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University Libraries - South Caroliniana - Summer Fellowships - Smith

Ellison Durant Smith Research Award


This award will be offered for the summer of 2018.
Applications must be received by February 16, 2018.


Summer Fellowships

At his death, Ellison Durant "Cotton Ed" Smith (1864-1944) had been in the U.S. Senate longer than any prior member, serving from 1909 to 1944.  The State newspaper of Columbia called Smith "one of the most colorful senators in the Nation's history, a rugged individualist who fought to the very end for his very pronounced ideas on government, on racial relations and other matters. He didn't flinch to stand alone; he was a bitter-end fighter of the New Deal, [and] a staunch supporter of States' rights. . . ."

As chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, Smith was a powerful advocate for the farmer. Historian Leonard Plummer stated, "When he came to the Senate he came with a mission. . . . He was one of the first to demand national action for the economic relief of the agriculture of the South. . . ." He was a farmer himself, operating the family plantation, located in what is now Lee County.

The Ellison Durant Smith Research Award is endowed through the estate of Harold McCallum McLeod (d. 1999), who was a native of Timmonsville, S.C., a graduate of Wofford College, and a veteran of World War II. He was employed by the Internal Revenue Service from 1933 until his retirement as District Director in 1973. McLeod is remembered for the friendly and effective manner in which he carried out his difficult duties with the IRS; for his commitment to his church, country and Wofford College; and his fond childhood memories of "Cotton Ed," his famous relative.

The Ellison Durant Smith Research Award provides financial support to undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate scholars to conduct research during the summer months at the South Caroliniana Library on politics, government, and society during the twentieth century, with an emphasis on South Carolina history.  The award is available to non-professional historical researchers, public school teachers, college students, and university instructors. United States citizens and interested internationals are encouraged to apply.  Internationals coming from abroad will be expected to participate as a J-1 Exchange Visitor sponsored by the University of South Carolina.  Internationals already in the U.S. must hold a valid U.S. immigration status that allows payment for a summer research fellowship.

Each proposal will be evaluated on its merits. Primary consideration will be given to projects involving the substantive study of issues of general interest and doctoral and post-doctoral studies. Each proposal should be aimed at a discrete end product such as a book, dissertation, thesis, article, documentary, film, or exhibit. Budgets will be examined and may be approved in whole or in part.

In return for accepting support, each award recipient is required to acknowledge the Ellison Durant Smith Research Award in any resulting published works and donate a copy (or copies) of said works to the library.  The recipient may also be requested to submit a brief article summarizing his or her findings and research experience for publication in the Library’s newsletter.

Applicants should submit the following:
● Cover letter with contact information, including full name, mailing and physical address, telephone, and email.
● An essay of not more than 1,000 words discussing the topic of research and how the Library’s collection will be utilized.
● A research prospectus including proposed length of stay and overall project budget clearly stating the amount requested and how the award will be spent..
● Current curriculum vitæ.
● Two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's scholarly ability and significance of their research project.

Send materials to:

South Caroliniana Library at Thomas Cooper Library
University of South Carolina
Attention: Todd Hoppock
1322 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208

Applications must be received by February 16, 2018.

For more information, please contact Todd Hoppock at, or call 803-777-3131.

The award recipient(s) will be announced on or before March 19, 2018.