The Sinai Manuscripts Digital Library (SMDL) at the UCLA Library is currently hiring for several grant-funded, remote positions. The SMDL is a collaborative project between St. Catherine's Monastery of the Sinai, the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library (EMEL), and the UCLA Library to make available online all manuscripts held in the Monastery library. The project's focus has been on multi-spectral imaging of palimpsested manuscripts through the Sinai Palimpsests Project and the imaging, description, and publication of the Sinai Arabic and Syriac manuscripts. Current and future activities will focus on scholar-led descriptions of the manuscripts, as well as modeling the complexities of early manuscripts to support digital rebinding and collocation of disbound and palimpsested manuscripts.
The 3 open positions will support the work of two current NEH-funded projects: the Sinai Manuscripts Data Portal (NEH DHAG) and the Identification and Description of the Syriac Parchment Manuscripts at St. Catherine’s Monastery of the Sinai (NEH HCRR). We are seeking:
- One Research Associate to support the description of Sinai Syriac parchment manuscripts. The RA will work under the direction of the Sinai Projects Data Coordinator and the Lead Syriac Manuscripts Scholar to describe the Sinai Syriac parchment manuscripts, including identification of texts, supplying codicological and contextual information, and providing controlled terms and authoritative name and title forms. The RA will be responsible for inputting and submitting manuscript description data according to project guidelines. The RA must have experience reading and interpreting handwritten Syriac manuscripts, and working with codicological descriptions, preferably related to early Christian manuscripts. Advanced degree in a relevant field or equivalent combination of experience and education is required. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in at least one of the following: cataloguing, metadata, or data entry, especially related to early manuscripts or Syriac textual traditions; participation in digital humanities, digital cultural heritage, or similar projects; use of authority records and controlled vocabularies; or knowledge of liturgical texts, especially of Eastern Christian rites. This will be a half-time position through May 2024.
- Two Research Associates to support the development of the Sinai Manuscripts Data Portal (SMDP). The SMDP will serve as a central repository for all Sinai manuscripts data as well as research data portal for scholars of Byzantine and Eastern Christian studies. The Portal re-envisions how manuscript descriptions are documented and published in digital contexts. The RAs will work under the direction of the Sinai Projects Data Coordinator to enhance existing manuscript records in preparation for the new data model and portal. The primary responsibilities of the RAs will be to identify and document the major textual divisions and any persons and places attested in a subset of the Sinai Syriac and Arabic manuscripts, and to supply authoritative name and title forms where possible. The RAs will be responsible for inputting and submitting manuscript description data according to project guidelines and will participate in testing and feedback of Data Portal input mechanisms and workflows. This position requires reading knowledge of Arabic and/or Syriac manuscript hands and familiarity with one or more literary traditions represented at Sinai (Patristics, Hagiography, Liturgy, Biblical). Advanced degree in a relevant field or equivalent combination of experience and education is required. Both positions are part-time (roughly 350-400 hours total) through August 2023, with concentrated effort in the last quarter of 2022 and the second quarter of 2023.
Please submit expressions of interest by November 7, 2022.