PostDoc Position Available at the IDHMC!!

[This position has been filled.]

Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Digital Humanities at Texas A&M

The Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture, in partnership with the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University, announces a postdoctoral research fellowship for the academic year 2013-2014 in the area of digital humanities. This position is in association with the Advanced Research Consortium (ARC) and 18thConnect.

This is a one-year appointment sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts Strategic Planning Grant. The position will begin in September 1, 2013.

Joining a team of faculty, alternate academic staff, and graduate students, our research associate will be immersed in the scholarly communication community. He or she will help organize academic peer review of digital projects, work with large humanities data sets, and become part of the discussion of humanities metadata standards. ARC is the umbrella organization for multiple digital research nodes, accessed through the web – NINES, 18thConnect, MESA - that contain resources spanning the bulk of existing Western documents, from medieval times to the early 20th-century. Each ARC node contains data about historical documents, scanned page images (with text transcriptions), scholarly research, and open-source teaching and research tools (Juxta, TypeWright). Our research associate will also be involved in the development and promotion of existing and future ARC applications, including Collex (a COLLections and Exhibits builder), Juxta, TypeWright, Aletheia Web, Cobre, and edition builder software. Our research associate will be expected to explore the implications of emerging humanities research paradigms through his or her own research as well as by working collaboratively with the IDHMC and ARC team to nurture and develop the future of ARC.

We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow who can critically engage issues of scholarly communication in the academy, digital scholarship, and the improvement of metadata standards for humanities fields, while also managing projects and working collaboratively with a large team. The IDHMC expects our research fellow to continue to keep up with disciplinary research and digital humanities professionalization, and we will support these efforts with limited travel funding.

Our research associate will share in a set of responsibilities that include the following:

·      Collaborate with ARC node teams at multiple institutions to aggregate and index period-specific metadata.

·      Assist the ARC team in negotiation with content providers, major institutions, and proprietary data holders.

·      Assist the ARC team in the maintenance and improvement of the ARC catalog ( and Solr indexer.

·      Collaborate with the ARC project manager to design and develop structured training for new project managers.

·      Help to ensure the sustainability of the ARC organization by investigating and instigating an archive of ARC development and business.

·      Help to ensure the sustainability of all ARC nodes by researching and proposing solutions to untenable software.

·      Evaluate metadata standards in the humanities community and participate in the proposal of new standards.

·      Help to manage the open-source efforts for COLLEX and other ARC-developed applications.

·      Coordinate outreach activities for ARC at major disciplinary conferences.

·      Coordinate outreach activities for ARC and the nodes through social media and blogging platforms.


Required Education and Experience:

PhD in a humanities or social sciences field required.

Experience with digital humanities research methods required.


Preferred Education and Experience:

Some project management experience preferred.

Experience in developing or working on an archive, metadata standards (preferably able to handle variations of Dublincore metadata), and database and repository manipulation preferred.


Required Special Knowledge, Abilities, or Skills:

Candidate must be willing to learn technology quickly.


Applicants should submit the following materials: cover letter, current CV, and three letters of reference. Cover letters should discuss applicant qualifications for working with the ARC organization and digital research environments.

Specific questions can be emailed to, care of Dr. Laura Mandell, Director of the IDHMC, and Dr. Maura Ives, Associate Direction of the IDHMC.


Please submit applications to the TAMU Job Path system, located at the link above.


About the University:

Texas A&M is the state’s first public institution of higher education. With a current student body of more than 50,000 and a physical campus of more than 5,200 acres, Texas A&M is also among the nation’s largest universities. Its origins, however, were much humbler. Texas A&M owes its origin to the Morrill Act, approved by the United States Congress on July 2, 1862. This act provided for donation of public land to the states for the purpose of funding higher education, whose “leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and mechanic arts.”

Texas A&M University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

MESA launches!

The Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture (IDHMC) and Advanced Research Consortium (ARC) at Texas A&M University are very excited to announce the launch of the Medieval Electronic Scholarly Alliance (MESA).

MESA, a federated community of scholars, projects, institutions, and organizations, is engaged in digital scholarship within the field of medieval studies. MESA seeks to provide a community for those engaged in digital medieval studies and to meet emerging needs of this community, including making recommendations on technological and scholarly standards to electronic scholarship, the aggregation of data, and the ability to discover and repurpose this data.

MESA can be found online at, and like her sister sites, NINES and 18thConnect, users may use the Advanced Search and browse aggregated objects from 17 participating archives, or create an account, add tags, start a discussion or group, or begin an exhibit using the Collex exhibit builder technology.

