Project Cataloguer (Fixed Term) – Cambridge University Library

Curious Cures in Cambridge Libraries is a two-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust that will make approximately 8,000 unedited medical recipes in over 180 medieval manuscripts discoverable to researchers worldwide, developing a groundbreaking resource that will transform the ability of health researchers and historians to access and analyse a corpus of texts that document and reveal the daily practice of medicine in the medieval period. The Project cataloguers will situate the manuscripts in their intellectual, cultural and material contexts through the preparation of detailed catalogue descriptions and transcriptions, which will accompany cover-to-cover digitisation.

The project will be led by and based at Cambridge University Library, capitalising on the Library’s world-class infrastructure and expertise, and building on the success of recent large-scale cross collection digitisation projects. It will encompass all receptaria manuscripts – highly variable or unique combinations of recipe texts – as well as others that contain recipes as peripheral additions, in Cambridge University Library, the Fitzwilliam Museum and twelve college libraries. These manuscripts will be conserved and digitised in full, in order to guarantee continued physical access as well as to make them accessible around the world.

Three Project Cataloguer posts are available (two full-time, one part time), with responsibility for researching, cataloguing and transcribing these manuscripts. They will produce catalogue descriptions in TEI format using the XML editor Oxygen and following in-house guidelines drawn up in collaboration with the Bodleian Library, and prepare the descriptions for publication on the Cambridge Digital Library. The Project Cataloguers will also use Transkribus to produce fully searchable, hyperdiplomatic transcriptions of the recipe texts in TEI / XML. There will also be the opportunity to experiment with Transkribus’s Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) capabilities for selected manuscripts.

In addition, the Project Cataloguers will be responsible for disseminating project results via a dedicated project website, presentations to relevant scholarly networks, blog posts and other outreach initiatives. They will also participate in online and in-person project workshops, a hackathon for postgraduate students, and a concluding symposium.

Applicants should hold a post-graduate qualification in a relevant field, preferably a doctorate, and have a proven ability to read and catalogue manuscripts in Latin and Middle English. Knowledge of palaeography and codicology is essential. Research skills in the History of Science or Medicine and familiarity with medieval recipes and medical culture would be an advantage. Applicants must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, IT skills, and have the ability to work both on their own and as part of a team. Experience in using TEI to create catalogue records would be an advantage, though training in TEI, XML and Transkribus will be provided.

We welcome applications from individuals who wish to be considered for part-time working or other flexible working arrangements. We particularly welcome applications from candidates from a BAME background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented at this level in our institution. Informal enquiries are welcomed by Dr James Freeman, Principal Investigator and Medieval Manuscripts Specialist.

The closing date for applications is 2 January 2022. These posts are available from March 2022 for two years from the date of appointment. Interviews are scheduled for the week commencing 17th January 2022.

Full are details available on the job advertisement.