Experiential Training in Historic Information Resources (Ethir) is an initiative of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives in the UMass Amherst Libraries designed to provide students with structured, hands-on experience using and interpreting historical documentary resources. As part of our effort to integrate Special Collections more fully into the learning and research mission of the university, we offer an opportunity for select graduate students to work in the Department on a research project, while gaining first-hand experience in historical and archival praxis. Ethir fellows will take part in a range of activities in the digital humanities tied to primary source material, including curating exhibits, building digital corpora, or developing other interpretive materials.
Successful applicants will work with SCUA staff to identify a digital project that will make use of their interests and experience and that will provide a creative opportunity for building new digital skills. We ask students write a 1-2 page statement of interest outlining how their research interests might engage the department and the primary source material we collect.
Projects may include work with our collections in:
- Disability rights
- Sport innovation (e.g. Mark H. McCormack Papers)
- Drug policy (NORML, Lester Grinspoon)
Or fellows can propose to work with a collection or topic of their choice.
Through the Ethir program, we also offer orientation for classes in any discipline that would benefit from exposure to the primary archival resources under our stewardship. Our staff are happy to work with the faculty to increase their students’ information literacy in a variety of legacy formats as well as with new digital media.
|Eligibility:||Graduate students from any department enrolled at UMass Amherst.|
|Award:||Graduate students from any department enrolled at UMass Amherst.|
|Evaluation criteria:||Fellows will be selected from the pool of applicants on a competitive basis based upon: 1) a brief (1-2 page) statement of interest, 2) ability to contribute to the work of SCUA, and 3) a curriculum vita and letter of support.|
|Support & expectations:||Fellows will receive an honorarium of $500, plus hourly compensation for 150 hours of work.|
|Deadline for submission:||Applications must be received by April 17, 2015.|
|How to submit:||Applications should be submitted electronically to scua [at] library.umass.edu with “ethir application” and your name in the subject line. Letters of recommendation should be sent separately to the same address.|
Download the application form (rtf file).
- Provide hands-on experience using and interpreting historical materials
- Expose fellows to historical and archival standards and practices
- Assist fellows in developing research projects based on primary resources
- Increase access and provide additional scholarly layers for SCUA’s collections
- Foster information literacy in legacy historical formats
- Enhance learning and research at the university
- Create web-accessible guides and exhibits that will enhance fellow’s portfolios
- Fellows will produce tangible products for public consumption (e.g., finding aids, guides, digital collections, exhibits) based upon new or under-described collections, and they may assist in providing instruction for peers and classes
We will provide structured orientation for individuals and classes involving active learning, with an emphasis on:
- Handling original materials (paleography, formats)
- Interpreting historical content
- Interpreting historically specific forms of information
- Navigating the Department’s web resources
- Translating research interests into usable queries