Digital Humanities Design Consultant (2-year term)

University Park
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Created: October 7, 2012


The Pennsylvania State University Libraries are currently seeking a Digital Humanities Design Consultant who is a creative researcher interested in exploring an “alternative academic” career and in expanding the modes of humanistic research through emerging and existing technologies.  The person in this position will be a critical part of initiating services and programs in support of the digital humanities at Penn State, and will work as an intellectual partner with faculty, students and staff in the College of the Liberal Arts.  The successful candidate will be able to work effectively between the boundaries of various humanities disciplines to help Penn State develop its digital humanities research programs.  He or she will collaborate effectively and translate ideas and concepts between diverse audiences to enable the creation of new knowledge and will have fluency with a variety of technologies and direct experience in bringing technology to bear on research and teaching.   This is a fixed-term (multi-year), non-tenure track, 2-year appointment based in the Publishing and Curation Services department within the University Libraries and carries the rank of Assistant Librarian.   This position reports to the Digital Content Strategist, but will be jointly funded by the College of the Liberal Arts. 

The Digital Humanities Design Consultant will be hired as part of The Humanities in a Digital Age initiative (HDA).  HDA is intended to enrich and promote rigorous cross-disciplinary humanities scholarship and research, to open new opportunities for high caliber graduate placements in the humanities, and to enrich the undergraduate experience by providing undergraduate students access to and support for cutting-edge humanities research.  This initiative will help develop new services to support digitally enriched scholarship by graduate students and faculty in a wider range of fields.  Working together, the Libraries and the College of Liberal Arts intend to build a community of practice for the digital humanities at Penn State through programming, services, and research collaborations. The consultant will be encouraged to conduct/continue their own research.  He or she will participate in national and/or international initiatives or professional activities which promote the development of a shared humanities research infrastructure.


  • Work directly with researchers to provide project definition and analysis, such as project scope, requirements, specifications and/or design.
  • Evaluate existing tools and technologies, and investigates emerging technologies to identify potential uses in humanities research.
  • Prototype demonstration projects and/or implements tools for use by others.
  • Collaborate with colleagues in the Libraries, Liberal Arts, and Information Technology Services to help ensure harmony among various technology infrastructures and needs.
  • Provide limited technical support for digital humanities research projects, including implementation of tools, technology, etc. to help researcher achieve goals. 
  • Provide training, group instruction or workshops.
Required Qualifications:

Requires an advanced degree in a humanities field; demonstrated proficiency/fluency with one or more technologies commonly used in digital humanities projects, such as database design and development, XML-encoding, GIS; experience deploying information technology tools/services in his or her own research; excellent communication skills; and a strong service orientation.  Preferred Qualifications include a PhD in a humanities field and a record of professional presentations and/or publications.


Penn State, a land-grant institution, is a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), a consortium of the Big Ten universities plus the University of Chicago. Based on current Association for Research Libraries investment rankings, Penn State is now among the top ten research libraries in North America.  A Penn State student survey completed in 2010 found overall student satisfaction with the Libraries to be at the top of its category.  The Libraries hold membership in ARL, OCLC, CRL, CLIR, and DLF. Collections exceed 5.8 million volumes, including more than 102,000 current serial subscriptions. The University Libraries are located at University Park and 22 other locations throughout Pennsylvania, and they serve approximately 6,000 faculty and 44,000 students at University Park, and more than 92,000 students system wide.  The University Libraries work in collaboration with multiple campus partners as part of a growing program of support for emerging scholarly communications needs.  These include the development of Publishing and Curation Services, which oversees user services for ScholarSphere, a service provided in collaboration with Information Technology Services. 

The College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State is home to more than 5200 undergraduates and 777 graduate students in twenty-one departments in the humanities and social sciences. It serves the entire University community through its extensive general education program in which typical Penn State undergraduate students take nearly one-third of their courses. With 11 of our programs placed in the top 25 percent of their respective disciplines in the recent National Research Council rankings, the College of the Liberal Arts has emerged as a one of the nation’s premier public research liberal arts colleges.

The University Park campus is set in the State College metropolitan area, a university town located in the heart of central Pennsylvania. State College offers a vibrant community with outstanding recreational facilities, a low crime rate, and excellent public schools. The campus is within a half-day drive to Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Pittsburgh. The University Park Airport is served by three major carriers with flights to Washington, Philadelphia, and Detroit. For more information, please visit and

Appointment Details:

Excellent fringe benefits include liberal vacation, excellent insurance, state or TIAA/CREF retirement options, and educational privileges.  Faculty in the University Libraries carrying the appointment of Fixed Term Multi-Year are afforded $1500 for professional development travel annually.  Faculty may be asked to travel as official representatives of the Libraries to certain events and those trips are reimbursed at full cost within limits established by the University.

Application Instructions:

Send a letter of application, resume, and the names and contact information of three references to Search Committee, The Pennsylvania State University, Box DHDC-PSUL, 511 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802, or to  Please be sure and reference Box DHDC-PSUL in the email subject line.  Review of candidates will begin on November 5, 2012 and continue until the position is filled.  Employment will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce.

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:46 UTC