Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Indiana University

Application Deadline: 30 December 2016

The Indiana University (IU) Libraries, with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) through a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, are seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow to work on advancing scholarly and research data curation practices and services across various disciplines in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

The fellow will be based organizationally in the Indiana University Libraries, and will also hold Affiliated Researcher status at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) and within the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University. The fellow will work closely with librarians, technologists, faculty, and graduate students to further knowledge in data curation across various disciplines including but not limited to archeology, anthropology, ethnomusicology, folklore, history, linguistics, and literature with a special focus on audio/video content. The fellow will assist in identifying best practices and defining workflows to ensure a robust approach to data curation throughout the research lifecycle, and ultimately, will extend IU support for digital humanities in this broader geographic, multi-disciplinary space.

The fellow will initially focus on the data migration of the Archivo Mesoamericano (, a digital archive of annotated historical and ethnographic video materials created in collaboration with the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Mexico, the Institute of History of Nicaragua and Central America (IHNCA) in Nicaragua, and the Museum of the Word and the Image (MUPI) in El Salvador, each of which hold the source materials. The Archivo Mesoamericano migration will entail:

  • Developing a data migration plan from the EVIA platform to Avalon Media System (Avalon); including metadata analysis, information architecture analysis, video content format analysis; and active discussions with partners in Mexico and Central America to ensure the migration plan captures the integrity of the data stored in the current system; implementing the migration plan in close collaboration with colleagues in the Libraries, CLACS, and partners in Mexico and Central America
  • Conducting a needs assessment of the partners; devising a set of recommendations for extending the functionality of Avalon to support use of this content
    Updating the training materials and documentation (in Spanish and English) for partners once content is in Avalon; facilitate remote training sessions with partners
    Researching possible grants to support ongoing digitization of content by partners, in partnership with colleagues at CLACS and the Libraries; contributing to grant planning and grant writing
  • Exploring ways to grow the Archivo Mesoamericano including identifying prospective partners, in consultation with colleagues at CLACS and the Libraries
  • Promoting the Libraries’ culture of diversity and inclusion, and support the values outlined in Indiana University Bloomington’s Campus Strategic Plan ( and the Libraries’ Diversity Strategic Plan (forthcoming)
  • At IU, in addition to the Archivo Mesoamericano project, we have several other scholars working with multimedia content including audio, video, and 3D imaging in this geographic region, which would benefit from data curation support. The fellow will work closely with others in the libraries — subject experts, archivists, metadata analysts, preservation experts, and technologists — to cultivate data curation/data management expertise in this area which includes special attention to multilingualism, culturally sensitive information, and digital access and capacity.

The fellow will participate fully in the vast professional development offerings at Indiana University, including activities in CLACS and the School of Global and International Studies, library programs such as workshops and speaker series provided as part of the Libraries’ Scholars Commons, campus programs such as the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities and the Social Sciences Research Commons.

Required qualifications

Ph.D. completed within the past five years in an area related to Latin American and Caribbean Studies, preferably history or a related area.

Desired qualifications

  • Experience with or demonstrated aptitude for digital humanities technologies, tools and methods to organize, make discoverable and preserve digital surrogates
  • Ability to apply disciplinary knowledge to advance data curation practices and services
  • Ability to work with wide range of individuals to identify key problems and contribute to teams that develop solutions
  • Ability to set priorities and manage work and deadlines independently
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to communicate and work effectively with diverse populations
  • Demonstrated knowledge of digital audio and/or video formats
  • Experience with XML-based metadata standards and/or RDF/Linked Data
  • Experience with digital repositories
  • Experience working in an agile team environment


Indiana University is a comprehensive research university located in Bloomington, Indiana. Founded in 1820, Indiana University has grown from a small state seminary into the flagship campus of a great public university with over 48,000 students and almost 3,000 faculty. Innovation, creativity, and academic freedom are hallmarks of IU Bloomington and its world‐ class contributions in research, cyberinfrastructure, and the arts. The campus covers over 1,800 wooded acres and is distinctive for both its park‐like beauty and an architectural heritage inspired by local craftsmanship in limestone.

The Indiana University Bloomington Libraries ( are among the leading academic research library systems in North America. The IUB Libraries provide strong collections, quality service and instructional programs, and leadership in the application of information technologies. The IU Libraries system consists of twenty libraries on the Bloomington campus, five libraries in Indianapolis, and a library at each of the other six campuses across the state. The collections support every academic discipline on campus and include more than 9.9 million books, journals, maps, films, and audio/visual materials in over more than 430 languages. Users can access more than 400 databases, 60,000 electronic journals, and 1.4 million electronic books, as well as locally developed digital content.

The Indiana University Libraries are a member of the Association of Research Libraries and the Big Ten Academic Alliance. A national leader in digital libraries and data curation and a founding member of the HathiTrust Digital Library, the HathiTrust Research Center, and the Digital Preservation Network (DPN) the IU Libraries were named an Association of College and Research Libraries excellence in academic libraries award winner in 2010. In 2013, the Indiana University Libraries in partnership with University Information Technology Services and Sony/Memnon, formed the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative, and were charged to digitally preserve and make accessible historical and cultural time-based media for the research, education, and enrichment of all generations by the time of Indiana University’s Bicentennial in 2020.

Above adapted from Council on Library and Information Resources.
Image from Wikimedia.

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