Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for Early Modern Studies
Readers’ Annotations and the Early Modern Book
The University of California, Los Angeles welcomes applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for Early Modern Studies. Awarded by the Council on Library and Information Resources, this post is based at UCLA’s William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, which houses many unique pre-1770 rare book collections of American, English, and European sources: www.clarklibrary.ucla.edu. All cultural and scholarly activities at the Clark Library are administered by the Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies: www.c1718cs.ucla.edu. The fellowship also involves working closely on data curation with senior members of the UCLA library staff based on the main campus at Westwood. For information about UCLA Library policy on humanities data curation, see http://guides.library.ucla.edu/humanities_data.
The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library belongs to the UCLA Library system. Consistently ranked among the top ten academic research libraries in North America, the UCLA Library system comprises eight major libraries and thirteen library-wide departments and the Southern Regional Library Facility, the remote storage facility for the southern UC campuses. In addition, there are twelve affiliated libraries and library units located on the campus.
The CLIR postdoctoral fellow’s research will focus on the challenges for data curation posed by the different types of readers’ annotations on early modern books. To date the guiding principle in digitizing early modern texts has been to provide “clean” copy. But where does this leave the common phenomenon of those books that readers have annotated, sometimes in painstaking detail? The Clark owns books so heavily annotated that they straddle the divide between published book and manuscript. As a consequence, our received histories of the transition between manuscript and print no long appear adequate. The annotations in many Clark volumes contain a trove of information on their circulation and consumption. How might metadata address the methodological and conceptual challenges presented by these objects, recording the level and type of annotation? How might recent work in the field of material studies/history of the book impact curatorial decisions? If, as seems likely for these texts, the study of annotation shifts the focus of understanding early modern volumes from authors to readers, how might this influence our description and cataloguing of the volumes?
Candidates should be recent recipients of the PhD in an appropriate humanities discipline (such as English, history, European literatures, or Classics) or in library and information science, and have demonstrated knowledge about the history of the early modern book. The appointed fellow will be provided with support from both faculty members and library staff to identify suitable sources that relate directly to the fellow’s areas of expertise.
Besides having an affiliation with a suitable academic department, the fellow will also be mentored by a library staff member who previously held a CLIR award. This award will enhance the fellow’s knowledge of both rare book collections and the material history of the early modern text. Since the Clark Library hosts both undergraduate and graduate classes in archival study, the fellow may have the opportunity to take up responsibility for designing and teaching a course whose syllabus derives from his or her research. The following blog post discusses one type of annotated early modern text held at the Clark: http://clarklibrary.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/a-hybrid-book-print-to-manuscript. Catalogue searches indicate that over 500 pre-1700 volumes at the Clark contain various degrees of annotation.
The postdoctoral fellow will report to both Professor Barbara Fuchs, Director of the Center for 17th-and 18th-Century Studies, who will advise on publishing the results of the fellow’s research, and to the Clark Librarian. The fellow will have the opportunity to assist in academic programming at the Center/Clark that directs attention to the significance of data curation for early modern studies. The Center will supplement the stipend with a research grant to cover travel, conference, and equipment expenses of $1,500 per annum.
Contract: two years. Salary: $60,000 plus benefits. Position is from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2016.
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