Richard C. Kessler Collection Research Fellowships

Luther Rose

Pitts Theology Library at Emory University invites applications every Spring to serve as a Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection Research Fellows. Kessler Research Fellows will work virtually for a full academic year studying a single item or a single aspect of the Richard C. Kessler Collection. While residence in Atlanta is not required, each fellow will make a Fall and Spring visit to Pitts Theology Library to be in residence for 3 days each visit. During each visit, the fellow will have access to the Kessler Collection for research and will offer one public lecture and conduct one research workshop. During the visit, the fellow will also meet with graduate students and library staff to discuss research methods. Throughout the academic year, the fellow will meet virtually with the Director of Pitts Theology Library and the Rare Book Cataloger to discuss research progress. The fellowship will work toward the creation of detailed metadata for the item(s) studied, a research-quality essay to be published by the library, and a digital exhibition to be hosted by the library.


Each fellowship will consist in an honorarium of $5,000 for the academic year. The fellowship also includes funds to cover all travel, food, and lodging expenses associated with two visits to Pitts Theology Library.


Kessler Fellows are required to produce the following:


All scholars of theology, history, art history, book history, or related fields, connected to printed works of the 16th century, are eligible to apply. Eligible scholars will be either ABD in a PhD program or will have completed a PhD in a related field in the last 10 years.

Application Process

The call for applications will be issue early in the Spring semester. Applications will include the following items:

Those interested should email for more information.

About the Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection

The Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection was established in 1987, when Richard and Martha Kessler donated their private collection of Reformation imprints and manuscripts to Emory University. These materials were combined with Reformation holdings at the Pitts Theology Library, and an effort was launched to enlarge and sustain this collection in the years to come. In the sixteenth century the social and theological movements of central Europe, known collectively as the Reformation, critically shaped religion, law, education and other institutions in the West, and their long shadow has extended even to the present. The purpose of the Kessler Collection is to document these changes by collecting print and manuscript materials down to 1570 by Martin Luther (1483-1546) and those whom he influenced or engaged in debate. In this way historians and theologians will be able to hear the full range of voices that were raised in this dynamic period. The holdings of the collection now exceed 3,900 items, a mark approximated by only two other libraries in North America; no American library approaches the Kessler Collection's 1,000+ publications of works written by Luther himself. An advisory committee of Lutheran laypersons and clergy and of Candler School of Theology faculty and administrators oversees the nurture of the collection and its programs. The Reformation Notes newsletter ( provides annual updates on the growth of the collection, and the Reformation Day at Emory program of music and lectures each October ( celebrates the collection and its contributions to music, history, and theology.