Although MAP is actively engaged with the digitalization of this vitally significant (yet still only minimally explored) archival collection, MAP strongly believes in the critical value of direct access to original documents. Most importantly, MAP understands the necessity to open its scholarship and resources to a wider audience. It is for this reason that we provide pre-doctoral and graduate students from diverse disciplines – the next generation of scholars – with the opportunity to have exposure to original source materials. Size, texture, context and the relation of objects on recto and verso of a folio are all elements that are lost through digitization, but that can potentially impact our understanding and interpretation of documents and their content. For this reason, MAP provides fellowships for graduate and pre- doctoral students to join MAP for a set period of time to undertake specialized research on-site at the Archivio di Stato in Florence.
Since 2013, the Medici Archive Project has supported fifteen graduate fellows working at the archive. With the generous support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust, MAP has assisted doctoral students at every stage of their research: from constructing an interesting and relevant research trajectory in the archives, taking advantage of under-used collections, to seeking out documents to plug holes in a dissertation nearing completion.
Time at the Medici Archive Project offices at the Archivio di Stato offers Fellows various opportunities for professional developments. Of particular note is the potential for establishing important contacts in their fields of interest. Fellows will numerous opportunities to meet and work with the many international senior scholars who gravitate around MAP. Ideally, at the end of their tenure at MAP, the Fellows will publish their work in the MAP peer-reviewed publication series or through one of our many institutional partners.
Initial training for the program commences with the Fellows taking part in MAP’s on-line paleography course, before they arrive in Florence. Further training in reading documents and using archival sources will be available through our archival studies seminars at the Biblioteca Domenica at Santa Maria Novella, but will also occur generally through the daily contact with MAP Staff during the course of the Fellows’ tenure.
Fellows have ample time to conduct research for their dissertations and benefit from the supervision of MAP Staff, all of whom are experts in archives, paleography and digital humanities. Our team currently comprises art, military, social and medical historians, all conversant in inter-disciplinary approaches. MAP Staff, with decades of experience assisting graduate students, guide Fellows, not only in their exploration of the Medici Granducal Archives, but also provide them with instruction for using many other archival collections housed in the Archivio di Stato and elsewhere in Florence. In recent years, MAP has supported and promoted the research of graduate fellows through their inclusion in MAP-sponsored panels at international conferences such as the Renaissance Society of America and the Sixteenth Century Society Conference. Fellows have also been encouraged to publish in MAP’s scholarly series of monographs, essay collections, and conference proceedings.
With this aim in mind, MAP offers short-term fellowships of around three months to eligible students who demonstrate a need and enthusiasm to engage with archival material in their research. Longer-term fellowships are available as non-stipendiary junior research fellowships. Applications are invited only pertaining to a specific call (although enquiries about non-stipendiary junior research fellowships can be made at any time of the year to the Assistant Director: firstname.lastname@example.org).
These calls tend to be made over the winter, with fellowships offered for the spring/summer and fall/winter of the following year.
Details about open calls and applications details can be found here.