Internship Opportunity: Early Novels Database Student Researcher

Project: The Early Novels Database

Project leads: Professor Rachel Sagner Buurma, Swarthmore College; Jon Shaw,

University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Dates of fellowship: June 1 – August 7 2015 (to be confirmed; may vary slightly)

Time Commitment: 35-40hours/week; approx. M-F 9-5

Location: Philadelphia (main site University of Pennsylvania Libraries)

Deadline: Friday, April 24th, 2015 5 pm


About The Early Novels Database


END is a bibliographic database based on the Collection of British and American Fiction 1660-1830 held by the University of Pennsylvania's Rare Book & Manuscript Library. When completed, the database will include records of more than 3,000 novels and fictional narratives by canonical authors such as Daniel Defoe to Jane Austen as well as less well-known novelists like Mary Brunton and Mary Walker. Users will be able to perform both keyword and faceted searches across bibliographic records containing both edition-specific and copy-specific information about each novel.


END is designed to complement existing full-text archives. A large (and growing) number of digitized copies of early novels exist online in both open-access and proprietary form, yet one of the well-documented characteristics of new digitization projects has been the loss of precisely the kind of metadata END aims to provide. This means that even as our archive of digital texts from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries expands, our ability to access them in precise, controlled, and complex ways has diminished. By offering human-generated and easy to manipulate sets of information about early novels, END offers a concrete solution inspired by sophisticated models of text searching that have existed for centuries.


Fellowship responsibilities include:


- work with other team members and librarians to create rich bibliographic descriptions of early novels (after relevant training)

-develop personal project on topic related to early novels or using END data

-participate in informal teaching and learning with other project team members


Desired skills:

-ability to work both with a team and alone

-background and interest in literature, especially 18th/19th century literature

-familiarity with programming, databases, and/or data visualization desirable


To apply, send one-page letter of interest, contact information for one faculty recommender and cv to Professor Buurma at