The National Library has a range of Fellowships and Scholarships available to researchers, writers, artists, and younger scholars.
Dr Kate Warren, a Senior Lecturer in Art History and Curatorship at the Australian National University, was a 2022 recipient of a National Library of Australia Fellowship.
Kate's research focused on the role of popular magazines in Australian art history and arts communication in the 1950s and 1960s. Artwork reproductions boomed during this time, and magazines actively encouraged their readers to engage materially with their publications, for example, by cutting out articles or by framing their reproductions.
Watch Dr Kate Warren's Fellowship presentation titled 'Cut-out-and-keep: magazines and the popularisation of Australian art in the 1950s and 1960s'.
Why did you want to research at the National Library?
I am researching Australian magazines of the mid-twentieth century, and how they engaged with the visual arts. The National Library's collection in this area is second to none, making it the perfect institution to do a very deep dive into these rich and dense publications.
In addition, the Library has a wealth of special collections and manuscripts that connect with these media histories which helped me fill in some gaps, while also raising other questions!
How did your time at the National Library help you to advance your research?
My time as a Fellow helped me to gain a much deeper knowledge of many key magazines that I already knew about. This allowed me to spend significant amounts of time reading and leafing through their pages.
It also introduced me to several publications I wasn't familiar with. This intensive research time enabled me to focus my research in particular ways. I am currently working on a new book proposal from research coming directly out of my time as a Fellow.
What do you hope people will learn from your project? What did you discover that you want to share?
I hope to give people a renewed understanding of magazines of this era – their complexities, contradictions, and the broad range of topics they engaged with. Popular magazines had certain advantages over other mass media of the day when it came to presenting the visual arts to their readers, however their role and influence has been overlooked. I hope people can learn more about the connections between the media and the arts of this era, and how these relationships are still relevant and important to think about today.
Would you recommend the Fellowship to others?
I would absolutely recommend the Library's Fellowship program to other researchers. The Library's collection is so rich (and so big!) in ways I hadn't fully appreciated until I was immersed in it. The opportunity to engage with the collection as a Fellow was extremely valuable and a huge privilege.
The support and enthusiasm you receive from the Library staff is wonderful. I'd like to sincerely thank the National Library and the staff who helped me during my Fellowship and made me feel so welcome.
The National Library of Australia Fellowships program offers researchers an opportunity to undertake a 12-week residency at the Library. Applicants may work in any field or discipline where the Library's collections have appropriate depth and breadth to support the desired outcomes.
You can read more about the National Library's Fellowship and Scholarship programs on our website.
Please note: The National Library is undertaking a review of its Fellowships and Scholarships program to ensure it meets the needs of researchers, PhD students and creators. This review may result in changes to some of the opportunities offered beyond 2024.