H. W. Wilson Foundation Research Award

The H. W. Wilson Foundation Research Award supports research activities by ARLIS/NA individual members in the fields of librarianship, visual resources curatorship, and the arts. The award encourages the professional development of the membership in their capacities as information intermediaries and as subject specialists in the arts.



Projects Supported

Projects may focus on research which benefits the profession of art and visual resources librarianship, as well as the broader world of librarianship, through such means as compilation and dissemination of information, translation of original scholarship, analysis of our professions, or the enhancement of access to information. In addition, eligible projects include those which result in original scholarship in the arts (literary, performing, architectural, visual, etc.) or aspects of visual and material culture.


Research projects should result in a publication, a presentation, or any form of reproducible and distributable product, either text or image based, in any format. Particular value is seen in projects resulting in a useful and needed reference or research tool such as a bibliography, a directory, a translation of an important work, an authority list, a critical and evaluative study of a topic pertinent to the field, or original scholarship in the arts.

Projects that compile existing material will be considered if the compilation includes a new contribution such as unique indexing. Projects consisting of surveys or activities studies are also eligible as long as the survey or study results in analysis and tabulation of the research data into publishable form.

Funding is NOT AVAILABLE for projects that are primarily part of a school curriculum, such as support for thesis or dissertation research, or projects that primarily support an institutional goal rather individual research. An exception to this restriction would be in the case of expenses incurred to extract bibliographical content from a thesis or dissertation in order to compile, annotate, format, and publish the material.


This award is available to ARLIS/NA INDIVIDUAL members (including special Individual membership categories such as "honorary", "student", "retired", and "unemployed"). Applicants must have been an Individual ARLIS/NA member for AT LEAST ONE YEAR prior to the December 15, 2023 deadline for a submitted grant application

ELIGIBLE for consideration:

  • Group projects undertaken by NOT MORE THAN FOUR principal participants are eligible. At least half of the participants must meet the above ARLIS/NA Individual membership criteria.

NOT ELIGIBLE for consideration:

  • Institutional members, official groups, Committees, Chapters, Divisions, and Sections of the Society are not eligible to apply for this award (special funding for group projects may be available through other channels within the Society).
  • Current members of the ARLIS/NA Executive Board and the Research Awards Sub-Committee are not eligible.
  • Group projects undertaken by MORE THAN FOUR AUTHORS are not eligible.

Award Amounts

Applicants may apply for award amounts of up to $3,000. If there are multiple applications deserving support but the total dollars requested in those applications exceed the subcommittee's $3,000 annual award budget, the subcommittee reserves the right to offer partial funding of the dollar amount requested in an application in order to provide support for more than one application. In that case, and based on the application materials, the subcommittee will distribute the funds available as it deems appropriate. Applicants may decline to accept partial funding.

Types of Expenses Covered (not an inclusive list):

  • Travel expenses incurred in conducting research.
  • Salaries for clerical assistance for typing or computer inputting, etc.
  • Photocopying and interlibrary loan charges.
  • Postage, telephone, or fax charges for long-distance contacts and information gathering.
  • Bibliographic database search charges from commercial vendors.
  • Working copies of publications.
  • Computer software; OR staff wages to adapt software packages to specific project applications; OR staff wages to develop original software.

Expenses NOT Covered:

  • Salaries for principal participant(s) in the research project.
  • Equipment, including computer hardware.

Application Schedule

  • Applications and accompanying material must be submitted by December 15, 2023. 
  • Nominations will be reviewed by the ARLIS/NA Research Awards Sub-Committee according to the criteria outlined below. Notification of the Sub-Committee's decision will be mailed to all authors and nominators no later than January 31, 2024. 
  • Public announcement of the award recipient(s) and the presentation of the award check(s) will be made during the 52nd Annual ARLIS/NA Conference in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, April 2 – 5, 2024. 

Application Review Process

The Research Committee will review and judge applications based on several factors including:

  • Contribution to the field.
  • Potential audience of library professionals and/or patrons, in terms of numbers and subject specializations, to be affected by the project's resultant products.
  • Quality and thoroughness of the proposal.
  • Soundness of the project's proposed working methodology.
  • Feasibility for completion of the project within the stated timetable and budget.
  • Plans for compilation, presentation, and dissemination of the project's final product: e.g., has a publisher been contacted and expressed interest?

When proposals are judged of equal merit, preference may be given to applicants who have not previously received funds through this program.

Funded Projects

  • Funded projects are expected to commence within 90 days after award notification (by July 12, 2024). 
  • An interim report on the progress of the research and monies spent must be made to the chair of the Research Awards subcommittee within nine months after award notification (January 17, 2025). 
  • The project is to be completed with a final report due by October 10, 2025. 
    • This report must include a summary budget for the project indicating dollar amounts spent for general categories of expenses. Full accounting of every expenditure and receipts for specific expenses are NOT REQUIRED as part of the final report. 
    • TWO copies of this final report should be submitted: one to the Executive Director of ARLIS/NA, who will copy it for distribution to the President and the Executive Board, and one to the chair of the Research Awards Sub-Committee. 
    • ONE copy of the project's final product, if a publication results, should also be submitted to the Executive Director of ARLIS/NA for the Society. 
  • Extensions for funded projects: 
    • A written request to extend the beginning date of the research project beyond that outlined above must be made to the chair of the Research Awards Subcommittee within two months of the conference award presentation (by June 1, 2024). 
    • A written request to extend the completion date of the project beyond that outlined above must be made to the Chair(s) of the chair of the Research Awards Subcommittee at or before the time the interim report is due (by January 17, 2025). 

ARLIS/NA Rights of Publication & Acknowledgment

Successful applicants are encouraged to contribute an article about their research to Art Documentation, and as appropriate to consider the Society as a possible publisher of their product. Any research project funded fully or in part by ARLIS/NA should acknowledge this support in print or verbally, as appropriate.

Contact the Chair, ARLIS/NA Research Awards Subcommittee for copies of guidelines or any questions.

Research Awards Subcommittee

Subcommittee of the Awards Committee.
Heather Gendron

Heather Gendron

Director, Haas Arts Library


Jennifer Friedman

Associate Dean for Research & Learning


Stacy Brinkman

Head of Education and Outreach


Karen Elizabeth DeWitt

Director, Design Library