Category Archives: Jobs & Fellowships

Q&A: What is a Digital Project Manager anyway?

Elizabeth Williamson

With only a few days left to apply for the two jobs currently available at Cultures of Knowledge, I wanted to provide a little more detail on the EMLO team and what it’s like to be a Digital Project Manager and a Projects Administrator for this fast-growing and exciting enterprise.

How would you summarise the role of the DPM?

It is a really wonderful post, very varied and stimulating! The position bridges different fields – project management, editorial, technical, scholarly, promotion – though we have a wide and very talented team of specialists, so my main job is coordinating their work to keep every aspect in service of the project as a whole. We have specialist systems developers and a skilled digital editor who, with my guidance, progress the substance of the technical and editorial agendas respectively.

What’s it like to work for Cultures of Knowledge?

It’s a fantastic team and we’re all really passionate about the project. In the History Faculty we have a project office where the two new recruits will be based, and an editorial office which houses our Digital Editor Miranda Lewis, visiting scholars, and our team of Digital Fellows. We work with some great developers in Oxford and internationally, plus a postdoc in Leiden and editorial collaborators all around the world. It’s important that the DPM provides a core presence for the team; that’s why I’m handing the role to a new person, as I’m moving to the USA for personal reasons.

How technical is your role?

I’d say that currently I do a lot of managing of the technical agenda and specifying of needs, but that doesn’t require specialist knowledge of the coding languages themselves as we have a Technical Strategist who advises on structural choices, and we also have the new post of Technical and Community Manager coming on board imminently. So I don’t need to know how MongoDB or node.js work, for example, but I do need a general knowledge of our systems, what they do, what their limits are, and to be able to assist the editor in determining what is needed in terms of development. It’s about translating the requirements of the scholars and editors to the technical team, and helping to ensure that work moves forward on time and on spec.

What do you find yourself doing most often?

As said, managing the technical agenda and specifying needs is central. There is also a large role in representing the project, online and offline, and promoting/explaining EMLO to the scholarly community. I love this part, and it will be expanding further. The post requires an understanding and overview of each aspect of EMLO and Cultures of Knowledge, in order to help steer the group individually and as a whole. It might be bouncing ideas for editorial workflows with our Digital Editor, communicating with potential collaborators explaining why they might want to put data on EMLO, outlining project milestones with the team, or drawing up feedback for a technical tool. There’s also a need for reporting to our funders, the Mellon Foundation, and strategizing to explore future options, including funding applications. But on the whole I’d say a large part of my role is anticipating and understanding needs, organising, and communicating.

How does CofK relate to EMLO?

EMLO (Early Modern Letters Online) is the union catalogue and digital platform that the research project Cultures of Knowledge created and runs. We work with many different contributors to gather, standardise, and centralise metadata on early modern letters, including curating it ourselves. Have a browse of this website and/or EMLO itself to find out more:

How does CofK relate to the COST Action network?

These are two separate projects, but they benefit each other. CofK is one voice in the wider COST network, and our Director and the project were also centrally involved in the proposal. We were also the local hosts and co-organisers for a recent multifaceted COST event, comprising a conference, set of meetings, and digital humanities training school. The network itself is made up of scholars, archivists, librarians, and technologists from over 30 countries, coming together over four years to collaborate on all aspects of rolling out truly international infrastructure to facilitate the reassembly of the epistolary material of the republic of letters.

How can I find out more about the COST Action?

Check out the website here, beautifully designed and constructed by Density Design at Politecnico di Milano.

What can you tell us about the COST-CofK administrative post?

This is a fantastic opportunity to be involved at ground level in both projects. It’s 0.6 FTE so would work well around other family or work commitments. Part of their time will be spent supporting the new Digital Project Manager at CofK with all sorts of administrative and financial tasks concerning EMLO, from helping run events, to helping process our team of Digital Fellows, to keeping detailed budget logs. The rest will be dedicated to the COST network; this is important work, and would require developing a good understanding of COST’s rules and requirements in order to communicate with Action members, advising them as needed on matters like reimbursement eligibility, setting up contracts and payments for activities such as website development and video production, and working with local event coordinators in the network. The ideal candidate will need a good head for figures, the ability to digest complex information, and an eye for detail. The scholarly work and actual activity of the network is well distributed amongst several key individuals, like Working Group Leaders and the Short Term Scientific Mission Coordinator, so you’ll be supporting – and be supported by – a highly engaged and skilled team.

Sounds great! How do I apply?

The deadline for both positions is midday on 8th April. Please ensure you have your application in by then! Further particulars and a link to the application form is here for the Project Manager, and here for the Projects Administrator.

Good luck, and Happy Easter!

