North Carolina State University

CLIR Fellowship in Data Curation for Medieval Studies

Desired Skills and Expertise

Familiarity with or interest in learning HTML, XML, and XSLT. Strong organizational and communication skills to coordinate with project partners across campus and at other institutions. Ability to make effective use of social media for public outreach. Programming skills and/or familiarity with metadata standards desirable but not required.

Fellow’s Role

The fellow will serve as a liaison between academic departments, faculty researchers, and the Digital Library Initiatives (DLI) Department in the Libraries on NCSU’s campus. The fellow will have the opportunity to work on three NCSU-based projects involving data curation in medieval studies: the Society for Early English and Norse Electronic Texts (SEENET); the Piers Plowman Electronic Archive (PPEA); and the Advanced Research Consortium (ARC). The fellow will also serve as a liaison between NCSU and partners at other universities participating in the Advanced Research Consortium (ARC), a meta-federation comprising MESA, the Renaissance English Knowledgebase (REKn), 18thConnect, the Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship (NINES), and Modernist Networks (ModNets). The fellow will have the opportunity to conduct original research on data curation strategies and will be encouraged to participate actively in the larger community of CLIR postdoctoral fellows, including the cohort of fellows in the Data Curation in Medieval Studies Fellowship program. A strong emphasis will be placed not only on the ways that the fellow can contribute to our institution, but to the professional development of the fellow in the fields of medieval studies and library science.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Study data curation strategies in use on other campuses and in other fields, including the sciences, and develop a set of recommendations for best practices for the curation of humanities data. This work will be done in consultation with the online DH Curation Guide and will form the basis of contributing new resources and information to that guide.
  • Seek solutions for linking humanities data and datasets to related scholarship in new forms of interactive publications; the fellow will be encouraged to consult and seek partnerships with relevant initiatives such as Open Humanities Press as well as with ARC partners, including JSTOR, ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online) and Project MUSE
  • Assist with proofing, preparation, and publication of editions for the Piers Plowman Electronic Archive
  • Present original research at professional conferences as appropriate
  • Collaborate with software developers on the creation, modification, and augmentation of tools related to digital projects in the field. Specific examples include development of BigDIVA (, a visual search interface for humanities data being developed jointly by NC State and Texas A&M University, and development of MEDE, an interface for publishing editions of Middle English manuscripts and texts being developed for SEENET.
  • Conduct user testing of software and web portals using the NCSU Libraries’ Usability Research Lab
  • Use social media for public outreach related to NCSU Libraries, the Data Curation Fellowship program, and medieval studies projects on which the fellow is working
  • Participate in the organization of workshops and symposia, including digital public humanities events and meetings of the Advanced Research Consortium held on NCSU’s campus

Local Guidance and Professional Development Support

As a member of the Digital Library Initiatives (DLI) Department the fellow would be part of a 14-person team that works in the areas of data curation, digital repositories, web and mobile applications, digital media, social media, data visualization, and geospatial data. The fellow would participate in departmental teams and meetings, and would have the opportunity to collaborate with staff who have a variety of technical and domain-specific skill sets.  The fellow would have access to technology support and consultation services from DLI staff members as well as from the Information Technology Department, which maintains the Libraries’ technical infrastructure.

The fellow would work closely with Professor Timothy Stinson in the Department of English on the three interdisciplinary projects listed above, as well as with Professor James Knowles of English, the project manager for PPEA. Cumulatively, these projects include a wide variety of data related to medieval studies, including XML-encoded transcriptions and descriptions of manuscripts, images of manuscripts from PPEA and SEENET editions, and approximately 2 million RDF metadata records from ARC member projects.

The fellow would be encouraged to be part of the intellectual life of the English department, including speakers series, symposia, and workshops, and would be offered the option of teaching one or more medieval studies courses in the department during his or her tenure. The fellow will also be joining a vibrant community of medievalists spanning the closely linked campuses of NCSU, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke University. Opportunities include participating in the Triangle Medieval Studies Seminar, the UNC Medieval & Early Modern Lecture Series, the Duke Medieval & Renaissance Lecture Series, colloquia at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and special events at the nearby National Humanities Center.

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