Library Scholarship for Authors

Libraries do not only preserve literature - libraries can also inspire literature

Büchergang in der Forschungsbibliothek
Büchergang in der Forschungsbibliothek

The research scholarship awarded in cooperation by the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Thuringia, the Friends of the Gotha Research Library e.V., the Gotha Research Center, and the Literary Society of Thuringia e.V. It is aimed at authors of all literary genres (novel, poetry, drama, etc.) who would like to engage with the collections at the Gotha Research Library during the research phase of their literary projects.

The Gotha Research Library at Friedenstein Castle is one of the most important historical libraries in the German-speaking countries. It is part of the collections of the Ducal House of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, which existed from 1640 to 1825, and the collections of the Ducal House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which were gathered in Gotha between 1826 and 1945. Together with the museum collections, the secret archive, the ducal museum, and former chambers, as well as the park landscape, the collection, building, and garden form an ensemble of European rank.

The Gotha Research Library preserves more than 700,000 printed works, including about 350,000 prints from the 16th to the 19th century. Additionally, there are approximately 11,500 manuscripts. The core of the collection, which was oriented universally until about 1850, is the outstanding collection of manuscripts, autographs, and bequests on the cultural history of Protestantism in the early modern period. The collection of about 3,500 oriental manuscripts is one of the largest of its kind in Germany. The Perthes Collection includes unique source material on the development of cartography and geography in the 19th and 20th centuries. The library also preserves a considerable collection of letters from Germans emigrants to America during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The rich selection of travel literature, the literary estate of the science fiction author Kurd Laßwitz, and the substantial research material from Gotha on the Order of the Illuminati are also well suited for literary discoveries. In addition to current literature from the research library, users can access more than one million monographs and journals as well as databases and electronic media from the University Library Erfurt in Gotha.

The requirements

  • The cooperation partners would like to allow national as well as international authors to come to Gotha for their literary projects and to work with the holdings of the research library once a year.

The application should name the collections of the research library relevant to the literary work (

If you have any questions about the library collections, please contact PD Dr. Monika Müller, tel. 0049-361- 737 55 61,


  • Includes a one-month stipend of 1,500 Euro.
  • Included are travel expenses and accommodation at the guest house of the Research Center Gotha (accommodation unit with own bathroom and kitchen).
  • A project presentation in the context of a public reading is planned.
  • For scholarship receivers with children, a one-time family allowance of 100 Euro will be granted. The birth certificate is sufficient as proof.

The scholarship will be awarded according to the following procedure:

  • Interested persons of any age may apply.
  • The scholarship is subject to an application process.
  • A board of trustees will consider grant applications for 2023 in March 2023.
  • Applications may only be made using the online application form of the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Thuringia and must be submitted by February 28, 2023.

Required documents

  • the completed application form with precise details of the collections in question
  • desired period of stay (corresponds to calendar months) until 31.12 2023
  • curriculum vitae
  • Short project outline (2 to 5 pages of 1,800 characters including spaces)
  • Publication list with a text sample from the current project or previous work (up to 10 pages)


  • All information is provided solely to process the application.
  • The grantee agrees to the disclosure of his/her name by the cooperation partners. He or she will be informed in writing as to where the Kulturstiftung plans to publish his or her work. This will be communicated with a consent form that complies with data protection law.
  • The fellowship does not establish an employment relationship.
  • There is no legal claim to the grant.

Submitted materials will be handled carefully by the cooperation partners.

Liability is excluded.

Cooperation partners

Kulturstiftung des Freistaats Thüringen

Freundeskreises der Forschungsbibliothek Gotha e.V.

Forschungszentrum Gotha

Literarische Gesellschaft Thüringen e.V.