Digital Paxton Intern
Library Company of Philadelphia
The Library Company of Philadelphia seeks a Digital Humanities intern for the
summer of 2016. The successful candidate will work on the Digital Paxton
Project in early American history (described below) for four weeks during the
summer, or a total of 140 hours (35 hours per week). The internship carries a
stipend of $1,000. There are no benefits. The internship offers a chance to
work on an exciting DH project at one of the nation's leading research
libraries. The intern will work with a project team comprised of the IT
Manager, the Digital Collections Librarian, and an outside scholar. The
Digital Paxton Project will ultimately create a web tool allowing scholars and
educators free and open access to original pamphlets relating to the Native
American-Colonial conflict in pre-Revolutionary Pennsylvania.
It's nearly 1764. The Seven Years' War has ended but Native Americans defend
territorial claims in the Pennsylvania-Ohio backcountry. Many white colonists
respond violently to Native resistance. In Pennsylvania, a group of Scots-
Irish Presbyterians, identified as the "Paxton Boys," take the law into their
own hands by killing a group of Christianized Indians at Conestoga Manor. What
follows is a series of heated confrontations stretching from the Lancaster
jailhouse to the streets of Philadelphia. While Benjamin Franklin negotiates a
settlement with the Paxton leaders, popular opinion remains unsettled. Over
the next year Paxton critics and apologists wage an intense public debate over
issues ranging from colonial authority to the meaning of race, ethnicity,
masculinity, and religious association in pre-Revolutionary Pennsylvania.
Today, the saga of the Paxton Boys Massacre is illustrated in dozens of
pamphlets, political cartoons, and broadsides housed at both the Library
Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. These
documents provide the basis for the Digital Paxton Project, which seeks to
make much of the original historical material available with critical
scholarly commentary and overviews.
Goals and Objectives
The Digital Paxton Project is part of the Library Company's ongoing efforts to
add compelling and ramifying digital content to its website. The Digital
Paxton Project will allow an intern the opportunity to create a web tool in
early American history that will assist students, educators, scholarly experts
and independent researchers. The successful candidate will possess a basic
understanding of digital libraries and digital humanities scholarship, a keen
curiosity about Philadelphia history, and a desire to apply that knowledge and
curiosity in a real world setting. The intern will work with team members on
the best way to build and deploy the Digital Paxton website, facilitate the
production of digital material, and attend local digital humanities events in
the Philadelphia region to understand best practices in the field. The
internship combines practical experience in the growing field of the Digital
Humanities as well as broader experience working on a goal oriented project
that revolves around deadlines, task negotiation, project management, and
• Demonstrated ability to enter metadata using a content management system.
• Proficiency with Google Drive (particularly Google Sheets).
• Willingness to learn and use different online publishing platforms.
• Ability to work on a Windows platform, including the use of Microsoft Office
Suite software such as Outlook, Word and Excel.
• Familiarity with digital photography.
• Excellent analytical, oral, and written communication skills.
• Well-developed interpersonal skills.
• Demonstrated abilities to work collegially with staff, researchers, and
• Ability to recognize own strengths and weaknesses and utilize constructive
feedback to improve performance.
• Ability to both work independently and proactively seek assistance.
• Experience using a tag-based online publishing platform, particularly
• Experience coding in HTML and CSS.
• Familiarity with digital imaging software such as Photoshop.
• Experience working with archives and manuscript materials in a variety of
• Familiarity with a wide range of digital library standards and practices,
such as digitization, digital preservation, standards for media content,
metadata, controlled authorities, and user experience.
• Demonstrated experience designing and customizing user interfaces in content
About the Library Company
The Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library
specializing in American history and culture from the 17th through the 19th
centuries. Open to the public free of charge, the Library Company houses an
extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints,
photographs, and works of art. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the
Library Company is America's oldest cultural institution and served as the
Library of Congress from the Revolutionary War to 1800. The Library Company
was the largest public library in America until the Civil War.
The Library Company of Philadelphia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action
employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment
without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or
protected Veteran status.
Please send resume and names of two references to Nicole Scalessa at
[log in to unmask] by May 1. The search will continue until the
position is filled.
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