Executive Director, Digital Scholarship Services, Fondren Library
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology
Ph.D. student, Department of History
As universities strive to create opportunities for students to engage in meaningful research projects, the library can serve as not only the source of research materials, but also the subject of research. Through the Fondren Fellows program, created in 2016, Rice University undergraduates and graduate students work on projects related to a research question around improving and extending Fondren Library’s programs and services. Fellows are mentored by a library staff member, present their results to relevant stakeholders inside and outside the library, and receive up to $3000 for one semester of work. This presentation will provide an overview of the Fondren Fellows program and present case studies of two Fellows’ projects: Know Your (Author) Rights and Mapping Civil War Narratives. For the former project, an anthropology graduate student conducted interviews with faculty across Rice’s seven tenure-granting Schools to better understand how they approach the issue of rights retention in connection with their published work. For the latter project, a history graduate student used Esri ArcGIS and Story Maps to visualize the library’s Civil War–era archival collections. Both projects allowed these students to gain critical professional skills, while creating new points of access for library materials and laying the groundwork for expanded scholarly communication services. More broadly, the Fellows program has allowed Fondren Library to tap into new sources of expertise and energy as it promotes an organizational culture of research-based practice.