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Postdoctoral Fellow in Pre-Columbian Art/Archaeology, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA), Dumbarton Oaks Research Library

Position Title: Postdoctoral Fellow in Pre-Columbian Art/Archaeology, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library


Dumbarton Oaks is a research institute affiliated with Harvard University that supports research internationally in the field of Pre-Columbian Studies. In addition to world-renowned library and museum collections, Dumbarton Oaks’ Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) holds more than a million unique items in a variety of media. Dumbarton Oaks is launching a three-year Access Initiative to expand opportunities to engage with its resources and collections by scholars and the general public. One goal of the Access Initiative is to create more professional opportunities for early-career PhDs in the areas of study supported by Dumbarton Oaks. The Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pre-Columbian Art/Archaeology (ICFA) is one of several opportunities that Dumbarton Oaks is announcing for 2019/2020 under this initiative.

The Postdoctoral Fellow in Pre-Columbian Art/Archaeology will receive training in archival processing and digital curation and will support digitization initiatives to increase access to ICFA collections for scholars and the public. The Fellow will be fully integrated into the Library and Pre-Columbian Program and will work closely with staff and Dumbarton Oaks researchers to establish intellectual control over ICFA’s multi-media holdings. The Postdoctoral Fellow will assist the staff of the Image Collection and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) with processing the Justin Kerr Collection, currently consisting of an initial 2,000 high-resolution digitized photographs and ultimately growing to encompass the entire corpus of Kerr’s Pre-Columbian photography. The primary goal of the Fellowship will consist of migrating and enhancing the content currently found at The Kerr Collection complements exhaustive documentation of Moche and Nasca ceramics in other ICFA collections. Outcomes of the fellowship may include a new gateway to Justin Kerr’s photographs of Maya ceramics and complementary material that will be similar to Dumbarton Oaks’ Moche Iconography site: This fellowship offers unique opportunities to build career skills in special collections and digital technologies while benefitting from the unique resources of Dumbarton Oaks. The Fellow will benefit from Dumbarton Oaks’ dynamic community of scholars and programming in Pre-Columbian Studies and will devote 20% of the fellowship time to personal research.


• PhD in Anthropology, Archaeology, or Art History with a specialization in the ancient Maya.
• Demonstrated experience working with Pre-Columbian ceramics through archaeological excavation, museum curation, or demonstrably close study and engagement of other sorts.

• Excellent research skills, particularly in the use of archival and photographic collections.

• Experience in a research library, archive, special collection, museum, or comparable environment.
• Strong computer skills, including experience using relational databases, collection management software, and electronic library resources.
• Experience with digital photography or digitization of photographs, slides, negatives, and other media, including working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Bridge or comparable software.

This is a one-year fellowship, with the possibility of renewal for two additional years. The Postdoctoral Fellow will have access to the outstanding resources of the institute and become part of the larger research community at Dumbarton Oaks. The Fellowship carries a stipend of $60,000 per year and the health insurance plan available to Fellows.

To Apply

Applications must be submitted by February 28 to Applicants should submit a cover letter, résumé, a statement of interest describing their professional and academic experience (1000 words), and should secure two letters of recommendation, sent directly by the recommenders to The Fellowship will begin on September 2, 2019. Applicants must have fulfilled all the requirements for the PhD by the time of application and must have received the PhD no later than July 31, 2019 and no earlier than July 31, 2015. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for onsite interviews at Dumbarton Oaks in April.