The ARC and IDHMC teams are happy to see MESA come to fruition, as we hosted the first MESA planning meeting here at TAMU, and we’ve followed the success of MESA’s funding requests closely. ARC welcomes her newest sister node to our research community, and congratulates them on their successful launch, with dozens of user accounts created since MESA went live yesterday.

The ARC office at TAMU will now be looking towards the future, focusing our efforts on sustainability and software development, as well as data hosting and aggregation, and we will be seeking a post-doctoral fellow (ad coming soon) and graduate research assistant to assist in these tasks. We will also be looking towards the launch of two new nodes, the Renaissance English Knowledgebase (REKn) and Modernist Networks (ModNets). More on REKn can be found here, and a launch date is soon to be announced. Modernist Networks has received an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant to support a workshop in the fall for “the development of a standardized metadata schema and vocabulary” for “digital projects in modernist studies.”

Make sure to head over to MESA, and click “Create an Account” soon! Account creation is quick and painless, and then users can begin discovering, repurposing, and interacting with multiple medieval projects in a single research environment. Where else could I search for Austrian royalty, examine results from four different archives, and wind up researching digital objects related to the Order of the Golden Fleece? I wish you all similar successful and fun discoveries!


Job Posting: IDHMC Graduate Research Position!

Graduate Research Assistantship

Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture (IDHMC)

The Advanced Research Consortium (ARC), housed in the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture (IDHMC), seeks to hire a Graduate Research Assistant for Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. This will be a 9-month appointment, and the GAR will report to the ARC director, Dr. Laura Mandell, while also coordinating with ARC staff at Texas A&M University, the University of Virginia, and North Carolina State University.

Research will focus on scholarly communication, academic peer review of digital projects, and working directly with large humanities datasets. ARC is a hub of digital research nodes, accessed through the web, that contain resources spanning the bulk of existing Western documents, from medieval times to the early 20th-century. Each ARC node contains data about historical documents, scanned page images (with text transcriptions), scholarly research, and open-source teaching and research tools (Juxta, TypeWright).

The GAR for ARC will aid in the coordination of these resources by aiding future development of nodes and conducting outreach in the scholarly community. The GAR will aid in the aggregation of digital projects for ARC, including but not limited to contributing TAMU faculty projects. The GAR will research, present, and perform cutting-edge research in the digital humanities. The GAR will research and practice metadata standards for digital humanities projects. The GAR will participate in the effort to build a pipeline from the ARC data repository to the Humanities Visualization Space (launch date: Fall 2013). The GAR will research and present on the inclusion of ARC data sets and tools in the classroom environment.

This is graduate research position as defined by the University, and GARs will be required to work an average of 20 hours per week. Tuition waivers will not be provided for Master’s students, per CLA policy, and potential tuition waivers for PhD students will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

No prior programming skills are necessary, but the GAR will be required to submit an article to a peer-reviewed digital humanities journal concerning his or her work on ARC by the end of the assistantship.  Dr. Mandell and the staff here will help the GAR accomplish this task.


Please send a cover letter and CV to Dr. Laura Mandell and Dr. Maura Ives at by Monday, July 22, 2013.

Click here to see the official job ad.

ARC Data Moves to TAMU!

On Friday, June 28,  ARC (Advanced Research Consortium) Project Manager Liz Grumbach will be live tweeting the server move of ARC data from cloud storage to TAMU’s Academy for Advanced Telecommunications and Learning Technologies (   This will mark the first time that ARC’s extensive catalog of humanities data has found a home on University server space,  and it is an important step towards full implementation of ARC at TAMU.  You can follow Liz at @emgrumbach #arc_tamu.



IDHMC Undergraduate internships

The IDHMC offers unpaid undergraduate internships for students in Communication, Computer Science, English, Education, History, Hispanic Studies, Modern Languages, Visualization, and other fields relevant to the research projects we support.  Interns work up to ten hours a week on innovative research projects in a variety of disciplines and receive technical training in a number of digital tools.  More details available at

or contact Maura Ives,  IDHMC Associate Director (idhmc at tamu dot edu).  The application deadlines are June 24 (for Summer II) and August 16 (for Fall 2013).

ARC at North Carolina State University

This October, directors and project managers from the nodes of the Advanced Research Consortium (ARC) met in Raleigh, North Carolina to discuss the expansion, implementation, and sustainability of ARC as a digital infrastructure for the future of humanities scholarship. Representatives from ARC, including the IDHMC’s own director Laura Mandell, Nineteenth-Century Scholarship Online (NINES), 18thConnect, the Medieval Electronic Scholarly Alliance (MESA), the Renaissance English Knowledge Base (REKn), and Modernist Networks (ModNets) were in attendance.

