George A. Rentschler Fellowship on the Study of the American West

American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

George Rentschler sitting inhis library holding a pipe.

The University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center (AHC) is accepting applications for the 2024 George A. Rentschler Fellowship on the Study of the American West through April 30, 2024. The fellowship aims to support  a 20-day research stay at the AHC.

The Fellowship

The fellowship honors George A. Rentschler (1892-1972), who expanded his family’s pre-Civil War era foundry business in Ohio into a complex of machine tool, railroad equipment, and engine manufacturing. Companies headed by Rentschler were among the U.S. government's major suppliers of naval engine and ordnance during World War II. He received a Certificate of Commendation from the Navy for his work. Rentschler also had a great passion for the landscapes and legends of the American West.

The fellowship is made possible by his late wife, Rita Rentschler Cushman, and his late son Frederick B. Rentschler. It is intended to provide research support for a recognized scholar in the history of the American West and to facilitate the Fellow’s use of the AHC’s archival collections. Academic scholars at any level, from graduate students to tenured faculty, may apply.

Research Fields

AHC archives on the American West include information on the lives of men and women who shaped the West. Strengths are Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West (including politics, settlement, and western trails) and the “Western image” as represented by writers, artists, historians, and others.

Features of the Fellowship

The fellowship includes a $3,000 stipend. Fellows will be in residence at the AHC for one month (20 business days), during the fifteen months following notification of the award. (For in-residence research of less than 20 days, the stipend will be pro-rated.)

Fellows are expected to prepare a precis outlining sources consulted, how those sources shaped the research findings, and how the Fellow will incorporate this information into a final product. Fellows are expected to credit the AHC in publications which use its collections and to provide copies to the AHC of final publication or work.

Payment of Stipends
The Fellow will receive the stipend at the end of their stay and receipt of the precis. No advances will be authorized.

Fellows are responsible for arranging their transportation, lodging, and meals during residency. Visit UW Admissions website for travel directions to Laramie, Wyoming, University of Wyoming campus maps, and possible lodging.


Proposals for the 2024 fellowship should include a three-page research proposal that includes specific indication of which AHC collections will be used, placement of this project within investigator’s larger research program, plans for publication or other form of dissemination, and a timeline outlining the research plan and dates for anticipated products. Proposals should also include the applicant’s CV and names and contact information of three referees.

Proposals will be awarded based on the following criteria:

  • The extent to which the proposed project draws upon the collections of the AHC.
  • The research project’s potential contribution to understanding history of the American West
  • The potential for professional presentation and/or publication upon completion of the Fellow’s research.
  • The applicant's ability to complete the research project in a timely fashion.

A selection committee composed of AHC staff and University of Wyoming faculty will choose each year’s Fellow. The recipient will be informed by e-mail. 

Please email all application materials by April 30, 2024, to AHC Archivist Leslie Waggener.

Information about the American Heritage Center

The American Heritage Center (AHC) is a public research institution located on the campus of the University of Wyoming in Laramie. The AHC houses collections of local, regional and national significance. Its holdings emphasize the American West, from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. It has extensive collections in military history, popular entertainment (including Hollywood and comics), mining and petroleum, as well as the environment and natural resources. The AHC also serves as the University of Wyoming’s manuscripts repository, rare books library, and university archives. With more than 90,000 cubic feet of material and 3500 collections, the AHC stands among the largest non-governmental repositories in the nation. 

Contact Us

American Heritage Center

Centennial Complex

2111 Willet Drive

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-4114


Find us on Instagram (Link opens a new window)Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window)Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)Find us on LinkedIn (Link opens a new window)Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)