003698-2017 - Digital Humanities Specialist - Assistant or Associate Professor

Job Description

Purdue University Libraries (PUL), a recognized leader in information literacy, scholarly communication initiatives, and research data management, seeks a highly motivated, collaborative, learner-centered Digital Humanities (DH) Specialist to join our faculty.  The DH Specialist will join a collaborative team of information professionals to teach, lead, and participate in DH projects and grant proposals/projects, and contribute to DH research and scholarship as the Libraries embarks upon a committed effort to establish a robust program to support the DH efforts at Purdue University.

The successful candidate will work with the Libraries Digital Scholarship Council to establish a digital humanities program in the Libraries’ Division of Humanities, Social Science, Education and Business (HSSEB) and will collaborate with others involved in the Libraries digital scholarship work including liaison librarians, GIS faculty and staff, and archivists.  Work with the Archives and Special Collections will be an integral element of the responsibilities to make its unique resources deeply accessible and used by scholars.  Other collaborative partners in the Libraries include the Research Data Management unit and the Scholarly Publishing Division.  Leadership, collaboration, team building and creativity are qualities that is required of the incumbent.

At Purdue, engineers and humanists, scientists and artists work together on complex challenges that need creative, collaborative, and multi-faceted solutions. The DH Specialist will teach and collaborate with disciplinary faculty and students in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA).  CLA is a consortium partner in the Mellon-funded “Humanities without Walls” initiative, which includes digital humanities projects.  CLA faculty have been involved in digital initiatives funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The National Research Council ranked eight of the CLA programs in their top 20.  High-ranking programs include the English Department, ranked third among the “Top Ten Best Schools for English Majors,” and the Brian Lamb School of Communication.

The DH Specialist will develop and lead presentations and workshops, teach classes/courses in DH, mentor undergraduate students, and collaborate with Purdue faculty and students to address a fast-growing need for digital scholarship support at Purdue.  The DH Specialist will plan effective, innovative, and sustainable digital humanities projects, provide expertise in current and emerging DH methods of research and teaching in the humanities and social sciences, write grant proposals, and plan events (e.g., speakers, symposia, etc.) to support the digital humanities community on campus and nationally. The DH Specialist will collaborate with Libraries faculty to create digital scholarship using library collections and develop best practices for digital scholarship projects.

As a Libraries faculty member, the successful candidate will develop and implement a research agenda in Library Science and be active in the profession.  Mentoring undergraduate students is a new requirement for promotion and tenure at Purdue and is an expectation for this position.  Many opportunities exist to develop strong relationships with students through teaching and outreach activities between the Libraries and College of Liberal Arts.

Further information about Purdue University Libraries, the University and the community will be found at:  www.lib.purdue.edu/about/employment.

Required Qualifications

Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited library school or doctoral degree in relevant discipline; demonstrated knowledge of and experience with digital research tools and approaches (e.g., text mining, data visualization, and image analysis) and/or related techniques; demonstrated commitment to and excellence in teaching; familiarity with trends in instructional best practices.  Strong interest in and ability to mentor undergraduate students effectively; experience with project management processes and software; ability to consult effectively with users on their information needs; demonstrated ability to establish and sustain professional collaborations with diverse stakeholders to accomplish program goals; demonstrated interest in the applications of current and emerging technologies to meet the changing needs of users; excellent interpersonal communication and presentation skills. Ability to adapt to changing organizational environment.  Commitment to engage in research and scholarship and potential to achieve promotion and tenure.

Preferred Qualifications

Knowledge of data issues in the research/knowledge creation lifecycle and familiarity with the challenges faced by digital project lifecycle management.


Purdue University Libraries (PUL), recipient of the 2015 Award for Excellence in University Libraries from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), is at the forefront of academic librarianship and redefining the role of the academic, research library in learning, discovery, and engagement activities of the University.  Libraries faculty and staff are deeply involved in information literacy instruction and instructional design, redefining of learning spaces, scholarly communication, data management, and global outreach.    Purdue Libraries faculty have expanded their collaborative endeavors with disciplinary faculty in integrating information literacy into the core curriculum.  PUL is home to the first endowed chair in information literacy in the United States, established in 2008.

