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Digital Library of the Caribbean dLOC/Florida International University

CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 2018-2020

Project/Position Description

The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) at Florida International University’s (FIU) Steven and Dorothea Green Library seeks a two-year Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Latin American and Caribbean Studies to lead programming and digitization efforts in collaboration with our partner, the Haitian Institute for the Protection of National Heritage (ISPAN), located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Founded in 1979, ISPAN, has carried out important restoration work, research, and studies at historical sites such as the Citadel, at the Sans-Souci Palace, at the Cap- Haïtien Cathedral, the Fort Jacques de Fermathe, at the Palais National in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In this cooperative project, the fellow will provide training and expert technical assistance to ISPAN in its digitization efforts. The fellow will increase access to and preserve Haitian information resources at ISPAN by digitizing archives, mapping sites, and making the archive available in English, French, and Haitian Creole. The fellow will have the opportunity to work with FIU faculty, the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC), Special Collections at the Steven and Dorothea Green Library, undergraduate assistants, and our many Haiti-based partner organizations.

Required skills/experience

  • Ph.D. completed within the past five years in an area related to Latin American and Caribbean Studies, preferably history or a related area.
  • Professional working proficiency in French and/or Haitian Creole.
  • Previous experience with digitization or data curation.
  • Willingness to travel internationally and to work directly with project partners.
  • Strong interest in collaborative grant writing.


  • The fellow will act as a project manager with responsibilities for the planning, design and development of the digitization project with our partner ISPAN.
  • Conduct a needs assessment of dLOC’s Caribbean partners.
  • Build capacity by developing a multi-layered and comprehensive digitization training program for international partners.
  • Advance Caribbean Studies by building an aggressive and engaging outreach program that delivers these collections to scholars, to the classroom, and to the general public.
  • Cultivate the development of new research initiatives among Caribbean scholars by providing a supportive framework to disseminate this work.
  • Develops and maintains awareness of emerging trends and best practices in Caribbean Studies, digital humanities, and data curation.
  • Organize a panel discussion related to the project and its subject matter. The fellow will work collaboratively with librarians, other institutional partners, faculty, and students on the panel discussion about Haitian archives and have the additional support of the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs Department (SIPA), the History Department, and the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC).
  • Engage and consult with other faculty members working in Latin America and Caribbean studies. The fellow will participate in a rich intellectual community that includes the University of Miami, Miami-Dade College, Barry University, and History Miami.

Professional Development

  • Mark Rosenberg, President of FIU as well as the Green Family Foundation have continuously supported efforts to advance Latin American and Caribbean studies at the university and will extend all resources available to host a CLIR fellow. The post- doctoral fellow will work under the supervision of Miguel Asencio, Executive Director for Digital Library of the Caribbean, with the support of Anne Prestamo, Dean of the Green Family Library, Althea Silvera, Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Liesl Picard, Associate Director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC), and Victor Uribe, Chair of the History Department. In addition, several other faculty involved in Latin American and Caribbean Studies will also be a resource.
  • Opportunity to be part of the leading team to digitize ISPAN’s research findings and archives.
  • Introductions to national and international leaders through dLOC’s Executive Committee, dLOC’s Scholarly Advisory Board, and through participation in conferences such as Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL), Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), Haitian Studies Association (HSA), and Latin American Studies Association (LASA).
  • Grants Management training and support from FIU.
  • Professional Development opportunities at the Steven and Dorothea Green Library and the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC).
  • Opportunities and support as part of the collaborative team with Libraries’ the Digital Humanities Projects.
  • Opportunity for joint appointment with FIU’s Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs Department (SIPA), the History Department, and the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center each with additional grant and professional development opportunities.
  • Opportunity to develop own scholarly work.
  • Teaching opportunities at undergraduate and graduate levels at Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs Department (SIPA) and the History Department.

Florida International University

Florida International University (FIU) is a leading public research university focused on student learning, innovation, and collaboration. FIU is an urban, multi-campus, public research university serving its students and the diverse population of South Florida. FIU is one of the largest Hispanic-serving institutions of higher learning in the United States, with over 63% of students of Hispanic origin. An additional 14% are black, both African American and from the Caribbean. For more information, please consult FIU’s homepage at We are committed to high-quality teaching, state-of-the-art research and creative activity, and collaborative engagement with our local and global communities. As Miami’s first and only public research university, offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, FIU is worlds ahead in its service to the academic and local community. Designated as a top-tier research institution, FIU emphasizes research as a major component in the university’s mission.

