Kibbey Fellowship

The Mead B. Kibbey California State Library Fellowship

Administered by the California State Library Foundation

Application deadline is the first Monday in February by 5 p.m.

Eligibility for Awards

The Mead B. Kibbey California State Library Fellowship, established in honor of Mead B. Kibbey, supports projects at the California State Library by currently enrolled college and university students, regardless of academic degree sought, as well as members of Faculty. Special consideration will be given to applicants from California State University, Sacramento, enrolled in courses offered by the Photography Department and/or associated with the Public History Program of that institution.

One Fellowship will be offered annually.  The Kibbey Fellow must complete the project within twelve months of notification.

Projects will generally be in the area of the history and culture of the North American West, with preference given to areas of special interest to Mead B. Kibbey: the cultural and artistic landscapes of Sacramento and California, and the history and preservation of photography. The Fellowship especially encourages project proposals that will utilize the Special Collections of the California State Library.  Upon completion of the project, the Kibbey Fellow must write an article on the project for the California State Library Bulletin and/or make a presentation at one of the regularly scheduled “A Night at the State Library” lectures sponsored by the California State Library Foundation.

Size of Award

The Kibbey Fellowship is offered for short term research projects of two – four weeks. The Award is $3000.  The Award may be used to defray travel expenses, living expenses, or research costs.

About Mead B. Kibbey

Born in 1922 in San Francisco, Mead B. Kibbey moved to Sacramento when he was but two weeks old.  He has had a love affair with Sacramento ever since.  A business leader, historian, photographer, sculptor and philanthropist, Kibbey has been an important figure in preserving and protecting Sacramento and California historic assets for decades. He has also been a major benefactor of the California State Library.

A successful businessman as owner of the Black Diamond Lumber Company, Kibbey has used his good fortune to improve the life and legacy of Sacramento.  Mead B. Kibbey has held leadership positions in several major Sacramento community service organizations—president of the KVIE Board of Directors and KXPR; vice president of the Sacramento County Historical Society, president of the Crocker Art Museum Association; treasurer of Sutter Health; treasurer of Sutter Davis Hospital, and president for two terms of the Sacramento Pioneer Association. In 1988 he joined the California State Library Foundation as a board member where his generosity has been extraordinary.  His gifts to the State Library include the splendid I. W. Taber album of the Midwinter Fair in San Francisco; the Fletcher Collection of early Southern California photographs; a giant assembly of glass negatives from the Panama Pacific International Exposition; a large portrait camera from the 1890s, and, most recently, a complete collection of Alfred A. Hart’s stereographs of the Central Pacific Railroad.  The California History Room Gallery is named in his honor.A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Mead received a commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy in 1942. During World War II, Kibbey was the Executive Officer of the minesweeper USS YMS-350.  The ship swept for mines off the French coastline in advance of the 1944 D-Day Normandy invasion.  Near the Cherbourg peninsula, USS YMS-350 was sunk by a German mine.  For rescuing a crewman and a fellow officer from the mine-filled waters, Kibbey received the prestigious Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the same medal awarded to President John F. Kennedy for his heroic actions aboard PT 109.  Mead B. Kibbey’s medal citation reads, “Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Kibbey swam clear of the sinking ship, then returned to save an enlisted man who was unable to move because of a back injury. Later he returned to save the life of a brother officer who was about to sink as the result of swallowing quantities of oil and sea water.”  For his service in World War II France, Kibbey was also awarded the French Legion of Honor medal.

Mead B. Kibbey is the author or editor of three books:

  • The Railroad Photographs of Alfred A. Hart (California State Library Foundation, 1996
  • The Sacramento Directory For The Year 1853-54, by Samuel Colville, Edited and Introduced by Mead B. Kibbey (California State Library Foundation, 1997)
  • The 1851 Directory and History of Sacramento, by J. Horace Culver: A Facsimile Edition of Sacramento’s First Book, edited by Mead B. Kibbey (California State Library Foundation, 2000)

How to Apply

All awards are made by The California State Library Foundation Fellowship and Grant Committee. To apply for a Mead B. Kinney California State Library Fellowship, please refer to the accompanying application instructions.

The California State Library Foundation reserves the right not to grant an award in any given year. Deliberations of the Foundation Fellowship and Grant Committee are confidential, and all decisions are final.

Application Forms and Submission Instructions

The Kibbey Fellowship application forms may be requested from The California State Library Foundation Administrative Office (916-447-6331) or downloaded below.

Application deadline is the first Monday in February by 5 p.m.

Be sure to include your name and contact info on all elements of your submission.

Applications for the Kibbey Fellowship require submission of:

  •  Fellowship Application Form
  •  TWO letters of recommendation directly from recommenders with the California State Library Foundation Fellowship cover letter form
  •  Statement of Purpose (1,000 words or less, one-sided, double-spaced, 12 size font, your name and page numbers on all pages)
  •  Transcripts — Sealed official transcripts of all college and university work

Submit your application in writing to:

Mead B. Kibbey Fellowship

California State Library Foundation Fellowship and Grant Committee
1225 8th Street,
Sacramento, CA  95814

Or email PDF to:   Subject line:  Kibbey Fellowship Application

Awards will be announced each spring at a California State Library Foundation Board of Directors Meeting.

For all questions, please call Brittney Cook at (916) 447-6331


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