National Digital Stewardship Residents (5), Biodiversity Heritage Library (Multiple Sites)

National Digital Stewardship Residency Vacancies

Biodiversity Heritage Library

Multiple Sites


The National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) is a collaborative field experience program developed by The Library of Congress Office of Strategic Initiatives and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The program aims to develop a community of professionals in the dynamic fields of digital stewardship and (biodiversity) informatics.  This resident cohort will enable five residents to work on projects related to the Biodiversity Heritage Library at BHL partner institutions in Cambridge, MA, Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, St. Louis , MO or Los Angeles, CA from January 2017 to December 2017.


Applicants must be U. S. citizens who have graduated from an accredited degree-granting Master’s or Doctoral program between Summer 2014 and January 2017. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents.


  • Must be a US Citizen or permanent resident.
  • Relevant education (as noted in the Qualifications Required section below).
  • Basic knowledge of spreadsheet & office programs.
  • Analytical and research skills and tools
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Relocation from January 2017 to December 2017
  • Relocation expenses are not offered.


This program will provide qualified post master and doctoral candidates the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills involving the collection, selection, management, long-term preservation, and accessibility of digital assets.

Experience with large data sets, knowledge of user-interface design, and the ability to incorporate user perspective in system planning is important.  The resident should be comfortable working in a highly collaborative virtual environment

This resident cohort will enable five residents to work on projects related to the Biodiversity Heritage Library at BHL partner institutions in Cambridge, MA, Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, St. Louis, MO or Los Angeles, CA from January 2017 to December 2017.

NDSR participants will get a first-hand look into the preservation issues and topics challenging these institutions.

Through collaboration with other interested organizations, this project plans to identify guidelines for best practices in a digital library for collection analysis and data linking.
Residents will each be assigned one of the following host institutions and corresponding projects. Applicants should specify their top three choices of institutions and projects from the list below in their cover letter.

The following five project outlines are proposed:

Content Analysis.  This project will be an analysis of the quantity of literature underpinning the field of biodiversity, the amount of that literature in the public domain, the representation of each discipline (delineated by taxon group) within BHL, an exploration of methodologies to scope the collections, and areas where BHL may target development to better serve the research population. Host: BHL Chicago partners (The Field Museum of Natural History and the Chicago Botanic Garden) with mentors Library Directors Christine Giannoni and Leora Siegel.

Import of Crowdsourced Data Corrections and Enhancements.  Building on the IMLS grant received by the Missouri Botanical Garden, Purposeful Gaming and BHL, in which BHL worked with Mary Flannagan and Tiltfactor , the mentors for this project will work with the resident to develop methodologies and propose tools for integration of crowdsourced data corrections and enhancements back into the BHL portal. Best practices will be documented for verification, trust, and multi-tier review. Host: Harvard University: MCZ, mentors Library Managers Constance Rinaldo and Joseph deVeer.

Enabling image discovery within the Biodiversity Heritage Library  Building on the successful NEH Art of Life grant, crowdsourced metadata around BHL images hosted on Flickr and Zooniverse would be integrated back into the BHL through  user interface modifications to the BHL portal to enable image searching, browsing and display. The resident will work with the BHL technical team to propose best practices for integration of this data into BHL as well as sustainable methodologies for augmenting image tagging for BHL content. Host: Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT),  mentors Library Director Douglas Holland and Data Projects Coordinator, Trish Rose-Sandler.

Digital Library Best Practices Analysis.  The mentor will work with the resident to consult with BHL partners such as DPLA and Europeana to determine how BHL data works in these large scale national and pan-national digital libraries. The resident will propose analyses of other large-scale digital libraries (HathiTrust, the Internet Archive, National Digital Library of New Zealand, Trove, for example) to categorize high value tools and services that can be built into the next version of BHL or developed with existing APIs from partners. Host: Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, mentor Chief Librarian and Curator Richard Hulser.  Research Library,

User Needs and Usability Analysis.  The mentor will work with the resident to identify members of the larger taxonomic and biodiversity informatics community to determine user needs and services for providing increased value to BHL content. Building on a ten year relationship with this community, BHL staff will introduce the resident to relevant initiatives hosted at the Smithsonian, such as Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBoL) and Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) and to partners such as Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The resident will analyze input gathered to define recommendations and requirements for expanding the BHL digital library functionality. Host: BHL Secretariat/Smithsonian Libraries, mentor BHL Program Manager, Carolyn Sheffield.. Biodiversity Heritage Library:

Smithsonian Library:


  • Possess a master or doctoral degree with graduation between spring 2014 and January  2017 in one of the following fields (or other discipline engaged in the stewardship of digital materials
    • Library Science
    • Information Science
    • Archival Science
    • Records Management
    • Computer Sciences
    • Museum Studies
    • Art History
    • Engineering
    • Digital Media
    • Master of Fine Arts in New Media

Must be available to work on-site for the entire one-year period .
Must be a US citizen or permanent resident.


$50,000  for 12 months




  1. Cover letter that describes your interest in the various projects and up to 3 top choices of project and venue as described above. Please state geographical limitations, if any.
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Names and contact information for 3 references.

To be considered for the position, please submit the following materials through the ARiES portal:

Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the position are filled.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Once selected and hired for the residency, every effort will be made to accommodate project selections. First choice host placement cannot be guaranteed. Applicants should be sure to indicate three host areas of interest on their applications.


Residents are not benefits-eligible employees of the institutions where they reside.

Further information about the Biodiversity Heritage Library:  Address questions about the application/nomination process to Constance Rinaldo, Librarian of the Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University .

Twitter: @mayrlibrary

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