Peter and Ana Lowens University of Victoria Libraries Special Collections Student Fellowship

The Peter and Ana Lowens University of Victoria Libraries Special Collections Student Fellowship Program is open to University of Victoria undergraduate and graduate students from any discipline.

Student fellows undertake an independent research or creative project using rare and unique materials from UVic Libraries Special Collections and University Archives. Projects can include ongoing research or new areas of scholarship.

Student fellows will be provided workshops grounding their research in archival theory, book history, and digital methods, as well as mentorship and support from library staff and faculty.

How to apply

Eligibility: The fellowships are restricted to University of Victoria undergraduate and graduate students.

To submit: Please submit a 500 word (maximum) proposal on a project you would undertake using materials from Special Collections and University Archives, and how you would benefit from participating in the program. Submit the proposal to Heather Dean:

Four students are selected each year. The program welcomes outward, public-facing projects, including exhibitions, podcasts, and lectures, as research outputs.

Questions? Please contact Heather Dean, Associate Director, Special Collections, UVic Libraries:

Fellowship details

Student fellows will:

  • Conduct research using rare printed materials and/or archival collections from UVic Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives
  • Develop primary source literacy and research skills
  • Attend six two-hour long workshops during the Spring semester on a variety of topics relevant to primary source research
  • Be mentored by library staff and faculty who will provide individualized research support
  • Develop a public-facing research or creative output, such as an exhibition (digital or physical), podcast, lecture, or other project. Research and creative outputs will be launched at a public event in May 2023
  • Receive a $1,000 research award

Key dates

November 6, 2023: Information Session #1; register here

November 7, 2023: Information Session #2; register here

November 20, 2023: Applications for 2024 Fellowship Program due

December 2023: Applicants notified. Orientation session held

Spring 2024: Workshops

April 26, 2024: Projects due

May 2024: Project launch

Donor biography

Ana and Peter Lowens

Colour portrait of Ana and Peter Lowens dressed formally

Ana and Peter Lowens have been avid readers their entire lives. Peter’s love is the Victorian Era and especially the novels of Charles Dickens. Ana’s tastes go more towards the mystery genre. They both agree that a library is the heart of any community and any university.

When Ana and Peter moved to Victoria in their retirement one of their first excursions was to the campus of the University of Victoria. There they found an active community of students and scholars. They learned quickly that UVic was constantly reaching out to the community, and the library staff willingly shared their expertise and resources. When the idea for creating a library fellowship connected to UVic’s Special Collections was suggested by Professor Leighton of the English Department and Heather Dean from UVic’s Special Collections, Ana and Peter were eager to embrace that exciting opportunity.

Ana and Peter recognize and support the excellent English Department at UVic with the Ana and Peter Lowens Scholarship in Victorian Literature. With the establishment of the Special Collections Student Fellowship, Ana and Peter have the opportunity to allow more students to discover and use the wonderful holdings of the Special Collections at UVic.

Applications for the 2024 Fellowship Program are due on Monday, November 20th, 2023.

Information sessions about the program and application process are planned for November. Sessions will take place online. For further information and to register please see:

Please contact Heather Dean at with any questions.

Meet the 2023 Student Fellows

Şansal Gümüşpala

Şansal Gümüşpala is an international master's student focusing on trans+ topics within different cultural settings. Their academic background is primarily in philosophy, sociology, and psychology, focusing on gender and sexuality. Their research interests include gender studies, social movements, and queer theory. In addition to their academic activities, Şansal loves crafting stories through embroidery and holding creative youth workshops.

Read Şansal's project proposal

Kalea Raposo

Kalea Furmanek Raposo is in her final year of undergraduate study at the University of Victoria, pursuing an English Honours degree with a minor in Anthropology. She has contributed to the Crafting Communities project and the Narrative Art & Visual Storytelling in Holocaust and Human Rights Education project. Her research interests include 19th-century literature and print culture, feminist theory, and hands-on learning.

Read Kalea's project proposal

Fabiola Sanchez

Fabiola Sanchez is a second-year graduate student in the Anthropology MA program at the University of Victoria. Fabiola is an anthropological archaeologist with a focus on Mesoamerica and with a primary research interest in household and everyday life, symbolism, identity, foodways and cuisine.

Read Fabiola's project proposal

Asia Tyson

Asia Tyson is in her final year of undergraduate study in the Honours English program at the University of Victoria. She is interested in science and technology studies and cyberculture. Asia is currently a member of the Praxis Studio for Comparative Media Studies and is the Digital Media Assistant at UVic’s Centre for Studies in Religion and Society.

Read Asia's project proposal

The 2023 event has ended.  Details about next year's event will be updated closer to the date.

Please contact Heather Dean at with any questions.