13.0381 job at Michigan

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Tue Feb 08 2000 - 07:08:39 CUT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 381.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 22:08:20 +0000
             From: "Paul F. Schaffner" <pfs@umich.edu>
             Subject: Job (Michigan): encoding early English texts

    I draw your attention to a text-encoding position that
    has been posted here at UM/Ann Arbor. See this URL for
    application info:


    Despite the vague and offputting title ("Comp Systems Specialist I")
    we're looking mainly for someone with a humanities background,
    especially in early English, capable of applying an analytical
    understanding of texts to the review of SGML-encoded Middle
    and Early Modern English books in a production environment. In
    the past, linguists, archivists, and historians have been among
    those who found the work congenial, but we are open to candidates
    with diverse education and experience.

    The job is that of a production assistant, and is funded
    initially for one year, with the strong likelihood that the
    person who takes the job will fairly rapidly be given increased
    responsibilities and longer tenure.

    The largest part of the job will be reviewing the tagging added
    to keyed texts by outside data-conversion firms: deciding whether
    they have correctly interpreted the text in calling (say) this
    prose and that verse; this a stanza and that a mere run-on line;
    this a note, that a heading, or that other thing a catch word;
    and so on, both in individual cases and, more importantly, in
    general. There will probably be some straight proof-reading,
    to keep the keyers honest; some supervision of student or contract
    workers as they become available; and probably some mundane book
    preparation work (checking for completeness and legibility;
    ensuring consistent identification of the item; etc.).

    The first part of the year will be devoted to producing electronic
    versions of Middle English texts taken from public-domain editions.
    There may also be some leftover / maintenance work on the Middle
    English Dictionary. The latter half of the year will be devoted
    to the first actual text production under the "EEBO" project
    (Early English Books Online), which hopes to produce encoded text
    versions of as many as 25,000 of the titles listed in the
    Pollard & Redgrave and Wing short-title catalogues of early English
    printed books. Michigan is taking the lead on this undertaking,
    in collaboration with Oxford, and it seems likely to be a project
    with a high profile.

    Facility with this kind of work is a must, as are basic computer
    skills; some familiarity with the material (and the language)
    is preferred; experience with text markup (e.g. HTML, SGML) and/or
    text processing (e.g., regular-expression syntax, Perl), would
    certainly be helpful but are not essential.

    This is a middle-level non-librarian university library job with
    excellent benefits, a decent chance for advancement, and (for
    the uninitiated) a good opportunity to learn practical SGML
    while working on important humanities resources in a
    leading digital library program.

    Paul Schaffner | pfs@umich.edu | http://www-personal.umich.edu/~pfs/
    Text-encoding Coordinator + Middle English Compendium Production Mgr
    University of Michigan Digital Library Production Service

    [Cross-post and forward as you will.]

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