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CODE4LIB  December 2013

CODE4LIB December 2013

Subject:

Job: Postdoc Fellow, Data Curation for Early Modern Studies at University of Pennsylvania

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Mon, 16 Dec 2013 09:16:58 -0000

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Postdoc Fellow, Data Curation for Early Modern Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia

The University of Pennsylvania Libraries seek an innovative and energetic CLIR
Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Early Modern Studies to play an
integral role in the working life of the Kislak Center for Special
Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at Penn's Van Pelt Library, including
overseeing the transition of the Penn Provenance Project (PPP) and its data to
a new platform.

  
Penn Provenance Project (PPP)

Through its faculty and library resources, the University of Pennsylvania has
long been at the forefront of book history and material text research,
especially in the early modern era. Building on this strength, the Kislak
Center is actively becoming a node for provenance history research. This
research is essential for understanding how texts moved through the early
modern world, what kinds of books collectors and libraries of the period
valued, and the nature of print and manuscript cultural production. The fellow
will play a key role in developing this field through his or her research and
involvement in working with book historical data at the Kislak Center through
the Penn Provenance Project.

  
Born out of a CLIR hidden collections grant, the PPP was created by the Kislak
Center's cataloging team which has captured more than 12,000 images of
provenance markings, bookstamps, and bindings. Dating largely from the early
modern period, these invaluable witnesses to the history of book culture and
circulation are available to the world through Flickr for viewing, comment,
and identification (http://www.flickr.com/people/58558794@N07/). The Penn
Provenance Project differs from many other provenance initiatives in that it
places digital images of markings, stamps, and inscriptions alongside
bibliographic information. This visual data allows researchers and the public
to compare physical objects all around the world and will eventually enable
scholars to survey the landscape of early modern book culture with ease and
precision. There have been over one million page views of content from the
site and the project has proved useful in identifying a number of previously
unknown book owners. The global community for the site includes people from
many backgrounds, including experts in paleography from Germany as well as
non-academics like Pedro Joaristi who identified one of his father's books
based on our photographs.

  
The Kislak Center is now poised to develop the Penn Provenance Project well
beyond the boundaries of our own collections in order to help identify and
curate marks of ownership from book and manuscript holdings worldwide.
Currently a wealth of information about early modern book owners and libraries
exists within the PPP's Flickr site but this data is largely unstructured and
is not in easy machine-readable conversation with other
resources. The CLIR fellow will be an integral part of the
Penn Provenance Project team as it plans and executes the transition from
Flickr and will have the responsibility of curating the data generated by the
expanded project. In order to bring as many data sources to bear on the
project as possible, the fellow will work closely with several partner
institutions. For example, the curators of rare books and manuscripts at the
Folger Library have agreed to participate in growing the PPP by contributing
provenance information from their rich early modern holdings. The fellow will
ensure that all data gathered and generated by the PPP and partners is
available openly and linked with larger early modern data repositories like
the Consortium of European Research Libraries' (CERL) online provenance
database.

  
Penn Provenance Project Fellow responsibilities:

  * Project management: ensuring the project stays on time and others' tasks are done in a timely manner
  * Data mapping and transformation: working with colleagues to implement a data model and managing the movement of data from Flickr to a new repository
  * Bringing in new data: working with colleagues to ingest images and provenance descriptions from both Penn and partner institutions into the PPP.
  * Expanding the range of partner participants: offering guidance and instruction to the faculty, students, and library staff that will be generating new data for the project.
  * Linking data: working with colleagues and partners to ensure that PPP data is linked with other data sources in the field, such as the VIAF and CERL authority files.
  * Promoting use of the PPP: through teaching, independent research, papers, online or live presentations, workshops and/or symposia that help scholars, students, librarians, and the general public understand the significance of provenance data to Early Modern Studies.
  * Strategic development of the PPP: planning and experimenting with innovative ways of displaying and analyzing the project's data.
At Penn the fellow will report to Will Noel (Director - Kislak Center) and
receive mentoring and guidance from experts in the field. These include, Dot
Porter (Curator of Digital Research Services), Doug Emery (Digital Content
Programmer), Zack Lesser (Associate Professor, Department of English), Peter
Stallybrass (Professor, Department of English) as well as thewider
Philadelphia history of the book community. The fellow will also be a member
of the English Department at Penn and will have access to the resources and
faculty of that body. He or she will also have the opportunity to participate
in the programs of the Kislak Center and the English Department including
organizing seminars on best digital practices, delivering lectures, and
curating exhibitions. The fellow will help plan, solicit contributions, and
speak at the seventh annual Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the
Digital Age in 2015. This will provide the fellow with a platform for
presenting new developments in the field of early modern data curation,
including those to which he or she has contributed.

  
Qualifications

The candidate will hold a PhD in an area of early modern studies, with a
concentration in the history of the book. Working knowledge of at least one
non-English language is preferred. Experience with prior digital projects and
some knowledge of programming preferred. Prior work experience in special
collections is desirable.

  
About the Kislak Center

The Kislak Center is the product of a $17 million renovation project and
houses an extraordinary collection of rare books and manuscripts. Its mission
is to bring its collections together with modern technology and a wide base of
patrons in order to provide access to and understanding of our common cultural
and intellectual heritage. The fellow will benefit from the combined skills
and knowledge of the Kislak Center's curators, researchers, and technology
professionals as well as the faculty of various humanities departments and the
wider resources of the University.

  
The Kislak Center has a deep commitment to provenance research and book
history and the fellow will be able to draw upon the resources and expertise
already extant here. For instance, the Center already supports the Schoenberg
Database of Manuscripts (SBDM). The SBDM is the largest repository of
manuscript provenance data in the world, currently containing over 200,000
records, with more being added each day, representing the movements of
approximately 90,000 manuscripts. The records in the SBDM represent not only a
wealth of data on manuscripts produced in the early modern period but also
records of countless book transactions and sales from that
era. In addition, the Kislak Center hosts digital
facsimiles of more than 3,000 manuscript books from the early modern period in
its collections, which might fruitfully be used in the Penn Provenance
Project. The Center also has extensive expertise in working with data. The
Curator for Digital Research Services, for example, is a co-Director of the
Mellon-funded Medieval Electronic Scholarly Alliance (MESA) project to
aggregate data on digitized medieval collections of manuscripts and other
objects.



Brought to you by code4lib jobs: http://jobs.code4lib.org/job/11168/

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