Mellon Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship

Lafayette College is offering a one-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for Visual Studies to support ongoing efforts to refine and extend visual research collections within the digital humanities.

The position requires an academic background that makes strong use of visual studies, preferably but not limited to Anthropology, Art History, Digital Media, History, or Information Science.  Specialization in an area of Japanese or Chinese Studies is desirable but not mandatory.  The successful candidate will have an interest in, and aptitude for, applying item- and collection-level metadata standards to ensure consistent discovery of complex visual materials and cross-collection interoperability among related image sets.

The position will allow for a deep exploration of the current state of metadata uses in material and visual culture; the development of strategies and tools that enable digital aggregation of visual research collections; curriculum development that emphasizes emerging visual research within the digital humanities; and the opportunity to collaborate with faculty members on generative digital scholarship projects, open-source web-based platforms, and the development of teaching modules to make these projects accessible and usable for teachers.

Lafayette Library’s Digital Scholarship Services department works with faculty to develop projects around materials, themes, and research questions that are best approached with digital tools. Our East Asia Image Collection (, a digital project led by Professor of History and Asian Studies Paul Barclay, documents the visual and material culture of Japan’s prewar empire, as well as occupation-period Japan in the postwar. The postdoctoral fellow will work closely with Dr. Barclay and the Digital Scholarship Services team to refine and formulate a more theoretically informed and cross-culturally consistent metadata schema that will inform future project partnerships with institutions in the U.S. and Asia, to augment the collection with new records, and to create modules for teachers and non-specialist researchers.  A list of other ongoing digital research projects at Lafayette, including several visual research collections, can be found at

Position Goals:

  • The Fellow will advance scholarship in the field of visual studies through the development of digital curation practices for resources supporting research, teaching, and scholarship.
  • The Fellow will contribute to the development of digital humanities scholarship at Lafayette College through collaboration with librarians working in special collections, digital library development, and the digital humanities, and with scholars engaged in digital projects that place visual and material culture in a disciplinary framework.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Refine and formulate a more theoretically informed and cross-culturally consistent metadata schema for the East Asia Image Collection.
  • Develop modules to make the East Asia Image Collection more accessible instructors, researchers, and users from outside of Asian Studies.
  • Collaborate on the development of digital humanities labs for courses offered in the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters.
  • Engage scholars across the humanities and social sciences working in visual studies to discover current practices and unmet needs.
  • Participate in national initiatives in data curation and development.



  • Ph.D. in a relevant discipline.
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work with faculty, librarians, ands students in a collaborative, innovative, and highly experimental environment.
  • Demonstrated creativity, initiative, self-direction, and innovative thinking.


  • Knowledge of trends in data and metadata management and description.
  • Prior experience with digital humanities projects and methodologies.
  • Experience in project-driven collaboration with librarians and library collections.
  • Good reading knowledge of Japanese, Korean and/or Chinese languages.

Salary and support for professional development are commensurate with CLIR guidelines. Benefits are those applicable to exempt employees of Lafayette College, including health care insurance and retirement plan options.

About Lafayette College
Located within 70 miles of New York and Philadelphia, Lafayette College is a highly selective undergraduate institution with an enrollment of 2400 students. We are committed to creating a diverse community that is inclusive, responsive, and supportive of each member of the faculty, student body, and staff. All members of the College community share a responsibility for creating and maintaining a learning environment in which difference is valued, equity is sought, and inclusiveness is practiced. Lafayette College is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from women and minorities.

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