Perkins Fellowship Program

The fellowship is a ten-week graduate or post-graduate program in research and hands-on museum practice. The experience may include exposure to museum education, development, and administration issues as they relate to curatorial activity and exhibit development. The fellow will work on site in the archives, collections and historic structures, attend professional staff meetings and have opportunities to meet and network with other regional museum professionals.

The Fellow will receive the Breckenridge Patterson Perkins stipend in the amount of $3,000 for the ten-week period. The ten weeks may be applied to either the summer or fall semester. Room and board are not provided.

Program Location

The Fellowship is centered at the Old York Historical Society in York, Maine. Settled in 1631, York is located on the southern coast of Maine. The immediate area offers a density of historic villages and settlements, many having been established in the 17th century. York is one hour north of Boston, forty-five minutes south of Portland, Maine and fifteen minutes from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The area offers extensive cultural and recreational activities.

About the Old York Historical Society

The Old York Historical Society is one of the largest historical museums in southern Maine, maintaining eight historic museum buildings, an archive, collection storage and a nature preserve. The museums houses a large collection of artifacts associated with the development of southern Maine from pre-history through the twentieth century. With roots stretching back to 1899 and the opening of its first museum in 1900, Old York is recognized as one of the earliest collecting institutions in New England.

Program Considerations

The Perkins Fellowship started in 1988. The program was created to provide students interested in establishing museum and cultural academic careers with the opportunity to conduct meaningful research and present it in a public forum. The most successful Fellows are those who are self-starters, highly motivated, able to work closely with others and who seek to gain professional insight during an intense and rewarding experience.

The Fellowship is open to graduate and post-graduate students pursuing museum, preservation, or academic careers. Selection is very competitive. Academic credit may be arranged through the applicant’s school.

The ultimate goal of the project will be to make the collection accessible to museum staff and other researchers and to recommend ways it may be integrated into future exhibits and programming at the Old York Historical Society.

Application Procedures

The selection committee bases its decisions on a completed application, a writing sample, and two letters of recommendation from faculty or professional references. Strong candidates also participate in a telephone or in-office interview. Applicants are not required to be currently enrolled at an academic institution at the time of their admission to the Fellowship program. Previous experience in museums is not required, but does demonstrate a strong interest in the field. The Fellowship currently is filled for the 2017 academic year.

Contact Information For more information about the Perkins Fellowship Program, please direct inquiries to: curator@oldyork.org