Overview: The Kentucky Historical Society anticipates the ability to hire two Graduate
Research Associates (GRAs) familiar with 19th century United States history to
write short informational entries for the Civil War Governors of
Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition (CWGK). Each GRA will receive a production-based
stipend of $5,000 each and can work remotely from
their home institutions.
Each GRA will annotate 150 assigned
documents. Each GRA must be a graduate student in at least the second year of a
M.A. program in history or a related humanities discipline. These positions are
funded by a grant from the National Historical
Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a branch of the National Archives. As of this posting,
these positions are conditional, anticipating that the NHPRC will fund these
two positions next year. The new GRAs would continue a successful three-year
program that has involved 12 GRAs.
CWGK is an annotated, searchable,
and freely-accessible online edition of documents associated with the chief
executives of the Commonwealth, 1860-1865. Yet CWGK is not solely about the
five governors; it is about reconstructing the lost lives and voices of tens of
thousands of Kentuckians who interacted with the office of the
governor during the war years. CWGK will identify, research, and link
together every person, place, and organization found in its documents. This web
of hundreds of thousands of networked nodes will dramatically expand the number
of actors in Kentucky and U.S. history, show scholars new patterns and hidden
relationships, and recognize the humanity and agency of historically
marginalized people. To see the project’s work to date, visit discovery.civilwargovernors.org.
Scope of Work: Each GRA will be responsible for researching and writing short entries
on named persons, places, organizations, and geographical features in 150
documents. Each document contains an average of fifteen such entities. This
work will be completed and submitted to CWGK for fact-checking in sets
throughout the year, but no later than
December 31, 2020.
Research and writing will proceed
according to project guidelines concerning research sources and methods,
editorial information desired, and adherence to house style. This will ensure
1) that due diligence is done to the research of each entity and 2) that
information is recorded for each item in uniform ways which are easy to encode
All research for the entries must be
based in primary or credible secondary sources, and each GRA is expected to
keep a virtual research file with notes and digital images of documents related
to each entry. These will be examined regularly by the CWGK team as they fact
check the GRA output and turned over to CWGK at the completion of the work.
CWGK will fact-check all entries for research quality and adherence to house
style. CWGK projects an average rate of one document annotated per
two hours of work. Each GRA may expect their workload to be similar to
adding on another class for the semester. They should expect to complete an
average of 4 to 5 documents per week, though this may vary.
Each GRA will work remotely.
Interaction with the documents and the writing of annotations will take place
in a web-based annotation tool developed for CWGK, which can be accessed from
any location. CWGK will make use of online research databases to make its work
efficient and uniform. Other archival sources may be of value but are not
required by the research guidelines. Securing access to the paid databases
required by CWGK (Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, and ProQuest Historical Newspapers:
Louisville Courier Journal) is the responsibility of the GRA. If regular
institutional access to these databases is not available to the GRA through a
university or library, it is the responsibility of the GRA to purchase and use
a subscription to these databases. KHS will not reimburse the GRA for any
travel, copying, or other expenses incurred in CWGK research.
In order to maintain quality and
consistency as well as to foster a collegial and collaborative work culture,
CWGK will conduct weekly virtual “office hours” via Zoom, during which GRAs are
required to dial in, ask questions of staff, share expertise and research
methods, and make connections with their peers. Virtual attendance at these
office hours is mandatory, and multiple sessions may be offered to accommodate
schedules. Pending successful funding, CWGK anticipates the GRAs to begin in
early to mid-February.
The Kentucky Historical Society will
hold copyright for all annotation research as work for hire.
Evaluation Criteria: An application should consist of a narrative statement of
professional ability in the form of a cover letter, a CV, and two letters of
recommendation. Additional supplementary materials that demonstrate
capacity in the evaluation factors may also be included, these may include, but
are not limited to: examples of other digital projects, writing samples, or
proof of editorial experience.
Proposal materials should be submitted to Chuck Welsko at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than January 9, 2020. Should you have any questions about CWGK, the position, or the Kentucky Historical Society, please feel free to contact Dr. Welsko.
The Kentucky Historical Society will
evaluate the applicants based on the following factors, as demonstrated through
their applications materials:
Research Experience (70 points): Describe your familiarity with research in 19th century U.S. history. Describe some projects you have undertaken. What sources have you used? Have you been published? Have you interpreted historical research in forms other than a scholarly peer-reviewed publication? Discuss how a digital archival experience differs from your traditional archival experience.
Project Experience (30 points): Describe any work you have done in the editing of historical documents. Discuss how a project such as CWGK maintains balance between thorough research and production schedules. Have you worked on other collaborative projects in the field of history or otherwise? Describe the importance of time management and deadlines in your work. Describe your understanding of and/or experience with the Digital Humanities. From what you know of the CWGK project, how does it fit with current trends in the field? What do you hope to gain from working on the CWGK project?