ARLIS/NA Mid-Atlantic

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America

Chapter Announces Re-imagined Conference Travel Awards

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of ARLIS/NA encourages its members to participate in the 2021 Montreal conference. Since no members will be physically traveling, the travel awards will be re-imagined to support participation.  The Chapter will offer multiple Backlund and WALRC awards that will cover the cost of conference registration. The criteria for selection will be simplified this year.

Caroline Backlund Award

This award was established in 2002 and is named in honor of Carline Backlund (1920-2016) who had a distinguished career as an art librarian, educator, and author. Mrs. Backlund, a long-time chapter member, received the ARLIS/NA Distinguished Service Award in 1989 for her contributions to the Society. The Backlund award is intended to help student members of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter become more involved in the ARLIS/NA at the national level.

There will be six Caroline Backlund Awards to encourage student participation.

Criteria: Students must be members of the chapter and enrolled at least part-time in a library/information science school. Weight will be given to students who are participating in the conference as a presenter or leader of a group. Students should submit a brief letter stating the benefits of attending the conference.

Washington Art Library Resources Committee Award

The Washington Art Library Resources Committee (WALRC) comprised research libraries in the Greater Washington, DC area. In 1981, WALRC published Art serials: union list of art periodicals and serials in research libraries in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area (edited by Carolyn S. Larson) which proved to be a very useful and popular publication. In 2018 WALRC, which had been inactive for many years, disbanded and the funds from the sale of the publication was transferred to the Chapter. The WALRC Award is intended for professional (i.e. non-student) members of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter to become more involved with ARLIS/NA at the national level. Funding for the award is provided by income from WALRC invested accounts.

There will be ten Washington Art Library Resources Committee Awards:

  • Four awards will be presented to unemployed members who are searching for jobs.
  • Four awards will be present to members who have been impacted by furloughs, reduction in hours, pay cuts or in any other way related to the pandemic.
  • Two awards will be made to non-member students.  The award will also provide a  one-year membership in ARLIS/NA.

Criteria:  Preference will be given to chapter members who are participating in the conference or are members of committees or other leadership groups where their participation is necessary. Applicants for the student awards should state the impact of membership in ARLIS/NA will have on their chosen profession. Other applicants should briefly explain in their letter how they qualify for the award.

Applications should be emailed to the Travel Awards Committee Chair by March 15th.

Mid-Atlantic Travel Awards Committee

Gregory P. J. Most, National Gallery of Art, Chair
Anna Boutin-Cooper, Franklin and Marshall College
Claralyn Burt, formerly University of Maryland I-School
Yuki Hibben, Virginia Commonwealth University

Library Company of Philadelphia Francis Johnson Fellowships

Francis Johnson Fellowships: Applications due March 1

Calling all performing artists, musicians, actors, visual artists, and other creative scholars and practitioners! America’s oldest cultural institution, the Library Company of Philadelphia welcomes applications for a new grant that seeks to engage our African American history collections critically and creatively.

The newly-launched Francis Johnson Fellowships will support two fellows—one creative practitioner and one academic humanist—who will delve into the compositions of one of the most popular black composers prior to the American Civil War, Francis Johnson.

These fellows will be encouraged to collaborate as they explore a manuscript book of 80 compositions (many unpublished) as well as other printed materials held at both the Library Company and at the Kislak Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Each Francis Johnson Fellow will receive a stipend of $5000 to support research this summer; a $2500 research fund to be defined by the fellow and program director; travel expenses (up to $500); and lodging at the Library Company’s Cassatt House residence for four to eight weeks.

To apply, email a proposal (no more than 1000 words) plus a preliminary budget and timeline, resume, or c.v., and one letter of reference to by March 1.

For more information, visit the Francis Johnson Fellowship webpage ( or email Will Fenton at

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