The Kitty King Powell Library and Study Center at the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens invites applications for the William J. Hill Texas Artisans & Artists Archive Research Award. The Hill Archive’s extensive online holdings of resources related to art and decorative art in 19th-century Texas can support research on a wide range of subjects, including the life and works of specific artisans or artists, or broader trends and practices in Texas material culture or history. The breadth and depth of the archive also make it valuable in the study of 19th-century American art, decorative arts, and material culture. We encourage applicants to envision the opportunities that working with large digital collections of census data and city directory records related to artisans and artists can enable. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate the greatest potential for publication or exhibition and the best use of the Hill Texas Artisans & Artists Archive. 


One award in the amount of $500 will be given for the spring 2023 semester. 

The Hill Archive Research Award was created to recognize and support outstanding scholarship and creative work that incorporates this online archive’s unique digital collections. The award decision will be based on the project’s contribution to the applicant’s field, significant use of the Hill Archive’s content, the intended audience, and the credentials of the applicant. The funds are scheduled for distribution on January 30, 2023. The successful applicant will be required to submit a brief overview of the research experience (under 500 words) by June 30, 2023. If the project results in a paper, report, article, or online exhibition, a copy may be added to the Archive’s website. The successful applicant also may be asked to present an informal lecture (in person or remotely) on the research. 


Students, faculty, library and museum professionals, independent scholars, and artists are eligible to apply for the award. 


Deadline for applications is January 10, 2023 

Applicants should demonstrate the specific relevance of the William J. Hill Texas Artisans & Artists Archive to their research through the application essay and cover letter. You can locate information and explore the Archive’s online collections at

Please submit the following materials to apply for the award: 

1.      A cover letter (3 pages maximum) describing your research interests, specific goals for the project during the award period, the specific collections intended for use, and the expected output of the project. (The applicant’s proposed project may be an independent project or a component of an existing research project.) 

2.      An abstract of no more than 500 words describing your project. 

3.      A brief CV (no more than 4 pages) 

4.      One letter of reference from someone familiar with your project and your field who can indicate the significance of your proposed research. Letters can be sent directly from the recommender or included in the application packet. 

Application materials should be submitted electronically in PDF or Microsoft Word format. 

Send questions and the application materials for the William J. Hill Texas Artisans & Artists Archive Research Award to Michelle Verret Johnson, Project Manager, William J. Hill Texas Artisans & Artists Archive. 


A few examples of resources in the Hill Archive that could support research are listed below, but many more can be found within the over 116,000 records in the Archive. 

Paintings, drawings, letters, and scrapbooks of Marion T. Brown, a Dallas artist, teacher, and illustrator of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Joseph Taulman’s account book for his photography business located in Hubbard City, Texas. There are over 120 pages of records of names, orders, locations, photographic processes, prop and backdrop descriptions, and prices for photographs. The account book reveals a prolific photographer who traveled out from Hubbard City through central and east Texas. Over 60 examples of his photography are also available, many of which are documented in the account book and occasionally contain exposure and processing notes. 

Handwritten weaving patterns of 1862-1865 by Lena Dancy Ledbetter (1830-1950). 

Paintings and drawings by Galveston artist and progressive civic leader Jean Scrimgeour Morgan (1868-1938). She studied at the Art Students’ League in New York under Thomas Eakins and continued painting even as she became active in community health and improvement. 

Photographs by Galveston photographer Justus Zahn (1847-1918) and selections from the Rosenberg Library’s collection of Zahn family papers. 

Almost 200 silver objects made in Texas held in public and private collections have been documented in the Hill Archive along with information about the makers and their marks. 

For digital humanities projects, over 54,000 artisan census records and 56,000 city directory records are available for export as data sets by request.