Support for Research at The Bakken Museum and Library


Application deadline: March 4th, 2013

The Bakken (Minneapolis, MN) awards short-term fellowships and travel grants to scholars and artists to support research using The Bakken’s library and artifact collections. The collections address the history of electricity and magnetism (with a focus on their roles in the life sciences and medicine) and include approximately 11,000 books, journals, and manuscripts, and 2,200 instruments, medical devices, and other artifacts. The awards are to be used to help defray the expenses of travel, subsistence and other direct costs of conducting research at The Bakken for researchers who must travel some distance and pay for temporary lodging in the Twin Cities in order to conduct research at The Bakken.

Visiting research fellowships are awarded up to a maximum of $1,500; the minimum period of residence is two weeks, and preference is given to researchers who are interested in collaborating informally for a day or two with Bakken staff during their research visit. Research travel grants are awarded up to a maximum of $500 (domestic) and $750 (foreign); the minimum period of residence is one week.

The library collection includes works in early physics (natural philosophy) and early works on magnetic cures, electrotherapeutics, electrophysiology, and their accompanying instrumentation. The Bakken Library also possesses a fine collection of primary sources in mesmerism, animal magnetism, and hypnotism, and works documenting the history of para-psychology, psychical research, and phrenology. Significant holdings include many of the writings of Hauksbee, Nollet, Franklin, Mesmer, Galvani, Volta, Matteucci, Du Bois-Reymond, Marey, and Einthoven. Also of interest to researchers are small collections of 19th-century medical and electro-medical ephemera, trade catalogues and price lists, and miscellaneous scientists’ letters from the 18th-20th centuries.

The artifact collection comprises objects from the 18th century to the present, including electrostatic generators by George Adams, Edward Nairne, John Cuthbertson and others; magneto-electric generators; medical stimulators designed by Duchenne; induction coils; physiological instrumentation by E.J. Marey; recording devices; cardiac pacing devices; and accessories. Unorthodox devices are well-represented and include electric belts and hairbrushes, magnetic applicators, and radionics equipment.

For more information, application guidelines, or to access collections catalogues, visit or write to [email protected].