Ann Hyde Postdoctoral Researcher - 13032BR

Ann Hyde Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class: 
U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Position Overview

The Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas is offering a two-year Postdoctoral Researcher position to enhance the cataloging of and access to the library’s substantial holdings of medieval and early modern European manuscripts. In consultation with the library’s special collections, processing, and conservation staff, the successful candidate will review and evaluate the library’s manuscript holdings and legacy records in order to enrich the cataloging of these collections. The researcher will also engage in outreach and instruction activities with the library’s medieval and early modern manuscripts to increase awareness and understanding of these important resources on campus and beyond. Additionally, the researcher may participate in digital projects related to these collections.

Description of Kenneth Spencer Research Library:
Kenneth Spencer Research Library is the rare books and manuscripts library and archives of the University of Kansas. It is home to Special Collections (established in 1953), the Kansas Collection (founded before the turn of the century by the university's first librarian, Carrie Watson), and the University Archives (established in 1969). The library’s collections provide students, scholars, and the general public with access to primary sources documenting history, literature, and culture from antiquity to the present.

The Kenneth Spencer Research Library ranks among the top 15 libraries for holdings of pre-1600 manuscripts, as reported in Melissa Conway and Lisa Fagin Davis’s Directory of Institutions in the United States and Canada with Pre-1600 Manuscript Holdings (2014). In addition to its 220 manuscript codices from the period, the library holds over 2100 pre-1600 manuscript leaves, documents, and rolls, including materials from large collections of English and Italian estate papers. Subjects and genres represented in the collections include service-books, religion, philosophy, classical texts, grammars, rhetoric, textbooks, Aristotle, history, cosmography, arithmetic, legends, Latin and Italian verse, proverbs, exempla, biographies, politics, medicine, Mandeville, cartularies, records of court cases and notarial transactions, estate records, and legal treatises. Languages most commonly represented in the manuscripts include Latin, Italian, German, and French. Images from and entries for many of the Spencer Research Library's holdings in this area may be found in the Digital Scriptorium, an image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research.

Categories of manuscripts to be addressed by the Ann Hyde Postdoctoral Researcher, in accordance with the successful candidate’s areas of subject expertise, might include:
  • Italian Renaissance business, family, and estate records. Florence, Rome, Venice, Lucca, etc., 15th-17th centuries.
  • Chronicles, histories, and political descriptions of Italian city-states. 15th-17th centuries.
  • Religious and liturgical manuscripts in Latin. France, Germany, Italy, etc., 13th-15th centuries.
  • Legal manuscripts (canon law, consilia, notarial records and formularies). Italy, England, Germany. 14th-17th centuries.
  • Late medieval through early modern manuscripts of classical texts. Italy, Germany, etc., 14th-16th centuries.
  • Estate and family papers. England, 13th century onward.
  • Literary manuscripts (Mandeville, Italian poetry). Italy, Germany, etc., 15th-16th centuries
This position demonstrates a commitment to advancing diversity efforts in the Libraries and contributes to an inclusive environment.

Job Description

20% -- Work with special collections librarians to evaluate and review existing legacy information on the library’s medieval and early modern manuscript holdings.

40% -- Revise and enhance manuscript descriptions, as needed, in collaboration with special collections and Spencer processing staff.

20% -- Engage in outreach and instruction activities, including relevant digital projects, for the library’s medieval and early modern manuscripts.

15% -- Conduct research grounded in the appropriate collections, including producing finding aids, blog posts, published research, and other potential outputs.

5% -- Consult with conservation staff, as needed, for individual items requiring conservation attention

Required Qualifications

  1. A PhD in a relevant humanities discipline (such as history, English, European literatures, or religious studies), with demonstrated knowledge of medieval and/or early modern manuscript culture
  2. Reading knowledge of Latin and one additional European language
  3. Knowledge of paleography and codicology, as demonstrated through coursework and/or applied manuscript research
  4. Excellent verbal and written communication skills as demonstrated by application materials

Note: To be appointed as a Postdoctoral Researcher, it is necessary to have the PhD conferred at the time of hire. Appointments made without a diploma or certified transcript indicating an earned doctorate are conditional hires and are appointed on an interim basis not to exceed six (6) months. Upon verification of degree, the appointment will be extended to its full duration.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and successfully in a team-based environment
  2. Experience collecting, analyzing, and presenting data
  3. Experience and background (formal or informal) with research in special collections libraries
  4. Demonstrated ability to manage complex projects efficiently
  5. Familiarity with digital technologies, tools, and standards used in special collections libraries

Additional Candidate Instructions

Applicants should attach a cover letter, resume/CV, and contact information for three professional references (including at least one previous or current supervisor) to this online application. Please use your cover letter to address how you meet the required and preferred qualifications. An online application must be completed to be considered for this position.

Apply by the deadline of January 6, 2019 to be considered.

Contact Information to Applicants

Mike Broadwell,, 785.864.3103

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Posting ID:
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class:
U-Unclassified Professional Staff
Application Review Begins:
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