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WESS Coutts Nijhoff International
West European Specialist Study Grant

This grant supports research pertaining to Western European studies, librarianship, or the book trade.


A maximum of 4,500 Euros (or U.S. dollar equivalent) donated by Coutts Nijhoff International, a subscription agent and book dealer with headquarters in The Netherlands. This study grant covers air travel to and from Europe, transportation in Europe, and lodging and board for no more than fourteen (14) consecutive days. Funds may not be used for salaries, research-related supplies, publication costs, conference fees, or equipment purchases.


The nominee must be a librarian employed in a university, college, community college, or research library in the year prior to application for the award.


The primary criterion for awarding the grant is the significance and utility of the proposed project as a contribution to the study of the acquisition, organization, or use of library materials from or relating to Western Europe. Current or historical subjects may be treated. The award jury will review proposals with the following in mind:

  • What is the work to be accomplished? The proposal should be as explicit as possible about the current state of knowledge in the area and what will be achieved by the successful completion of the study.
  • What is the need for and value of the proposed research? The proposal should provide persuasive evidence that the study is of practical use or scholarly value to the wider community served by the grant.
  • What is the methodology for carrying out the proposed work? The research design should be as specific as possible and demonstrate why the European component is essential.
  • Is the work accomplishable within the timeframe proposed? If the study extends beyond the 14-day limit of the grant, the proposal should specify how the additional work would be completed and funded.
  • Are the applicant’s qualifications sufficient to carry out the study? 

The applicant should be able to document their ability to complete the proposed research in a timely manner.


Send six (6) copies of the application, which includes:

  • A proposal, five (5) pages or less, double-spaced
  • A tentative travel itinerary not to exceed fourteen (14) days, including the proposed countries and institutions to be visited and the preferred period of study/travel
  • A travel budget, including estimated round-trip coach airfare, transportation in Europe, lodging expenses, and meal costs
  • A current curriculum vita 

Send Applications to: The Association of College and Research Libraries, WESS Coutts Nijhoff International West European Study Grant, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611.

Submission Deadline: Postmarked by Friday, December 7, 2007


If you have questions or need help in compiling a nomination, please contact Charlene Kellsey, University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309l T. 303-492-1183; e-mail: or Megan Griffin at (800) 545-2433, ext. 2514, (312) 280-2514 or via e-mail at


The recipient’s detailed expense statement, with original receipts, is due to ACRL within two months of the trip’s termination. The grantee is required to submit a report to ACRL within six months of no less than 4,000 words on the research resulting from the study trip. It is assumed that in most cases this report will be suitable for publication. If so, ACRL is given the first right of refusal. The grantee should submit an abstract of the report for publication in the WESS newsletter. In addition, the grantee may be asked to participate in a WESS general discussion group, advise the award jury, or counsel new grantees. Recipients are encouraged, but not required, to join WESS and become involved in its activities.

Previous Recipients

2007 - Thea Lindquist, University of Colorado, for her proposal, "From the Ashes: Identifying, Documenting, and Rebuilding the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek's Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft (Fruitbearing Society) Collections"
2006 – Documenting a Vanishing Culture: German-language Literature from Czechoslovakia, 1945–1990, Dale Askey, Kansas State University
2005 –  "The Bibliotheques Municipales of France as Sources for Medieval History of Monastic Institutions: The Case of Arles," Charlene Kellsey, University of Colorado
2004 – Translation of the subject thesaurus of the Pictorial Archive of the German Colonial Society (Bildarchiv der Deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft) from German to English by Helene S. Baumann, Duke University
2003 –  Two Libraries, Two Peoples: Die Deutsche Bibliothek and Die Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin since German Reunification Michael Olson, Harvard University
2002 –  German Acquisitions in Hungarian Research Libraries: Cooperative Collection Development in the Twentieth Century, James P. Niessen, Rutgers University
2001 – Collecting the Nineteenth Century: the Book, the Specimen, the Photograph as Archive, Sue Waterman, Johns Hopkins University
2000 – Documenting the Dissemination of the Gregorian Calendar Reform in France During the Wars of Religion, Jeffry Larson
1999 – Towards Reconstructing the Fate of Viennese Jewish Libraries in the Nazi Era, Richard Hacken
1998 – The End of Monastery Libraries in Bavaria and the Birth of Modern Library Science, 1802–1814, Jeffrey Garrett
1997 – Books in German-Occupied Europe: The Rosenburg Files, Sem C. Sutter
1996 – Women in International Migration 1945-1995, Eleanore O. Hofstetter
1995 – The World of Johann Amerbach: Early Printing in its Social Context, Barbara Halporn
1994 – Outstanding Journal Publishing in German Academic Librarianship, Stephen Lehmann
1992 – Forging Links with Italian Fine Presses and Avant-garde Publishers, Martin Antonetti 
1991 – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as Book-Selector for the Northern Germanic Languages, Nancy S. Reinhardt
1990 – Acquisitions and Distribution of Enemy Scientific and Technical Journals during World War II, Pamela Spence Richards
1989 – Preserving the Written Record: Preservation Programs at European Libraries, James H. Spohrer
1987 – Refugee and Exile Publishing in Western Europe, Michael Albin
1986 – Price Indexes of European Academic Library Materials, Frederick Lynden