E. Geoffrey and Elizabeth Thayer Verney Fellowship 2014

Applications accepted through December 31, 2013

In an effort to enhance the public's knowledge and understanding of the heritage of Nantucket, Massachusetts, the Nantucket Historical Association offers an annual fellowship, the E. Geoffrey and Elizabeth Thayer Verney Fellowship. Established in 1999, the award encourages research in the collections of the Nantucket Historical Association Research Library and is open to academics, graduate students, and independent scholars. The Nantucket Historical Association is the principal repository of Nantucket history, with extensive archives, collections of historic properties, and art and artifacts that broadly illustrate Nantucket's past. Topics of research for recent scholars have included health aboard whaleships, women at sea, scrimshaw, samplers, local artists, Nantucket's architectural heritage, Quakerism, the African-American and Cape Verdean communities, the Quaise Asylum, and abolitionism.

The E. Geoffrey and Elizabeth Thayer Verney Fellow resides in the Thomas Macy House, a historic property owned by the association, for up to a three-week period. Housing is available January - May and October - December 2013. NHA Visiting Research Scholars are expected to produce an article suitable for publication in the summer edition of Historic Nantucket, the NHA’s quarterly journal, and to deliver a public lecture on the subject of their research, as well as a presentation to NHA staff. Projects resulting in the publication of a book, article, conference paper, or other media, are looked upon favorably. Recipients of the award receive a stipend of $300 per week during the time in residence, for up to three weeks. Travel expenses are reimbursed for up to $600.

Send a full description of the proposed project, a curriculum vitae, the names of three references, and an estimate of anticipated time and duration of stay. Send application packet to: Betsy Tyler, Obed Macy Research Chair, Nantucket Historical Association, P.O. Box 1016, Nantucket, MA 02554-1016, 508-228-1894 ext 306 or email .

Verney Fellows Research Topics and Resulting Publications
1999 Lloyd Pratt “Reading Habits of Nineteenth-Century Nantucketers”

Archives of American Time: Literature and Modernity In the Nineteenth Century


“Literate Culture and Community in Antebellum Nantucket,” Historic Nantucket, Vol. 49, No. 3 (Summer 2000)
2000 Christina Gessler Harvest of the Heart: Themes from the Diaries of Nineteenth-Century New England Farm Women

Researching the Diary of Martha Fish, a Nantucket Farm Woman,” Historic Nantucket, Vol. 49, No. 4 (Fall 2000)
2001 Lisa M. Tetrault “Phebe Hanaford: Early Universalist Minister”

A Paper Trail: Piecing Together the Life of Phebe Hanaford,” Historic Nantucket, Vol. 51, No. 4 (Fall 2002)

2002 James Alsop “Medical Practice on Nantucket Whaleships”

Publication pending
2003 Alison M. Gavin “Poor Farms in Nineteenth-Century New England”

"The Asylum at Quaise: Nantucket's Antebellum Poor Farm,”
Historic Nantucket
, Vol. 52, No. 4 (Fall 2003)
2004 Susan Lebo Native Hawaiian Whalers in Nantucket, 1820-60,”
Historic Nantucket
, Vol. 56, No. 1 (Winter 2007)
2005 Eric Jay Dolin “The Whaling Industry”

Leviathan: the History of Whaling in America (available at the NHA Museum Shop)
2006 Renée Bergland “American Ideas About Women Scientists in the Nineteenth Century”

Maria Mitchell and the Sexing of Science: An Astronomer Among the American Romantics
2007 Debra McManis “A Study of New England Farming”

Town Farms & Country Commons: Nantucket's Agricultural History

Nantucket's Native Foodways,” Historic Nantucket, Vol. 59, No. 1 (Spring 2009)
2008 Bette S. Weidman ’Sconset-born Charles Frederick Briggs: Early New York Novelist and Editor,” Historic Nantucket, Vol. 58, No. 3 (Summer 2008)

Book publication pending
2009 David Milne “Curatorial & Interpretive Study of NHA Properties”
2010 Elizabeth Watts Pope “Life of Phebe Folger Coleman”

Research for dissertation: “The Fruits of an Island Education in Phebe Folger's Commonplace Book”
2011 Brigid Harmon “Feasts, Flogging and Famine: Complex Foodways on Nantucket Whaleships”
2012 Seth Bruggeman “Ships in a Bottle: The History of American Maritime Museums in the Twentieth Century”

Book publication pending
2013 Edward D. Melillo "Out of the Blue: Nantucket and the Pacific World"