University of Wisconsin-Madison

CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow for Data Curation in Medieval Studies

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture invites applications for a two-year CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow for Data Curation in Medieval Studies. As one home site for the innovative digital medieval studies projects DM: Tools for Digital Annotation and Linking and Virtual Mappa, as well as various projects in the digital humanities, the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a unique opportunity for the selected fellow to build her skills as a medievalist and a digital humanist in collaboration with colleagues from the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies, the Department of English, and the UW-Madison Libraries. DM and Virtual Mappa, founded and co-directed by Professor Martin Foys, are digital environments for the open organization and annotation of medieval images and texts. DM is in the final stages of a Digital Humanities Implementation Grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities, and the selected candidate will be involved in the project’s next stages. These involve planning and implementing long-term data sustainability plans and creating/curating UW-Madison-specific content. DM and Virtual Mappa also have institutional affiliations with the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the British Library. More information about these projects can be accessed at the following links. DM: Virtual Mappa:

Required Skills and Experience
The candidate will hold a Ph.D. in a relevant field of Medieval Studies and exhibit some familiarity and expertise in digital humanities.

Desired Skills and Experience
Familiarity in one or more of the following skill sets are desirable though not absolutely required: Latin and/or medieval forms of English, French, or German; manuscripts and paleography; experience in database design and management.

Roles and Duties
Working independently and with team members, the fellow will help develop and implement long-term data sustainability plans for DM and Virtual Mappa as digital entities. The fellow will also identify resources in UW-Madison’s special collections medieval holdings, create crosswalkable digital surrogates and metadata, and curate these items within DM and Virtual Mappa for UW-Madison researchers, teachers, and students.

The fellow will be integral in discussions surrounding the final stages of backend development and long-term data sustainability within both projects, including publishing publicly accessible versions of the content. The fellow will work independently and with others to development and implement best practices for long-term research data sustainability for both projects.

Finally, the fellow’s work on these projects, in addition to her own research and development in data curation, will serve as an important hub and catalyst in our growing digital humanities community at UW-Madison.

There are no formal teaching responsibilities, but, if the selected fellow desires, she will be welcome to assume a mentoring role with students who are interested in digital humanities, data curation, and her area of specialized expertise.

The fellow will also have the option to give talks and workshops in her area of scholarly expertise and growing experience in data curation as part of the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture’s colloquia.

Guidance and Professional Development

The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) at our university offers free training that will be useful in extending the fellow’s skill sets. These include workshops in database management, web design, and content management systems.  The selected candidate will also be welcome to sit in on courses in data curation, information architecture, and database design and management in the School of Library and Information Studies.

Professor Martin Foys will provide direct mentorship with respect to the development of DM and Virtual Mappa implementations. Mentorship in data curation and digital librarianship beyond the CLIR professional development opportunities will also be available from the School of Library and Information Studies faculty. Professor Jonathan Senchyne will provide mentorship in developing library and information studies crossovers with traditional humanities fields and digital humanities.

The fellow will be encouraged to take part in the large and diverse community of scholars and practitioners in the digital humanities, data curation, and high performance computing on campus. These include the Digital Humanities Research Network, the Center for the Humanities, the Openness Meetup, and the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Within the UW Libraries, the fellow will be mentored in data curation by library staff in Research Data Services. The selected candidate will also find a vibrant community of medievalist graduate students, faculty, and visiting fellows in various campus humanities departments, the Institute for Research in the Humanities, and the longstanding Beowulf Club. Finally, the fellow will find a cohort of other humanities postdocs and visiting scholars in the Center for the Humanities and the Institute for Research in the Humanities.

The fellow will have an office in the School of Library and Information Studies, on the fourth floor of Helen C. White Hall, which also houses the English Department on other floors. The building is very near the two largest campus libraries and archives, the Center for the Humanities and Institute for Research in the Humanities, the Chazen Museum of Art, and the Department of History.

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