to make a presentation at the University of Florida Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium by presenting a poster or an original creative work. You will be sent directions on how to submit your abstract and the required format before the deadline. Your abstract and poster must be approved by your mentor before submission. If the student is unable to attend the research symposium on campus, they will be required to present in an online poster session. More details will follow.
In addition to the above requirements, scholars will be asked to share their work on the library’s social media platforms.
We encourage research undertaken in preparation or support of a senior thesis or other research essay.