Johns Hopkins University

CLIR Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow in Premodern and Early Modern Studies, 2017-2019

The Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University seeks candidates for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship that combines work at the intersection of premodern and early modern rare book and manuscript collections; innovation in digital humanities research and project implementation; an active Center for special collections-related scholarly programming; and creative pedagogy within a research university environment. This two-year CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship offers a recent PhD a career-building opportunity to explore a broad array of activities in curatorial work that combines the interpretation of primary source collections for broad academic and higher educational audiences; rare book and manuscript exhibition work focused on the premodern and early modern periods; collection development; research; and teaching within a deeply committed and engaged research-driven community of scholars, students, and library professionals. The CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow will support the seamless integration of premodern and early modern rare book and manuscript collections into the fundamental research and teaching missions of Johns Hopkins University, within its broad and diverse community of faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and libraries and museums staff.

Assigned to the libraries’ division of Special Collections and Scholarly Resources and supervised by the Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts, the Postdoctoral Fellow will collaborate with rare book and manuscript curators, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, digital humanists and technologists, and specialist library staff in an array of activities that will create strong, deep, and inter-disciplinary opportunities for professional development and skills that combine preparation for faculty, digital humanities, and rare book and manuscript library careers. Specific projects to be undertaken by the CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow will include (1) direct participation in the ongoing development of scholarly content in the Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe digital initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; (2) an active role in the development and implementation of library-based scholarly and interpretive programming, including an active series of lectures and roundtables, symposia, conferences, Master Classes and related programs offered through the Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center; (3) co-curatorial, related publication, design and implementation work in a series of exhibitions involving direct student co-curatorial participation, including a retrospective on the unique medieval and early modern print and manuscript holdings of the George Peabody Library, and a the libraries’ unparalleled collection of rare books on the history of libraries and the origins of museum in early modern Europe; (4) work with the Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts in collection development, and the identification and description of rare and unique collections materials, including the libraries’ recent participation in the Andrew W. Mellon foundation funded “Preserving the World’s Rarest Books” project to identify unique collection materials within the existing library holdings of the Johns Hopkins University; and (5) active participation in major ongoing scholarly initiatives and inter-university collaborations co-sponsored by the Singleton Center for the Study of Premodern Europe, the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute, and the Media Literacy program within the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures.



  • Applicants must have received a Ph.D. in a relevant humanities field after January 1, 2012 or before June 1, 2017. If a Ph.D. has not yet been awarded by that time, all work toward the degree (including dissertation defense and final dissertation editing) must be completed before the June 1 start date of the fellowship, with firm evidence of timely completion within a reasonable period of time.
  • A track record of high-quality scholarly research and student engagement in a humanities field, with an emphasis on the premodern and early modern periods.
  • Demonstrated ability to undertake and self-direct work on scholarly research projects.
  • Knowledge of recent developments in scholarship focusing on the history of the book, scholarly communication, and “information culture” in manuscript and print.
  • Knowledge of the digital humanities field, and the integration of humanistic scholarly research material within the digital environment in support of innovative, data-driven research and discovery.
  • Demonstrated ability to articulate the importance of primary source materials to the history of scholarly and scholarly communication to a broad range of students and scholars.
  • Excellent oral and written communication, and interpersonal, skills.
  • Must be legally permitted to work in the United States between 2017 and 2019.


  • Applied scholarly research and publication in the history of the book in the premodern and early modern periods, and an advanced understanding of current scholarship in those fields.
  • Demonstrated reading proficiency in Latin, and one or more foreign languages, in particular Italian, French, Spanish, German, and/or Dutch.
  • Paleographical facility and experience working with premodern and/or early modern book and court hands.
  • Knowledge of, or direct experience working within, open digital humanities scholarship, including recent trends, resources, and applications, both in humanistic applications and technological developments.
  • Successful presentation of scholarly research, and integration of a scholarly knowledge of the history of the book, in broader pedagogical contexts based on course offerings in the humanities.

The salary for this position is in the range of $55,000-$65,000 plus benefits depending on qualifications.


The Sheridan Libraries and University Museums encompass the Milton S. Eisenhower Library, the historic George Peabody Library, the Albert D. Hutzler Reading Room, the DC Centers, the Evergreen Museum and John Work Garrett Library, and the Homewood Museum. Staff from the libraries and museums teach classes, curate exhibitions, produce scholarship and serve as principle investigators for research initiatives. Rich in resources and expertise, the libraries and museums focus on the needs of faculty and students, but also serve as ambassadors to communities well beyond the borders of the Hopkins’ campuses. A key partner in the academic enterprise, the library is a leader in the innovative application of information technology and has implemented notable diversity and organizational development programs. The Sheridan Libraries and University Museums are strongly committed to diversity. A strategic goal of the Libraries and Museums is to ‘work toward achieving diversity when recruiting new and promoting existing staff.’ The Libraries and Museums prize initiative, creativity, professionalism, and teamwork. For information on the Sheridan Libraries, visit For information on Evergreen Museum and Library and Homewood Museum, visit

Skip to content