Manuscript papers laying across a table
Papers of Frederick Septimus Kelly, 1916, MS 10144, and Diary of Frederick Septimus Kelly, 1905-1916, MS Acc13.201.

The Library offers Fellowships to support practising writers and artists to develop new work creatively using or inspired by the Library’s collections. The Fellowships offers artists a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the collections. Artists can be inspired by, repurpose, transform or imaginatively respond to published sources, such as music, maps, rare books or ephemera, or original sources, such as pictures, manuscripts, oral histories and folklore recordings.

Creative Arts Fellowship

Creative Arts Fellowships offer a $10,000 grant to support writers and artists to spend four weeks in the Library developing an artistic concept, artwork or body of work inspired or informed by the collections. Applications for the 2025 Creative Arts Fellowships have now closed. 

Two Fellowships are available:

  • The Creative Arts Fellowship, supported by generous patrons of the National Library, is open to creative practitioners and artists, working professionally in any art form, to create new artistic work that is inspired by or using particular collections. Artists may be working in such fields as music, dance, theatre, visual arts, emerging, hybrid and experimental art forms. 
  • The Creative Arts Fellowship for Australian Writing, supported by the Ray Mathew and Eva Kollsman Trust, aims to support writers to develop their creative ideas by immersing themselves in an aspect of the collections. 

The National Folk Fellowship

The National Folk Fellowship, offered in partnership with the National Folk Festival, supported folk musicians, singers, dancers, poets, performance artists, or collector-performers to develop a project based on the Library’s original folklore and related collections, with a performance at the following National Folk Festival. 

This Fellowship is not being offered in 2025 and folk practitioners, performers and researchers are encouraged to apply for a National Library of Australia Fellowship or a Creative Arts Fellowship.