Purdue University Libraries is committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction, and engagement.  Candidates should address at least one of these areas in their cover letter, indicating their past experiences, current interests or activities, and/or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion.

Opened in August 2017, the Thomas S. and Harvey D. Wilmeth Active Learning Center brings together six science and engineering libraries into a building that also houses 27 active learning classrooms that will seamlessly integrate learning and classroom spaces at the very heart of the campus.  For a video introduction to the Wilmeth Active Learning Center, please see:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D36R3t3Hc

Purdue Libraries is a leader in the areas of data curation and library publishing services.  Accomplishments in data curation include the development of the Data Curation Profiles Toolkit and the Purdue University Research Repository (PURR).  PURR provides an online, collaborative working space and data-sharing platform to support the data management needs of Purdue researchers.                              

­Purdue Libraries is an active member of state, regional, national, and international associations and consortia, including the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), SPARC, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the Digital Library Federation (DLF), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and the Research Data Alliance (RDA).

Purdue Libraries is a founding member of both HathiTrust and DataCite. Purdue was one of four universities that collaborated with Ex Libris, Inc., on its Alma integrated library system, the next generation library management system.  Collaboration and partnerships are hallmarks of Purdue Libraries both on and off campus, including partnership with ITaP (Information Technology at Purdue) and the Purdue Office of Research and Partnerships to provide assistance with funder data requirements.

The Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections of Purdue Libraries holds thousands of original primary source documents, images, and artifacts pertaining to the history of Purdue University, the history of flight and space exploration, women’s history, and the history of psychoactive substances research. These collections are used by students and scholars worldwide, and they provide ample source material for potential DH projects.

Purdue University (http://www.purdue.edu/), located in West Lafayette, Indiana, in the historic Wabash River valley, is one hour from Indianapolis and two hours from Chicago. Renowned nationally and internationally for its programs in engineering, science, agriculture, and business, the University has over 40,450 students and 16,400 employees. Purdue is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTTA). Purdue has the fourth highest enrollment of international students among public U.S. universities, with 9,255 undergraduate, professional, and graduate students in 2016.

The greater Lafayette area (http://www.homeofpurdue.com/) provides diverse cultural, social, and recreational activities.

“Purdue University prohibits discrimination against any member of the University community on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or status as a veteran.”  From Nondiscrimination Policy Statement, Purdue University http://www.purdue.edu/purdue/ea_eou_statement.html.

Salary and Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience in the context of Purdue University’s salary structure.

Faculty tenure-track position with a twelve-month appointment. Rank of assistant or associate professor.  Start-up funds in support of research are provided for computer/software/equipment, for travel/professional development, and for a half time graduate assistant for two years.

Purdue provides a generous fringe benefit package that includes retirement benefits as well as health, disability and life insurance, 22 annual vacation days, and tuition support for employee, children, and spouse/same sex domestic partner.  Purdue University is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

Relocation funding will be available and discussed on a case-by-case basis.

A background check will be required for employment in this position

Application Process

To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information of at least three references via email to Carole Tolley, HR Coordinator at libhr@purdue.edu.

When applying:

  • Place “DHS” in the subject line of the email.

In the cover letter:

  • Describe your interest in Digital Humanities librarianship;
  • Address the required qualifications;
  • In keeping with Purdue Libraries commitment to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction, and engagement, the cover letter must address at least one of these areas, indicating past experiences, current interests or activities, and/or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion.

Nominations for the position will be accepted and should be sent to libhr@purdue.edu.  Review of applications will continue until the position is filled.  Questions may be directed to Carole Tolley at 765-494-2899 or the above email address.

This position announcement will be found at:  www.lib.purdue.edu/about/employment.

Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.


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