ARLIS/UK & Ireland – Global Majority Art Librarianship Scholarship 2023  

ARLIS UK & Ireland (The Art Libraries Society) are pleased to open applications to the ‘fees only’ scholarship for an individual undertaking a UK accredited Library, Information, or Archive Studies postgraduate qualification as a small first step towards addressing the ongoing underrepresentation of Black library workers and library workers of colour within art librarianship. The scholarship is now in its second year and will be awarded annually (subject to financial stability), with details and the application form made available from the ARLIS UK & Ireland website. 

We acknowledge that art librarianship in the UK and Ireland continues to be overwhelmingly white. The 2015 UK information sector workforce survey found the profession to be 96.7% white. This reinforces the urgency and importance of steps to increase global majority access to qualifications which often remain a prerequisite for entry to the profession and development to senior roles. While we do not uncritically support the need for a qualification to perform valuable work in libraries, we do believe that university fees are a significant barrier to entry for many. The scholarship is a key recommendation of the ARLIS Equity Steering Group, whose work we are grateful for.  

We welcome applicants from Black, Asian or minority ethnic / Global Majority backgrounds. Students applying to any UK postgraduate (MA, MSc, PgDip, PgCert) course accredited by CILIP are eligible, but courses which include modules or studies relevant to art librarianship (such as placements at a member institution) may strengthen an application. Students applying for full-time, or part-time or modular courses are eligible, as are distance learning options. The successful applicant should be eligible for Home fees. Fees will be paid directly to the university.  

Applications for the 2023-4 academic year are now open.  

Deadline: 23.59 on Sunday 26th February 2023 

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application no later than: Friday 10th March 2023.

In addition to the fees award, ARLIS is keen to explore options to enhance the scholarship, such as by offering mentorship or a student placement at a relevant institution and would be happy to discuss this with the successful applicant. We would also encourage and support the successful applicant to consider contributing to the Art Libraries Journal or presenting at the ARLIS Annual Conference. While the amount of financial support offered is strictly limited to covering home fees up to a maximum of £12,000, we recognise that difficulties in circumstances may arise and where possible would seek to assist the successful candidate find additional opportunities if they struggled to continue their studies.  

Selection will be based on the strength of the application. Evaluation criteria include how the award will benefit the individual, the interest and relevance of the study or research that will result from undertaking the qualification, and any wider benefits to libraries, librarianship, communities and society.  

Application form in PDF            Application form in Word


  1. Membership of ARLIS is not a requirement but evidence of engagement with art libraries and archives will benefit an application.  
  2. Employment or experience of working in art libraries and archives is not required.  
  3. Current officers and Council members of ARLIS/UK & Ireland are eligible to apply however, Grant Panel members are not eligible.  
  4. Applications for this round of the scholarship must be to commence study in 2023. The scholarship will be advertised again next year for entry in the 2023/4 academic year.  
  5. Within six months of the commencing study, the recipient of the scholarship shall present a written reflection of 1000-1500 words to ARLIS Council, for publication on the ARLIS website.  
  6. If an application is not successful, it may be resubmitted the following year.  
  7. The Grants Panel may request further information or request clarification of details included in the application.  
  8. The decisions of the Grants Panel and ARLIS Council shall be final, and no correspondence regarding them shall be entered into. 
  9. If the successful scholarship applicant is not awarded a place on a university course or does not take it up, ARLIS Council may make the award to the runner up candidate. The original candidate can reapply the following year.   
  10. ARLIS Council reserves the right to make no award if no suitable application is received. 

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