Update! We’re hiring a new Administrator and a Digital Project Manager

CofK and COST Administrator

UPDATE! 10.03.2015: We are delighted to announce that a post is now available for a part-time administrator (0.6 FTE), working on Cultures of Knowledge and the COST Action network ‘Reassembling the Republic of Letters‘. Do you have administrative and finance experience? Would you like to work with a dedicated and friendly team on two major digital history projects? Then take a look at the further details and apply here!

Digital Project Manager

We are excited to announce that we are seeking a full-time project manager for Cultures of Knowledge, tenable from April 2015 to March 2017. Do you love early modern letters? Are you passionate about the possibilities of the digital humanities in our connected world? We’d love to hear from you!

This is a unique opportunity to help lead one of Oxford University’s largest and most exciting digital humanities projects. As Digital Project Manager of Cultures of Knowledge, you will coordinate the development of our flagship union catalogue, Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO), liaising between our technical and editorial teams and helping to coordinate our expanding community of contributors.

EMLO collaborates with a growing range of individual scholars, projects, editions, publishers, and repositories in order to bring together many tens of thousands of records on early modern learned correspondence, allowing manuscript, print, and digital resources to be cross-searched in a single, central, open-access, online catalogue. Further, by standardising huge quantities of person, place, and letter records, we are opening up unprecedented opportunities for analysing, visualising, and exploring early modern letters and the international intellectual networks documented by them.

The Project Manager anchors a vital role at the very centre of this project. Reporting to Project Director Professor Howard Hotson, and supported by a part-time administrator, the successful candidate will ensure that all aspects of Cultures of Knowledge are delivered on time, on spec, and on budget. You will be an excellent communicator with superb organizational skills and a higher degree relating to the early modern period, the digital humanities, or project management. No specialist technical or coding skills are required, but you will have some understanding of, and a keen interest in, the use of digital technologies in humanistic research. You will be able to juggle competing priorities, and represent the project with enthusiasm and dedication.

As the current post holder I can tell you that this is a fascinating and stimulating position, working alongside fantastic people – if you are passionate about the digital, the historical, or the editorial (ideally all three!), and have excellent organizational and people skills, then please do apply!

Further particulars can be downloaded from the University website. Please address any queries to the current Project Manager, Dr Lizzy Williamson (elizabeth.williamson[at] To apply, please submit a supporting statement and CV on the University website, to arrive not later than 12.00 noon (GMT) on 8th April 2015.

Icones Leidenses 44, Collection Leiden University, Digitool Leiden University

The Correspondence of Isaac Casaubon: project profile and job announcement

The Leverhulme Trust has recently announced that that it is to fund the publication of a substantial portion of the extensive correspondence of Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614). This project, directed by Dr Paul Botley at the University of Warwick, will produce a critical edition of Casaubon’s correspondence during his last years in England, from his arrival in 1610 until his death in 1614.

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Join the Team: We’re Now Hiring a Part-time Digital Editorial Assistant!

We’re excited to announce a part-time, fixed term job opportunity with Cultures of Knowledge, available from 1 March 2013. Are you an eagle-eyed lover of data? Do you love early modern letters? Would you like to work behind the scenes for one of the University of Oxford’s largest and most exciting digital humanities enterprises? If so, read on…

We are seeking a highly motivated and meticulous digital editorial assistant with strong IT skills to work part-time with us for 9 months. The successful applicant will contribute to the digitisation of metadata on early modern correspondence by using bespoke data-entry and data manipulation software. Working on a variety of datasets of early modern letters, he or she will help us accurately and responsibly expand our union catalogue, ingesting thousands of records of letters from archives and libraries around the world. Full training on using our software will be provided. It is essential that the successful applicant has a keen eye for detail and is confident with maintaining the highest standards of accuracy during the often mechanical tasks necessary to process large amounts of data.


Early Modern Editor? Cape and hat optional.
Tommaso da Modena, ‘Hugo of Saint-Cher’, 1352 (wikimedia commons)

The closing date for this position is Wednesday 12th February. For further details of the post and instructions on how to apply, head over to the University job site (Further Particulars also available here). We have other opportunities in the pipeline – in the coming months we will be advertising for a Digital Humanities Fellow, and we will also be recruiting more ad-hoc, hourly-paid Digital Fellows to help us reach our ingest targets. To stay informed of these vacancies, please sign-up to the blog’s RSS Feed, Follow Us on Twitter, or join our Mailing List.

If you have any queries about the position, email Lizzy Williamson at or call +44(0)1865 615026. We look forward to hearing from you!

