Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow, Early Modern Book History, Johns Hopkins University

The Virginia Fox Stern Center for the History of the Book in the Renaissance at Johns Hopkins University seeks applications for a full-time, two-year post-doctoral Fellow position (2021-23) whose work will focus on the early modern (i.e., 1450-1750) rare book and manuscript collections of the Sheridan Libraries. These include the holdings of the historic George Peabody Library and John Work Garrett Library at Evergreen, as well as the JHU Homewood Campus library collections. Reporting to the Nancy H. Hall Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, the Stern Center Curatorial Fellow will engage directly in the active interpretation and expansion of research and scholarly access to these collections through Stern Center programs, undergraduate and graduate-level instruction, major exhibitions and allied scholarly publications, and the creation of on-line content for a dedicated Stern Center website to be hosted by the Sheridan Libraries.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities

The Fellow will work with the Stern Center Director in a sustained engagement with these rare book and manuscript collections, and in all aspects of the Center’s robust program of visiting lectures, symposia, fellowships, and master classes. The successful candidate will directly support the integration of the collections into the fundamental research and teaching missions of Johns Hopkins University across its broad and diverse community of faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and libraries and museums staff.

Assigned to the Sheridan Libraries’ division of Special Collections and Scholarly Resources, the Stern Center Curatorial Fellow will also collaborate with rare book and manuscript curators, librarians, museum specialists, technologists, conservators, and digitization staff in an array of activities that will create strong, meaningful, and interdisciplinary opportunities for professional development and hands-on skills in preparation for a future teaching and/or rare book and manuscript curatorial career.

Specific projects to be undertaken by the Fellow will include the coordination of all academic programs organized by the Stern Center Director, in consultation with the Stern Center Faculty Board. These will generally include: 8-10 visiting lecturers per academic year, visiting research fellows, graduate-student master classes taught in Baltimore/Washington, DC area, and the supervision of Sheridan Dean’s Undergraduate Research Award recipients. This coordination will also encompass 2-3 international Stern Center Symposia focusing on specific themes: (1) the history of the New World discovery (in conjunction with the Department of History’s 2021-22 “Global Atlantic” initiative with the Folger Shakespeare Library); (2) early modern (pre-1700) single-sheet ephemera; and (3) a recently acquired archive relating to the forgery of ancient manuscripts.

The Fellow will also participate in the conception, organization, and execution of a major rare book and manuscript exhibition from the libraries’ “Women of the Book Collection” (October 2021-January 2022) and an allied publication under contract with the Penn State University Press. This is the world’s largest collection of research materials focused specifically entirely on the lives on early modern women. Additional opportunities may include participation in grant-supported digital humanities initiatives related to the Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe resource (

The successful applicant will be encouraged to attend and engage actively in regular seminar and lecture series hosted by the various humanities departments of the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, including those co-sponsored by JHU’s Singleton Center for the Study of Premodern Europe, the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute, and the Media Literacy division of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures.


Qualifications (mandatory)

  • PhD in a relevant humanities field granted between January 2018 and June 2021. If the doctoral degree has not yet been awarded, firm documented evidence of timely completion within a reasonable period must be provided as a condition of appointment
  • A track record of high-quality and imaginative scholarly research in a humanities field, with an emphasis on the early modern period (c. 1450-1750).
  • Demonstrated reading proficiency in Latin and one or more foreign languages, in particular Italian, French, Spanish, German, and/or Dutch.
  • Demonstrated ability to undertake and self-direct work on multiple scholarly research projects at the same time.
  • Experience in university-level course instruction.
  • Knowledge of recent developments in scholarship focused on the history of the book and material texts, both in manuscript and print.
  • Knowledge of digital humanities resources, and the integration of humanistic scholarly research material within the digital environment in support of innovative scholarship and discovery.
  • Ability to articulate clearly the importance of primary source materials in the classroom and in scholarly communications across a broad range of students and researchers.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in editing and copy editing scholarly prose for publication (e.g. print publications, interpretive exhibition labels and panels, on-line web presentation, etc.).
  • Excellent oral and written communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Must be legally permitted to work in the United States between July 2021 and August 2023.
  • Must be able to work on location in Baltimore, Maryland

Preferred qualifications

  • Applied scholarly research and publications in the history of the book during the early modern period, and an advanced understanding of current scholarship in those fields.
  • Paleographical knowledge of early modern scribal book and court hands.

Application Instructions

For consideration, please apply no later than June 15, 2021. Please submit the following: (a) cover letter; (b) curriculum vitae; (c) list of two references with names, titles, institutions, email addresses, and telephone numbers; and (d) a one-page “Statement of Research,” outlining your specific scholarly research expertise and near-term interests.  If you have any questions, you may contact Earle HavensNancy H. Hall Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts, & Director of the Virginia,

Visit the full job posting for more information and to apply.