What are the Mary Lily Research Grants?


The Sallie Bingham Center provides research travel grants of up to $1,500 for researchers whose work would benefit from access to the women's history collections held at Duke University's Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The grants are named in honor of Mary Lily Kenan Flagler Bingham.

The following groups also participate in the Rubenstein Library's travel grant program:

  • John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture
  • John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History
  • History of Medicine Collections
  • Human Rights Archive

For more information, please see the our main travel grant page.

Who is eligible?

  • Anyone who wishes to use materials from the Bingham Center's collections for historical research related to the history of women, gender, and sexuality may apply, regardless of academic status.
  • Writers, creative and performing artists, film makers and journalists are welcome to apply.
  • All applicants must reside beyond a 100-mile radius of Durham, N.C., and may not be current Duke students or employees.

What expenses does the grant cover?   

  • transportation expenses (including air, train or bus ticket charges; car rental; mileage using a personal vehicle; and parking fees)
  • accommodations
  • meals

Travel grants are paid as reimbursement upon completion of research travel after original receipts are submitted. Checks usually take a few weeks to be processed and mailed.

What research projects and topics are appropriate?

Mary Lily Research Travel Grants support projects that present creative approaches, including  historical research and documentation projects resulting in dissertations, publications, exhibitions, educational initiatives, documentary films, or other multimedia products and artistic works. Research projects must use materials from the Bingham Center's women's history collections and include a focus on women or gender. Not all women's history collections at the Rubenstein Library are eligible under the terms of the grant, so please inquire if the collection area is not clear. For example, women's history collections that are part of Duke University Archives, the Jazz archives, or American Dance Festival archives are not eligible. Find more detailed information about our collections in our Research Guides. Inclusion of a collection on one of our research guides does not guarantee eligibility. All of our materials are included in the Duke University Libraries online catalog.

How do I apply?

Research topics should be strongly supported by the collections of the Sallie Bingham Center. We encourage each applicant to discuss his or her research project and the Rubenstein Library collections that might support it with our reference archivist before submitting an application. Submit an inquiry via our online form.

  • Complete the online application form, which includes uploading a CV. (You may start the form and return to it later, but you must complete it within a week from the same computer and browser.)
  • A sample application form is available as a Word document and PDF for reference purposes.
  • A letter of recommendation is required for graduate and undergraduate students (from a faculty advisor) and for independent scholars or artists (from an appropriate reference). We will not consider an application complete until we receive the recommendation. Recommendations may be submitted as an e-mail attachment to Sierra Moore.