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CLIR Receives Mellon Grant for Postdoctoral Fellowships in Data Curation for Visual Studies

Contact: Kathlin Smith


Washington, DC, June 26, 2014-The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) $916,000 to support a program of Postdoctoral Fellowships in Data Curation for Visual Studies. The program will fund a cohort of five fellows for two years at five institutions of higher learning, starting in September 2015.

As a field, visual studies calls attention to the material, cultural, and historical contexts of all images, the relationship of the visual object to the viewer, and the act of seeing from a historical and cultural perspective. Scholars in this field analyze and interpret static images, as well as film and video resources, including oral histories, performance art, and mass media.

The job of expert digital curators in this field will be to ensure that scholars can reliably use and refer to these visually based primary sources, from the most ancient that have been digitized to the most contemporary and complex objects that originate in digital form.

These fellowships are designed to help build the professional capacity needed for sustainable data management practice in visual studies. Fellows will be scholarly practitioners who understand not only the nature and processes of the disciplines broadly defined as the humanities, but also how research data are organized, transmitted, manipulated, reused, and maintained with integrity.

“We are delighted at the prospects of developing a professional cohort for data curation in visual studies,” said CLIR President Chuck Henry. “This generous grant widens and deepens our disciplinary focus in service to the humanities, giving our fellows opportunity to explore the role data plays in the methodologies of contemporary visual studies research and in its expression as scholarly communication. The cohort is expected also to routinely publish research and recommendations based on their immersive experience for the wider community of practitioners.”

This program complements the CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellowships in Data Curation for Early Modern Studies and the Postdoctoral Fellowships in Data Curation for Medieval Studies, also funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and the CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellowships in Data Curation for the Sciences and Social Sciences, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Later this summer, CLIR will begin accepting proposals from institutions interested in hosting visual studies fellows. CLIR will post fellowship openings in October at The application deadline will be December 2014, and awards will be announced in June 2015.

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning.

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