The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC)

The Digital Library of the Caribbean is a premier international collection of Caribbean research resources housed in the Steven and Dorothea Green Library at Florida International University. Established in 2004, dLOC has grown from the initial nine partners to more than fifty. dLOC is a content-contributing partner organization and all materials in dLOC will remain freely and fully available as open access. dLOC’s diverse partners serve an international community of scholars, students, and peoples by working together to preserve and to provide enhanced electronic access to cultural, historical, legal, governmental, and research materials in a common web space with a multilingual interface. Types of collections include but are not limited to: newspapers, archives of Caribbean leaders and governments, official documents, documentation and numeric data for ecosystems, scientific scholarship, historic and contemporary maps, oral and popular histories, travel accounts, literature and poetry, musical expressions, and artifacts. dLOC seeks to build capacity in the region to support digitization and preservation and to provide access to partner holdings locally and internationally. The collection consists of more than 40,000 titles and three million pages of content and registers and over 3 million views each month. dLOC’s partners collaborate with scholars and teachers for promoting and performing educational outreach on Caribbean Studies, developing new works of digital scholarship, and pursuing other research and teaching initiatives.

The Steven and Dorothea Green Library

FIU Libraries encompass six public facility libraries, the Green Library, Hubert Library, and Engineering Library Service Center are under the direction of the Dean of University Libraries, other libraries/centers are overseen by their corresponding schools or organizations. Located at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus (MMC), the Steven and Dorothea Green Library is FIU’s main library, and one of the largest library buildings in the Southeastern United States. Subject specialists (reference librarians) have developed a virtual reference service environment for our students and faculty. Using social media tools and service management systems, they have developed online research services providing individual real time chat consultations and a 24/7 self-service research environment for 30+ different disciplines. The annual number of visits to library websites averages 1.6 million, with 550,000+ unique users. In the past 5 years, the FIU Libraries have grown our electronic collections significantly. The Green Library have increased our electronic book collection by 82,349 titles and now tracks 71,472 electronic journal titles, and an additional 217,532 electronic files 209,736. FIU students and faculty can access these electronic resources from their offices and homes. In addition, our efforts in digitizing and preserving cultural, scientific and intellectual content for both FIU and South Florida communities have grown significantly. The Digital Collections Center builds online collections of enduring value for the university and broader user community by identifying, digitizing, and preserving information resources of scholarly, educational, and civic interest. The Center’s digital collections focus on local and regional materials of historical, scientific, cultural, and educational importance. FIU Libraries’ digital preservation program adheres to international standards and best practices, documenting technical, administrative, preservation, and rights management metadata, along with the archival digital files, which are deposited in the Florida Digital Archive. The Institutional Repository, FIU DigitalCommons, serves as a persistent and centralized access point for FIU scholarship and creative works; promotes faculty and student research to a global community; and preserves the history, growth and development of FIU.

In the past five years, the FIU Libraries, in collaboration with other academic units and institutions, have secured a direct total of $1.6 million in external funding. Funding agencies included the USAID, the South Florida Water Management District, the National Park Service, the NSF, the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the Broward MPO, the Palm Beach MPO, and the City of Coral Gables. The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), the City of Coral Gables Talking Book, and the Coral Gables’ Virtual History are examples of innovative applications of digital libraries and geo-spatial tools in disseminating community assets and intellectual properties. The library-based GIS Center has collaborated widely with FIU faculty on sponsored activities in the areas of Everglades restoration, vegetation monitoring, transportation and urban planning, geo-humanities, global disaster risk reduction and geo-enabled knowledge management in the Global Water for Sustainability (GLOWS) programs.

The Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC)

The Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) at Florida International University was founded in 1979 to promote the study of Latin America and the Caribbean in Florida and throughout the United States. LACC is designated by the US Department of Education, funded by Title VI, as a National Resource Center on Latin America, recognizing it as one of the top Latin American and Caribbean Centers in the country. Drawing upon the expertise of over 200 affiliated faculty and researchers and by engaging policy analysts and public and private sector representatives, LACC ensures a comprehensive approach to a better understanding of the region. To achieve its mission, LACC places special emphasis on forging partnerships with national and international academic and policy-focused organizations dedicated to addressing the most pressing issues facing Latin America and the Caribbean.

L’Institut de Sauvegarde du Patrimoine National (ISPAN)

Since its creation in 1979, ISPAN has undertook numerous research, studies and investigations that have resulted in a list of cultural and historical sites throughout Haiti. This is in addition to important restoration work carried out at the Citadelle Henri Christophe, the Palace of Sans- Souci, the Cap-Haïtien Cathedral, fort Jacques de Fermathe, and the National Palace in Port-au- Prince. In 1994, ISPAN has succeeded in obtaining the official title of the National Patrimony of thirty-three historical monuments in the city of Cap-Haïtien. ISPAN has limited resources available and but is convinced that “Our history is our force, “and seeks to collaborate, within its means, with municipal authorities, associations social and cultural rights, for the promotion and preservation of monuments and historic sites in Haiti. ISPAN seeks to engage students, historians, researchers, journalists, specialists in the construction and planning, (urban planners, architects, engineers, construction workers, etc…), tourist operators who will find valuable and accurate data retained at the Institute.

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