Churchill Weavers Research Fellowship

Download an application. (PDF)

The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) houses and has made available for research one of the finest weaving archives in the nation—the Churchill Weavers collection. Churchill Weavers was a handweaving business that operated in Berea, Kentucky, from 1922 to 2007. The company was once considered America’s premier producer of luxury handwoven goods. (Learn more about Churchill Weavers and the collection at KHS.)

The Churchill Weavers Fellowship provides opportunities for scholars to connect with this important archive. The collection is comprehensive and holds promise to enrich scholarship in labor history, the history of 20th century capitalism, technology and innovation in weaving and mass manufacturing, and in the history of Appalachia. Successful candidates will have the unique opportunity to explore this vast collection, which includes:

  • More than 30,000 fabric samples and finished pieces
  • Business, marketing and design records
  • Swatch books, weft write-ups, draft files and pattern books
  • Photographs, audiovisual materials and scrapbooks
  • Loom plans and blue prints
  • Oral histories
  • Looms, tools, signs, shuttles and other weaving equipment

Applications are welcome from humanities professionals, graduate students, and scholars working in related disciplines, as well as independent scholars and museum professionals. The fellowship is designed to assist researchers with travel and living expenses while using the Churchill Weavers collection. All applications are peer-reviewed by a panel of leading historians. Awards are based on the significance of the proposed research and on the anticipated time it will require in the collection. The stipends are for a maximum of four weeks and are pro-rated at $500/week. Application deadline is Sept. 1, 2017.

The fellow must make use of the Churchill Weavers collection during their visit, but will be given the option of exploring related collections at KHS. During the fellowship residency, the recipient will make an informal presentation at KHS based on the recipient’s work in the Churchill Weavers collection. A research report is due no later than a month after the end of the fellows’ residency in Frankfort. The research report is a three- to five-page narrative outlining work accomplished. KHS will also receive a copy of any publications aided by the fellowship. Fellowship recipients are strongly encouraged to submit an article-length manuscript for possible publication in The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society.