Home > Digital Transcription Graduate Student, Special Collections, UMD Libraries

Digital Transcription Graduate Student, Special Collections, UMD Libraries

We're seeking a graduate student to help us improve Transcribe MD during the Summer of 2018. You must be currently enrolled as a UMD student to apply. 

POSITION TITLE:  Digital Transcription Graduate Student, Special Collections, UMD Libraries

DESCRIPTION: The Digital Transcription Graduate Student will be responsible for researching, writing reports, editing transcribed documents, social media/outreach, and otherwise discovering ways to enhance the Transcribe MD website. Transcribe MD is a UMD Libraries pilot project and online workspace where participants can improve access to our Special Collections materials documenting state of Maryland history and culture through crowdsourced transcription of archival documents.  

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:The Digital Transcription Graduate Student will gain digital humanities career skills in working on enhancing the UMD Libraries pilot crowdsourced transcription project, Transcribe MD. The main responsibilities will be as follows:

  • Reviews public and administrative interfaces of Transcribe MD and writes a report on functionality and specific needs of the project; implements any recommended changes that can be achieved without major technical support. (25%) 
  • Researches other digital transcription projects and drafts an internal editorial review workflow for Transcribe MD; begins to implement this editing process for already transcribed documents. (25%)
  • Investigates the feasibility of incorporating TEI or other textual mark-up enhancements into the editorial review process; writes a report and creates a workflow for how this could be achieved. (25%)
  • Researches and writes a more complete “how to transcribe” for users of the Transcribe MD site; investigates and adds other information to the site that would be helpful to users. (15%)
  • Writes a monthly blog post on the project and contributes to SCUA/Libraries social media; investigates the viability of the idea of initiating a Transcribe MD blog. (10%)


  • Must be able to tolerate occasional dirty/dusty conditions.
  • Must be able to work for extended periods of time on a computer.


  • This is a non-supervisory position.

 QUALIFICATIONS (Knowledge, skills, and abilities):

  • Demonstrated excellence in oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a broad variety of tasks in response to varying time pressures with shifting priorities and changing constraints. 
  • Demonstrated interest in digital humanities projects.
  • Ability to organize outreach events for Special Collections materials. 
  • Ability to work effectively with others in a team setting. 
  • Knowledge of archival theory and practice. 
  • Must have basic computer skills including thorough knowledge of MS office products and knowledge of how to navigate archival management systems.



  • Candidate must hold or currently be working towards: an ALA-accredited Master's degree in library science with an emphasis on archives/special collections; OR a master's degree in American history, American studies, English, or other related discipline.



  • Experience working with archival materials either as a researcher or in an archives/special collections setting as a student/staff employee.
  • Must be able to read and transcribe nineteenth-century handwriting. 


  •   Familiarity with editing historical documents.
  •   Previous experience working on a digital humanities project.
  •   Previous experience using Omeka and/or Mediawiki.

The successful candidate must be available to work May 21 - August 24, 2018. This is a part-time, 20 hour/week position. This is an hourly graduate student position only; it is not a graduate assistantship position. There are no health, tuition, retirement, or vacation benefits.  The hourly pay rate is $16.00/hour. The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

To apply please send a cover letter and resume to Elizabeth Novara, Curator, Historical Manuscripts, enovara [at] umd.edu.   Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Please submit all materials by April 30, 2018.