Scholarship Opportunity for the Rare Books and Manuscript Conference 2020

Power, Resistance, and Leadership
RBMS 2020
June 23-26, 2020
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) offers scholarships to subsidize conference attendance by professional librarians, paraprofessionals, and students.  RBMS is currently accepting scholarship applications for RBMS 2020: Power, Resistance, and Leadership to be held at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN from June 23-26, 2020. The deadline to apply for scholarships is January 10, 2020 and applicants will be notified on or before March 6, 2020. *Please not that eligibility requirements have changed, and awards are available for first-time attendees and returning attendees.*

RBMS is committed to increasing equity, diversity and inclusion in its membership and the special collections and archives professions. Accordingly, preference is given to applicants from underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, those employed by or volunteering at institutions that primarily serve one or more of these groups, and ACRL/RBMS members. For more information about the RBMS commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, please visit the RBMS website.

Scholarships are funded by a combination of generous contributions from RBMS members and the previous year’s conference profit share. Full and partial scholarships to the RBMS conference will be awarded. Full scholarships include a waiver of the conference registration fee (a $140 – $340 value depending on registration type) plus a travel stipend ($750). Partial scholarships provide complimentary registration (a $140 – $340 value depending on registration type) and may or may not include a travel stipend depending on applicant need/location ($400). The majority of scholarships will be awarded to support those who have not previously attended RBMS; a limited number of scholarships are available to individuals who have previously attended RBMS.


All candidates must be:

  • Currently enrolled in a library, information science, or archival studies program; a graduate of such a program; OR currently employed or volunteering as a professional or paraprofessional in a rare books, special collections, or archives capacity.

To Apply

Candidates must complete the RBMS 2020 Scholarship Application Form. We recommend that you preview the application form before you begin as it must be completed in one sitting.


Friday, January 10, 2020 (11:59 PST)


The Scholarships Committee will take into consideration the following criteria when considering applicants:

  • Evidence of commitment to and interest in the rare books, special collections, and/or archives fields
  • For first-time conference participants: Interest in contributing to the profession
  • For returning conference participants: Interest in contributing to the profession through proposed conference participation (speaker/moderator) and/or RBMS committee participation
  • Potential to benefit professionally from attendance at the conference
  • Financial need

In awarding the scholarships, preference will be given to:

  • Applicants from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups
  • Applicants employed or volunteering at an institution (or in a position) that primarily serves one or more underrepresented racial and/or ethnic groups
  • Applicants who are ACRL/RBMS members
  • Applicants who have not previously received a scholarship from ACRL/RBMS


Scholarship recipients are required to attend the entire RBMS conference and complete the conference evaluation. To help us ensure the ongoing improvement of the scholarship program, all scholarship recipients will be required to submit a post-conference evaluation letter by July 31, 2020.


All applicants will be notified on or before March 6, 2020. Please see the RBMS Conference website for more details and to apply: