Archival Summer Seminar in Germany

June 25 - July 06, 2007 (tentative) 

  • Call for papers

    The Summer Seminar, organized by the German Historical Institute, is a program for advanced graduate students in German historical studies. The program trains participants to read old German script, familiarizes them with German research facilities (archives and libraries), provides a forum for discussing research methods, and helps prepare them for their prospective dissertation research trips to Germany. The group will spend the bulk of their time in various German archives. Students will learn how to contact archives, use finding aids, identify important reference tools, and become generally acquainted with German research facilities. Participants will be exposed to various approaches that archivists, librarians, and scholars use to locate source material in an exceedingly complex repository landscape. They also will gain insight into how historical materials are acquired, stored, and made accessible to scholars. Participants will hear from scholars actively engaged in research, and will have the chance to ask them questions on research methods, strategy, and planning. 

    Potential applicants should note that the program is exploratory in nature and should not be considered a pre-dissertation research grant; participants will have limited opportunity to do their own work. We hope that participants will gain an appreciation for the various kinds of archives and special collections located in Germany, either for future reference or for their general edification as scholars of German culture, history, and society. Of course, students are welcome to extend their stay in Germany to do their own exploration and/or preliminary research after the tour ends. 

    Applicants must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program at a North American institution of higher education. The program seeks qualified applicants interested in historical studies in a broad range of fields (art history, history, literature, musicology, etc.). The program is open for advanced graduate students whose projects require that they consult source material in German archives and research libraries as well as handwritten materials in old German script. Preference will be given to those who have already chosen a dissertation topic, have already written a dissertation proposal, but have not yet embarked on actual research (ABD). Prospective candidates must have excellent knowledge of written and spoken German. All parts of the program will be conducted in German. The organizers will evaluate applicants’ German proficiency by telephone interview before participants are selected. 

    A complete application consists of: (1) a cover letter that outlines the candidate’s motivation to participate; (2) a curriculum vitae; (3) a dissertation proposal (4-8 pages), and (4) a letter from the doctoral adviser. Applicants are encouraged to submit their materials via e-mail. Advisors’ letters can be sent directly, by post or by e-mail, to the GHI. 

    The deadline for submission is December 31, 2006. All applicants will be notified by February 15, 2007. For more information, contact Corinna Unger, German Historical Institute. Phone: +1.202.387.3355; e-mail

    Send application materials to:

    German Historical Institute
    Corinna Unger
    1607 New Hampshire Avenue NW
    Washington, DC, 20009-2562