The last day of the meeting, scholars and independent software developers from the research triangle travelled to North Carolina State University for DH Day. A storify of the days events and discussions can be found here (and thank you to NCState’s Barry Peddycord). The NCSU libraries and scholarly community also graciously video archived the days events, and those videos can be found below.

Thank you to NCSU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tim Stinson, and Rachel Hodder for bringing us all to North Carolina State University, and thank you to all the ARC nodes for making these productive discussions possible.


DH Day Panel on “Evaluating Digital Scholarship” [part 1]  [part 2]

Mandell, Laura. “The End of the (Print) Humanities: Retooling the Academy.” [Part 1]  [Part 2]

For more information about DH Day, see the official page.


MESA to Receive Funding

The IDHMC is pleased to announce that MESA (the Medieval Electronic Scholarly Alliance) has received a three-year, $150,000 Implementation Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

MESA is part of ARC (Advanced Research Consortium) and is partnered with NINES (Nineteenth-Century Scholarship Online), 18thConnect, and REKn (the Renaissance English Knowledgebase).

Founded by Tim Stinson (Professor of English at North Carolina State University) and Dot Porter (Associate Director for Digital Library Content and Services at Indiana University), MESA intends to launch a new site that will allow streamlined research and ease of access to medieval scholarship and resources for students and professional readers. The project also proposes a deft solution to intellectual property rights issues and university/library ownership of scanned images through a consolidated search for the web portal. The site is scheduled to launch at the end of this year, and it is the IDHMC’s great pleasure to announce that it will participate in continued development of this project. MESA and the IDHMC are committed to the improvement and growth of digital research projects and resources.

MESA will continue project development at North Carolina State University and will collaborate with scholars and staff at Texas A&M University and the University of Virginia.


For more information, please see the following links.

Shipman, Matt. “Creating an Online Portal into The Medieval World.” The Abstract. 2012.
MESA-ARC Meeting
Texas A&M to House Digital Literary Consortium
REKn to Partner with ARC

REKn to Partner with ARC

It is the IDHMC’s great pleasure to announce that the Renaissance English Knowledgebase (REKn) project will become the next node within ARC (Advanced Research Consortium), joining NINES (Nineteeth-century Scholarship Online), 18thConnect, and MESA (the Medieval Electronic Scholarly Alliance).

REKn, an electronic research database that contains a large quantity of both primary and secondary materials related to the Renaissance period, is a dynamic, emerging resource for professional readers and scholars. The project, initiated in 2003-4, was developed at Vancouver Island University’s Centre for Digital Humanities Innovation and at the University of Victoria’s Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) under the direction of Ray Siemens, Distinguished Professor in University of Victoria’s Faculty of Humanities, and in the Departments of English and Computer Science. The project ultimately established an interface (currently at proof-of-concept stage) for professional reading across large data sets. REKn’s Professional Reading Environment (PReE) facilitates access to and advanced searching of the knowledgebase. The REKn project and PReE are archetypal of database research and development projects that enable digital scholarly activities, and the IDHMC is pleased to announce that it will participate in continued work on the knowledgebase.

REKn’s new partnerships within ARC will continue project development at ETCL, Northwestern University, University of Virginia, Texas A&M University, and beyond, with support from the University of Victoria via CFI infrastructure, the Canada Research Chairs program, and, via ARC and its partners.


For more information about ARC, NINES, MESA, 18thConnect, and REKn, please see the following:

REKn Joins World-Leading NINES Initiative, ARC
Electronic Cultural Studies Lab at UVic
MESA-ARC Meeting
Texas A&M to House Digital Literary Research Consortium
“Underpinnings of the Social Edition? A Narrative, 2004-9, for the Renaissance English Knowledgebase (REKn) and Professional Reading Environment (PReE) Projects.” Ray Siemens, Mike Elkink, Alastair McColl, Karin Armstrong, James Dixon, Angelsea Saby, Brett D. Hirsh and Cara Leitch, with Martin Holmes, Eric Haswell, Chris Gaudet, Paul Girn, Michael Joyce, Rachel Gold, and Gerry Watson, and members of the PKP, Iter, TAPoR, and INKE teams. In Jerome McGann, ed., with Andrew Stauffer, Dana Wheeles, and Michael Pickard. Online Humanities Scholarship: The Shape of Things to Come. Houston: Rice UP, 2010. 50 plus 461 pp (plus files).