Robin Buning Joins Cultures of Knowledge as Hartlib Research Fellow

We are delighted to report that, from 1 December 2013, Robin Buning will be joining Cultures of Knowledge as a Research Fellow, working on the detailed reconstruction of the epistolary community of Samuel Hartlib (c.1600-1662). Robin’s work on this celebrated network will continue a long-standing collective effort, advanced most recently by Dr Leigh Penman during his fellowship within Cultures of Knowledge between 2009 and 2011.

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James Brown Bids Farewell to Cultures of Knowledge

It is with mixed feelings that I announce the most significant alteration in the five-year history of the Cultures of Knowledge project office. As of last week, our incomparable Digital Project Manager and long-time friend and colleague, Dr James Brown, has been reclaimed by his first love: the world of alehouses, taverns, and drink.

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Lizzy Williamson Joins Cultures of Knowledge as Digital Project Manager

We are delighted to announce that, from 1 October 2013, Dr Elizabeth Williamson will be joining Cultures of Knowledge as our brand new Digital Project Manager, overseeing all aspects of our activities on a day-to-day basis, with particular reference to the ongoing development and population of Early Modern Letters Online. She succeeds Dr James Brown, who after four years with us will be taking up a research post at the University of Sheffield on the new AHRC/ESRC project Intoxicants and Early Modernity: England, 1570-1740.

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Join the Team: We’re Now Hiring a Hartlib Research Fellow and a Digital Project Manager!

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Deadline extended to Friday 23 August!


We’re excited to announce two full-time, fixed term job opportunities with the Project, available from 1 October 2013. Do you love early modern letters? Would you like to work for one of the University of Oxford’s largest and most exciting digital humanities enterprises? If so, read on…

Research Fellow: The Correspondence Network of Samuel Hartlib (c.1600-1662)

The first opening is for a Research Fellow (12 months) to work on the correspondence network of the seventeenth-century intelligencer Samuel Hartlib (c.1600-1662). Building on the findings of Dr Leigh Penman during the first phase of Cultures of Knowledge, and working closely with Professor Howard Hotson, our Comenius Research Fellow Iva Lelkova, and a Digital Humanities Research Fellow, the successful candidate will pay particular attention to the detailed prosopographical reconstruction of Hartlib’s epistolary community with a view to populating new biographical fields and relationships within Early Modern Letters Online. For further details of this post and to apply online, head along to the University job site.

Digital Project Manager

The second opening is for a Digital Project Manager (15 months) to coordinate all aspects of the Project and to run its diverse international team of editors, research fellows, and systems developers. Reporting to Project Director Professor Howard Hotson, and supported by a part-time administrator, the successful candidate will make sure all aspects of Cultures of Knowledge are delivered on time, to spec, and on or under budget, with particular reference to the ongoing development and population of Early Modern Letters Online. They will also take a lead on all Project reporting (narrative and financial); event planning and delivery; and marketing and dissemination (both online and offline). For further details of this post and to apply online, head along to the University job site.

The closing date for both positions is noon on Friday 23 August. We have other posts in the offing; to stay informed of these, please sign-up to the blog’s RSS Feed, Follow Us on Twitter, or join our Mailing List. If you have any queries about the above positions, e-mail, or call +44(0)1865 615026. We look forward to hearing from you!

The CofK Diaspora: New Horizons for Former Fellows

Been There, Got The T-Shirt: Our Digital Editor Kim McLean-Fiander has swapped out Early Modern Letters for Early Modern London

The talented community of students, postdocs, and research fellows who made our first phase between 2009 and 2012 such a success have gone on to exciting new things. Kelsey Jackson Williams, our John Aubrey Doctoral Student, has taken up a Stipendiary Lectureship at Jesus College; Leigh Penman, our Samuel Hartlib Postdoctoral Fellow, has returned to his native Australia with his growing brood to take up a prestigious Research Fellowship at the University of Queensland; our Edward Lhwyd Research Fellow Helen Watt is now back at the University of Wales working on the Place Names of Shropshire Project; our Martin Lister Research Fellow Anna Marie Roos is now Senior Lecturer at the University of Lincoln; our John Wallis Research Fellow Philip Beeley remains Associate Faculty here in Oxford and is pursuing exciting funding opportunities around the English mathematical intelligencer John Collins; while our Digital Editor Kim McLean-Fiander (pictured in her EMLO finery) is now weaving metadata magic as a Postdoctoral Fellow on the wonderful Map of Early Modern London project at the University of Victoria. Iva Lelkova, our Prague-based Comenius Postdoctoral Fellow, continues with the Project, and will soon be joined by a brand new Hartlib Postdoctoral Fellow and a Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow. Could this be you? Join our Mailing List, Follow Us on Twitter, or stay tuned to the Blog (or its Feed) to stay informed!