The National Library Fellowships Program 2018, Australia


July 28, 2018


Opportunity Cover Image - The National Library Fellowships Program 2018, Australia


The National Library offers three Fellowships to support practising writers and artists to develop new work creatively using or inspired by the Library’s collections.

The Library provides creative artists with a unique and supportive environment in which to immerse themselves in the collections. The Fellowship enables artists to be inspired by, repurpose, transform or imaginatively respond to published sources, such as music, maps, rare books or ephemera, or original sources, such as pictures, manuscripts, oral histories and folklore recordings, in any way.

What does the Creative Arts Fellowship offer?

The Fellow undertakes a minimum four-week residency at the Library, funded by the Friends of the National Library. The Fellow may extend the duration of the residency but will not receive further funding. The 2018 Creative Arts Fellow should aim to complete the residency by 30 June 2018, unless otherwise agreed, but is not expected to complete the artwork within this period. The Fellow will be expected to give a public presentation on the progress or completion of their project within the calendar year.

Fellows receive during their residency:

  • $10,000, which can be used as a stipend for travel support and accommodation or for project expenses
  • Special access to collections and staff expertise
  • Access to office facilities and a personal workstation
  • Copies of collection materials (within reasonable limits and according to access conditions)

Fellows become part of the Library’s community of staff, researchers and Friends.

Note: The Library’s Fellowships, Scholarships and Study Grants are awarded to an individual. Any funding to be paid by the Library normally will be paid directly to the individual for the purposes of supporting their research in the collections. Any other arrangements between the individual and their employer are the individual’s responsibility and are to be negotiated separately between the individual and their employer.

What is a Creative Arts Fellowship project?

Applicants should propose an artistic project that demonstrates their need to use the Library’s rich and varied collections in pursuit of their artistic vision.

The project can be at the conceptual stage, requiring initial research, or could be in progress, with the aim to bring artistic work towards a next stage of completion using collection sources. The project scope may define short or long term goals, but should include how the artist imagines using collection sources, such as to:

  • reimagine or repurpose existing materials
  • research original sources that underpin or inspire new work
  • arrange, adapt or transform collection content for another purpose
  • develop an innovative artistic concept or practice

The work may be developed in the artist's own style and medium but, when completed, the project should showcase the use of the collections through commentary, acknowledgment or in the finished artwork. Given the short period of the residency, it is essential for applicants to have undertaken some preliminary investigation of relevant collections and specify these in their project plan. Staff can assist with preliminary collection inquiries online through the Library’s Ask a Librarian service.

The Fellow does not need to complete the artwork/body of work during the course of the Fellowship but, at the end of the residency, should be able to demonstrate work-in-progress in ways that are appropriate to the project.

What are the Fellowship requirements?

The Fellow will be required to:

  • Give a public presentation for the Friends of the National Library that highlights the work undertaken during the Fellowship and the work-in-progress
  • Acknowledge the support of the Friends of the National Library in forums, performances, recordings, publications or art-works resulting from the Fellowship
  • Deposit in the Library the results of the residency, either as a reproduction of the artwork or through documentation of it, with open access conditions for future research use
  • Assist the Library to promote the Fellowship through media and public communications

Who is eligible and what are the criteria for selection?

The Fellowship is open to individuals practicing in any art form except literature. This may include music, dance, theatre, visual arts, emerging, hybrid and experimental art forms.

The Fellowship is designed to assist Australian creative practioners and artists who practise in a professional forum, such as exhibition, stage, film, musical composition, performance, recording or other contexts where their artistic practice is subject to public and peer critique and recognition.

  • Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents, though may be working elsewhere.
  • Applicants must be professional practising artists and can be at any stage of their career. This does not necessarily mean full-time engagement as artists, since many artists hold other positions in order to sustain or inform their creative practice. However, applicants must be able to provide evidence of sustained professional artistic work.
  • Applicants may be working as academics, but are eligible only if the application is clearly for a creative project.
  • Applicants may be working on a PhD or Masters project. The applicant should indicate if and how the Library project extends or complements aspects of their PhD or Masters project, but the Fellowship project should not directly form part of any official assessment.
  • Fellowships are only awarded to individual artists, not groups. Where an applicant is working on a project that is inherently collaborative, the applicant must be able to define their own particular project at the Library and will be assessed on the merits of their own artistic practice.
  • Previous recipients of any National Library Fellowship are not eligible to apply.

In the application the applicant must demonstrate:

  • a level of professional artistry, evident through a portfolio of previous work
  • an effective concept and a project plan that demonstrates the artistic goals and the purpose of using Library collection source materials in developing the artwork or a body of work
  • capability to work with the National Library’s collections, including using reference and research resources
  • knowledge of relevant collections or sources to be used for the project
  • capacity to communicate about their artwork to a general audience

If applicants have a contract or agreement for a performance, exhibition, publication, production or other public forums related to the project, this should be indicated in the application. Applicants should also outline any other means of support, such as arts grants or commissions, that they have for the project.

Applicants must nominate two independent referees, with their current contact details. It is the applicant’s responsibility to send a copy of the application to their referees. Referees will only be contacted by the Library when the Committee has determined a short-list. The Fellow will be selected and decisions announced by October 2018.

How do I apply?

The minimum four-week residency for the 2019 Fellowships should be undertaken before June 30, 2019, unless otherwise negotiated, although Fellows are not required to give a presentation on the developing artwork until later in 2019. Applicants should nominate their preferred dates in the application, commencing any time after November 2018. These dates are indicative, not binding, so the Library can effectively manage Fellows’ access to space and resources.

Applications can only be submitted online. Instructions are provided during the online application process. You can preview the form once you have registered. 

You can save and edit the application. However no amendments are possible after you have submitted it. Please ensure that you write your proposal succinctly and clearly and note the word limits in the application form and the attachment limits below. 

For your application you will need the following:

  • a 2-4 page CV that outlines your professional career
  • documentation that provides evidence of your artistic work, up to 10 images, pages, files or web links. For images or text, please provide in a single, multi-page PDF. For digital and or online material, please create a page with an introductory image and web links and/or titles of files. Upload file size is limited to 25 MB, so contact for assistance for larger files.
  • the details of two independent referees. Ensure referees have a copy of your application, which you can download or print from the online system.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Publish Date
March 24, 2018
Link To Original