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*Position filled. Learn about current fellowship opportunities here.*

University of Delaware
olored Conventions Project Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation

Job Description

This will be a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in African American data curation, with time split between the Colored Conventions Project (CCP) and the CLIR Fellow’s own research. Working as a key member of the CCP team, the Fellow will implement and supervise new, multi-institutional partnerships for gathering documents, organizing research data, and sharing metadata related to the nineteenth-century Colored Conventions. Salary will be $67,500 per year, full university benefits and $2,000 in moving expenses. It will also include additional training supported through CLIR, along with additional research and professional development funds of $1,000 per year through the University of Delaware. Travel to present on the CCP will also be supported.

Background: From 1830 until the 1890s, already free and once captive Black people came together in state and national political meetings called “Colored Conventions.” Before the War, they strategized about how to achieve educational, labor and legal justice at a moment when Black rights were constricting nationally and locally. After the War, their numbers swelled as they continued to mobilize to ensure that Black citizenship rights and safety, Black labor rights and land, Black education and institutions would be protected under the law.

The delegates to these meetings included the most well-known, if mostly male, writers, organizers, church leaders, newspaper editors, and entrepreneurs in the canon of early African-American leadership—and thousands whose names and histories have long been forgotten. What is left of this phenomenal effort are the scattered proceedings, newspaper coverage, and petitions that have never before been collected in one place.

This project seeks to not only learn about the lives of male delegates, the places where they met and the social networks that they created, but also to account for the crucial work done by Black women in the broader social networks that made these conventions possible. endeavors to transform teaching and learning about this historic collective organizing effort—and about the many leaders and places involved in it—bringing them to digital life for a new generation of students and scholars across disciplines and for community researchers interested in the history of the activist church, civil rights, educational and entrepreneurial engagement.

Responsibilities for CCP would include:

  • Implement and coordinate the CCP data initiatives.
  • Work with CCP coordinator in metadata creation and organizing.
  • Work with the head of the digital archives committee to coordinate CCP undergraduate and graduate student project work in data curation.
  • Organize one or two yearly workshops or panel discussions about data curation and its importance for Black communities for and in conjunction with local community archives and groups.
  • Plan, track, and communicate, resources, tasks, and processes for collecting new categories of research data.
  • Provide feedback for database software and methods, including WordPress, Omeka and Omeka S, open access, and open educational resources.


  • Demonstrated initiatives, flexibility and ability to work creatively and effectively both independently and as a member of a large, diverse, multi-disciplinary and interinstitutional team.
  • Commitment to collaborative ethos and horizontal management.
  • PhD completed before beginning the fellowship. Graduate/undergraduate degree(s) in African American studies, communications, data science, information studies, Africana studies, American studies, women’s studies, history or English, etc. with an emphasis in African American content.
  • Experience with descriptive metadata standards, preferably in relation to web publishing/content management systems (e.g. WordPress, Omeka Classic, Omeka S) or in relation to institutional repositories (e.g. DSpace).
  • Familiarity with current trends in digital collections, libraries, archives, African American digital humanities, and/or Black digital studies.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of nineteenth-century African American culture and history.
  • Experience or training in front-end web design, user experience, usability/design testing (e.g. HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, etc.).
  • Experience teaching courses or workshops on digital tools, metadata standards, project management, and/or content management systems (Omeka, WordPress, etc.).
  • Familiarity with best practices and models in public humanities, public history, crowdsourcing, digital storytelling, and/or multimedia production.
  • Experience or background in web mapping or data visualization.
  • Experience working with linked data.

The University of Delaware is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer with inclusive excellence and diversity as core values. Located in Newark, Delaware, within 2 hours of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., the University of Delaware is a state-assisted, privately governed institution that enrolls approximately 17,000 undergraduates and 4,000 graduate students.

For eligibility and applications visit:

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