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Author scholarship for research in the Gotha Research Library

Libraries not only preserve literature - libraries can also inspire literature. Against this background, the Cultural Foundation of the of Thuringia, the Friends of the Gotha Research Library, the Gotha Research Centre of the University of Erfurt and the Literary Society of Thuringia are offering a research grant for authors of all literary genres who would like to use the holdings of the Gotha Research Library of the University of Erfurt in 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 world. It is part of the collections of the ducal house of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, which existed from 1640 to 1825, and the holdings of the ducal house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which were collected in Gotha between 1826 and 1945. Together with the museum collections, the secret archive, the ducal museum and the former ducal apartments as well as the park landscape, it forms a unique collection, building and garden ensemble of European rank.

The research library preserves more than 700,000 printed works, including about 350,000 prints from the 16th to the 19th century. In addition, there are about 11,500 manuscripts. The core of its holdings, which were universal until around 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 an important collection of letters from German emigrants to America from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The rich holdings of travel literature, the estate of the science fiction author Kurd Laßwitz or the area of the Illuminati Order, which has been intensively researched in Gotha, are also suitable 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 Erfurt University Library in Gotha.

With the research scholarship, the cooperation partners would like to give national and international authors the opportunity to come to Gotha once a year for their literary projects and to work with the collections of the research library. The application should name the holdings of the research library that are relevant for the literary work. If you have any questions about the library holdings, please contact Dr. Sascha Salatowsky.

The scholarship of 1,500 euros is awarded for one month. Travel costs and accommodation in the guest house of the Gotha Research Centre are included. For scholarship holders with children, a one-time family allowance of 100 is granted. The birth certificate serves as proof.
Interested persons of all ages can participate in the application process. A board of trustees will discuss the funding applications for 2021 in March. Applications can only be made using the online application form at kulturstiftung-thueringen.de and must be submitted by 28 February 2021. Required documents are:

  •     the completed application form with precise details of the holdings concerned;
  •     desired period of stay (corresponds to calendar month) until 31.12 2021;
  •     curriculum vitae;
  •     short project outline (2 to 5 pages of 1,800 characters including spaces);
  •     publication list with text sample from the current project or a previous work (up to 10 pages).

All information is provided solely for the purpose of processing the application. In the case of funding, the scholarship holder agrees to the disclosure of his/her name by the cooperation partners. The scholarship holder will be informed in writing of the publication locations planned by the Cultural Foundation in the form of a declaration of consent in accordance with data protection law. The scholarship does not constitute an employment relationship. There is no legal entitlement to the grant. Submitted materials will be handled carefully by the cooperation partners. Liability is excluded.

Download application form