E. Geoffrey and Elizabeth Thayer Verney Fellowship 2017

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 2017. NHA Verney Fellows are expected to produce an article suitable for publication in Historic Nantucket, the NHA’s biannual journal, and to deliver a public lecture on the subject of their research. 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.

Verney Fellow Application Process

Verney Fellow applications are due by close of business on Friday, January 20, 2017. Please email applications to:

Catherine A. Taylor, Director of Museum Resources

Please include:

  1. Cover letter including
    1. Preferred dates of travel
    2. Housing need – If housing is required at 99 Main Street Guest House
    3. Stipend requested - $300 per week up to 3 weeks is available
    4. Travel subsidy requested – up to $600 is available
  2. Resume
  3. 100 word Bio
  4. A brief summary of project including (up to 2 pages, single-spaced, 1” margin):
    1. Protect title
    2. Summary of research project
    3. How the project fits the NHA Mission:
      1. The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) tells the inspiring stories of Nantucket through its collections, programs, and properties.
    4. How the project fits within the NHA Strategic Plan Tenets:
      1. Objective I: Achieving Financial Stability
      2. Objective II: Caring for Our Collections, Including Properties
      3. Objective III: Providing Transformative Experiences
      4. Objective IV: Providing and Promoting a Consistent Identity clear brand
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"
2014 Ben Shattuck "History-based fiction: Edwin Chase"
2015 Sarah Crabtree "Tinker, Traitor, Coward, Spy!: The (mis)adventures of William Rotch"
2016 Jeffrey Kovach "Economics of the Leadership of the Quaker Women’s Meetings on Nantucket in the Eighteenth Century "