SHARP 25th Anniversary Research Fellowship

To celebrate a quarter century of SHARP successes, the Board and Executive Council of the Society have established an annual research fellowship.  Designed to enhance SHARP’s global scope as an academic society, the fellowship provides support for research anywhere in the world.  The grants are for up to US$3000 and can be used for travel, accommodation and direct research costs, such as photography. Full details and a link to our online application form are available here.  Applications open in early September and close 5 December in 2022. Please note that only SHARP members are eligible for this award.


Winners of SHARP’s 25th Anniversary Research Fellowship

2022 – Chiara Betti, Institute of English Studies (School of Advanced Study, UoL) and the Bodleian Libraries (United Kingdom)
Chiara Betti is a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD student between the Institute of English Studies (School of Advanced Study, UoL) and the Bodleian Libraries. Chiara’s PhD focuses on the 752 printing plates bequeathed by Richard Rawlinson in 1755 to the University of Oxford. Her research takes a multidisciplinary approach that brings together book history, printmaking, engineering, and history of collecting. Alongside the archival research on the provenance of the printing plates, Chiara is studying their manufacture and use, how they compare to other similar collections, and how the plates can still be relevant to contemporary scholarship.

This fellowship will support Chiara’s research on the manufacture and use of 17-18th century printing plates and the production of books during that time. The fellowship will allow Chiara to conduct material analyses and high-resolution imaging at the Engineering Department at Oxford. Using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Chiara will map the crystallography of the plates (i.e., the structure of the metal), showing for the first time in print studies how the composition of copper plates changed throughout the centuries. By X-raying the plates, Chiara will also identify potential conservation issues such as crack and corrosion causes that might go otherwise unnoticed.

2021 Dipanjan Maitra, of the State University of New York at Buffalo (USA)
Dipanjan Maitra is PhD candidate in English at State University of New York at Buffalo. His PhD dissertation currently titled, “Built With Glue and Clippings: Modernist Collaboration and the Press-Cutting Bureau” aims to study the role of “press-cutting agencies” in building a transnational information network that contributed to the composition, production and distribution of literary modernism. Press-cutting agencies were private media-monitoring agencies that emerged in Paris in the late 1870s and rapidly spread to Britain, Europe and the United States. They employed “readers” (mostly female clerks) to manually speed-read hundreds of newspapers for “keywords” (such as clients’ names) in order to identify valuable news and reviews for subscribers, to whom they would be mailed for a fee. This project argues that these agencies which sent out press reviews, newspaper articles, journal essays to major authors like James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, small publishers and booksellers like John Rodker, Sylvia Beach and patrons like Nancy Cunard also acted as surveillance tools in the hands of colonial institutions, such as the India Office in London or organizations like the British Sexological Society. Dipanjan will be examining various holdings at primarily three institutions: (I) The British Library (London, UK); (II) University College London Special Collections (London, UK); and The National Library of Ireland (Dublin, Ireland).

2020 – Jane Raisch, of the University of York (United Kingdom)
Dr Raisch is currently Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Renaissance and Early Modern Literature in the Department of English at the University of York and her research focuses on the literary and material reception of Greek antiquity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Raisch’s research project examines the pre-history of the ‘facsimile’ during the letterpress period. Focusing on techniques for visual reproduction that predate the advent of lithography (facsimile types, woodblocks, engraving, and mezzotint), she will consider how – and why – early scholars and printers harnessed the technology of print to imitate the physical features of textual artefacts. Dr Raisch’s research will be undertaken primarily at the Rare Books and Manuscript Library at Columbia University, where she will attempt to discern how methodologies of facsimile production were tied to particular printing techniques, how the limitations of pre-lithographic reproduction informed the principles which governedits practice, and what purpose these expensive and time-consuming editions served in the wider print market.

2019 – Trude Dijkstra, of the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
Dijkstra is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam, where her research has focused on the image of Chinese religion and philosophy in early modern Europe through printed publications from the Dutch Republic. Her research project examines the early modern medical contacts between China and Europe by way of print culture, in two complementary ways. The first is by analysing the manner in which Dutch producers of printed materials facilitated and influenced the transmission of medical knowledge from China to Europe. The second is then by studying how early modern European readers received and applied this medical knowledge. The research will be undertaken at the Wellcome Collection and Library in London (UK).
Report on Trude Dijkstra’s project [PDF]