CLIR-Folger Digital Communities Fellow (two-year postdoctoral fellowship)

Friday, December 27, 2013 - 12:00am

The Folger Shakespeare Library seeks to appoint a postdoctoral CLIR-Folger Digital Communities Fellow, for a period of two years, beginning fall 2014. The Folger holds one of the most comprehensive collections of early modern materials in the world, with its reputation for standards-setting librarianship matched by its agenda-setting scholarly programs. A new strategic plan has as its centerpiece an ambitious trajectory for enhanced digital access and engagement that will bring disparate expertises within the library into closer collaborations with each other and with those working elsewhere on similar initiatives. This fellowship offers a timely professional opportunity in early modern data curation.

The fellowship will be awarded by the Folger Institute, the center for research at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the fellow will report to the Institute’s Executive Director. This energetic and creative postdoc will join interdepartmental teams to contribute to ongoing digital initiatives at the Library. The fellow will have special responsibilities to work with Institute staff and invited external directors of the Institute’s scholarly programs to shape new research strategies for a collection that is increasingly accessible digitally. The fellow will participate in the planning, implementation, and assessment of a pilot series of virtual work environments. Each of these environments will be led by a member of the Folger’s professional staff, focus on digital surrogates of materials in the collection, and potentially open up to wide participation after its initial period of concentrated work by invited scholars and students.

The CLIR-Folger Fellow will join a community of 50 long- and short-term residential fellows at the Folger, fully participating in the daily exchange of ideas, sources, and research strategies. Fellowship will come with opportunities to present on work-in-progress to the Folger’s scholarly community. The fellow will also work closely with colleagues at the Folger with a range of professional backgrounds, from subject and materials specialities to project administration and tool-building. The fellow will enjoy exposure to a wide variety of career paths, and training opportunities will be provided. The fellow will be integrated into the work and organizational culture of the Folger through ongoing involvement in staff meetings related to digital access and preservation. A percentage of time will be allowed (up to 25%) for the fellow to develop or extend his or her own project, ideally one that contributes to Folger data curation initiatives.


  • Collaborate with Folger Digital Texts and other Folger-based textual encoding projects’ staff to develop a workshop curriculum for college teaching applications. Pilot workshop is planned for fall 2015.
  • With Folger staff, develop best practices and interoperability standards for multi-year Folger textual encoding projects such as the non-Shakespearean drama digital texts (F21) and the early modern manuscripts transcription project (EMMO); address and advise on compatibility issues with the many other early modern projects (supported elsewhere) also utilizing an EEBO-TCP base.
  • Collaborate with Institute staff to create and curate the scholarly workshops (digital environments) that facilitate experimentation with collections-based digital surrogates, including tagging and linking strategies and brief interpretive essays, also reflecting on the research models they foster.
  • Serve as a training liaison between the Folger staff and faculty directors of scholarly programs to integrate digital materials and methods into Institute graduate seminars, including the annual Introduction to Research Methods and Agendas seminar.
  • Tag the archive of Folger Institute “Primary Sourcebooks,” most of which derive from NEH summer institutes, and other web-based products, so that they are fully searchable through the Folger’s federated search function, expected to launch in fall 2014.
  • Contribute to ongoing Library-wide study of digital futures by participating in the pan-institutional Online Strategy Council.

Recent Ph.D. (within 5 years) in early modern studies, English literature or history preferred, though any subject field in early modern humanities that is supported by the collections of rare materials is welcome. Work in book history, bibliography, or material culture preferred; experience with digital humanities desired.

Proven organizational and problem solving skills and strong service orientation. Ability to work in team environment where consultation, flexibility, creativity and cooperation are essential. Ability to manage multiple priorities and tasks. Preference for experience in a research library. Experience with TEI, and familiarity working with POS tagging, natural language processing, advanced OCR, and visualization tools in a Drupal environment desired. Strong writing skills, outstanding communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.

Working Conditions: Generally 8:45am – 4:45pm, Monday – Friday, with flexibility as needed.

Application Materials:


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