Inviting Research Community and Environment
Fellows are welcomed into a vibrant and inviting research community committed to high-level intellectual engagement through colloquia, conferences, lectures, graduate programs, and an in-house academic journal, Winterthur Portfolio.
Winterthur is comprised of three main collections: the museum, garden, and library. While physically located in separate areas of the institution, the collections are complementary in content and scope, and we encourage researchers to mine all of these areas for their work. Collections in each of these areas support work on a wide range of topics, including immigration, the African diaspora, disability studies, Indigenous cultures, and much more. We encourage you to contact staff to see if we have something to support your work in this vast treasure trove!
Fellows have access to the library collections, which chronicle material culture in American and abroad from the 17th into the 20th centuries. The collections are books and periodicals, including 18,260 rare books and about 1,200 periodical titles; manuscripts and printed ephemera, including 2,900 records groups, ranging in size from an item to tens of thousands of pieces; visual resources, including 170,000 photographs; and the Winterthur Archives, including 2,400 cubic feet of records. Library collections are searchable online. Collections access is subject to change according to Winterthur's COVID-19 Access Plan.
Resources for the 17th to the early 20th centuries include:
- Core library collection of secondary sources in fine and decorative art history, American history, and cultural studies, including academic journals
- Period trade catalogs, trade cards, and other ephemera
- Auction and exhibition catalogs
- Extensive reference photograph collection of decorative arts
- Rare books
- Manuscript collections including probate inventories, family records, diaries, and correspondence
- Merchant and artisan account books
Fellows have access, by appointment, to the museum collections and research files of the Garden Department research files. . Fellows can access the Plant Database online. The Winterthur Archives houses letters from H. F. du Pont to prominent horticulturists of the early 20th century and documentation about the work of Marian Cruger Coffin, one of the first female landscape architects in the United States.
Fellows are welcomed by a talented team of curators, librarians, conservators, students, and scholars with deep knowledge of Winterthur's collections. They are happy to share information and insights into fellows' projects and Winterthur's collections. Please contact our support staff for more information.
"Without Winterthur and the residential fellowship program it would not be possible for me to do this project at all...The vast array of objects, the rare book collection, the library, and the expertise of curators, librarians, conservators, conversations with (other) Fellows and with staff members...all contributed.... The intellectual stimulation of the Winterthur environment has boosted my brain into the next gear, so to speak." -Andrea Pappas, 2015-2016 NEH fellow and Associate Professor of Art and Art History, Santa Clara University
Residential fellows are provided with Research Building office space in order to meet their research and writing needs while on-site. Offices are equipped with desks, wireless internet, a shared computer kiosk, and laser printer. Photocopiers and scanners are available on-site. Fellows are encouraged to bring their own laptop computers and digital cameras to use in the office and library.
Remote fellows must use their own equipment (laptops, etc.) but are given customized access to digital resources (ex: databases, digitized collections,etc.) after consultation with Winterthur staff and assessment of project needs.
****Remote fellows must have access to Broadband internet to fully access resources.
Housing on Winterthur’s property is available for rent to residential fellows on a space-available basis with rental payments billed separately to fellows. Housing is available, but limited, in response to COVID-19 in order to protect the safety and health of our researchers. The residences are furnished and include wireless Internet, cable television, kitchen, bicycles, laundry facilities, parking, and after-hours access to Winterthur’s gardens and grounds. Residential fellowships provide fellows with uninterrupted time to research, write, and think about their projects in the peaceful atmosphere of the Winterthur estate. Living with other fellows also provides the opportunity to talk and collaborate informally on projects.
Fellows are able to fully immerse themselves in Winterthur's scholarly community including online and in-person weekly research colloquia, lectures, informal lunches with staff and students, workshops, and conferences. There is also opportunity to engage with staff, students, and researchers from nearby institutions such as the University of Delaware, Hagley Museum and Library, and the Delaware Historical Society. Fellows are welcome to participate in Winterthur’s in-person and remote public programming opportunities including gallery walks, garden programming, concerts, family programming, and special events. Winterthur is located in the heart of the Brandywine Valley, a rich cultural hub within a short distance to many museums, historic sites, parks, restaurants, and other attractions. It is also within driving distance of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.