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Phil Zwickler Memorial Research Grants


Since 2002, Cornell University Library has been able to offer select scholars financial assistance for expenses incurred when they come to conduct research on sexuality with sources in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC). The Phil Zwickler Memorial Research Grants, made possible through the generosity of the Phil Zwickler Charitable and Memorial Foundation, have assisted numerous exciting projects. Applications are due by May 31. Awards will be made within a month, and research must be completed within a year.

Read past news about the Zwickler Research Grants

Zwickler, a filmmaker and journalist who devoted his talents to communicating ideas about lesbian and gay rights and the AIDS crisis, died in 1991 at age 36. Documentation of his life and work are preserved in Cornell’s Human Sexuality Collection, a program in RMC that seeks to encourage the study of sexuality and sexual politics by preserving and making accessible relevant primary sources that document historical shifts in the social construction of sexuality. Collecting efforts go especially to groups excluded from mainstream culture and focus primarily in the United States from the 19th century onward. Our primary sources include print material, manuscript collections, as well as some ephemera, artwork, and audio-visual material.

More information about our holdings can be found through:

REQUIREMENTS: Any researcher with a project that can be augmented by research with the Human Sexuality Collection and related sources is eligible to apply. Preference is given to projects that have a high probability of publication or other public dissemination. We invite applications from playwrights and other artists.

At the end of the research, awardees are expected to submit a brief final report on their research experience. Awardees should also send a copy of publications that result from this research. Awardees may be invited to discuss their work at a public event during their stay.

AWARDS: One or more awards of up to $1,500 will be made annually.

DEADLINES: Applications are due by May 31. Awards will be made within a month, and research must be completed within a year.


  1. cover page indicating name, address, phone, fax, e-mail, institutional affiliation, current position/title, project title, and project abstract.
  2. The research proposal, including methodology or planned approach to interpreting the material. Comment on the significance of the work and its potential contribution to the understanding of the history of sexuality. If appropriate, indicate how this project fits into a larger work in progress. Also:
    • Please list by Title and Collection/Call Number the Cornell materials you plan to use.
    • Briefly describe your plans for publishing or otherwise disseminating the results of your project.
    • Describe when you expect to visit and the anticipated length of your stay.
  3. A current resume.
  4. Graduate students should also submit a letter of recommendation from a faculty advisor or thesis director on the significance of the topic and the abilities of the candidate. Other applicants may submit one or two letters of reference, but are not required to do so.
  5. budget showing the expenses for which support is requested. Eligible expenses include travel, lodging, and photocopying or other reproductions. Please read budget and tax information for grant applicants.

Email these materials to Brenda Marston at

Or send 5 copies of all application materials to:

Human Sexuality Collection
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
2B Kroch Library
Cornell University Library
Ithaca, NY 14853-5302

For more information, contact curator Brenda J. Marston at, 607-255-3530, or at the address above.

Collection Highlights