Application Deadline: 1 November 2022
The West African Manuscripts Crowdsourcing Project Fellowship is aimed at individuals from Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal
This fellowship will be hosted by the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP). The Programme is of international prominence in its mission to preserve documentary heritage at risk of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration. EAP funds projects from all over the world, to create digital copies of collections and deposit these both locally and within the British Library.
The Chevening Fellow will develop a community crowdsourcing project to improve the discoverability of approximately 10,000 digitised West African manuscripts in Arabic script. The EAP team is keen to ensure these manuscripts are assigned Arabic titles within the Library’s catalogue, making them more accessible to local communities. There is a current imbalance between titles being in original script, English or non-standard transliterations. The Library’s Digital Research team will provide guidance to the Fellow on all aspects of setting up and overseeing the crowdsourcing elements of the project.
The Fellow will oversee and promote the crowdsourcing project, drawing upon their already established contacts and developing new ones. The Fellow’s understanding of West African manuscript culture and interested communities will bring expertise, support and guidance to the project, harnessing contributions from the crowdsourcing project and preparing the integration of the new data into the Library’s catalogue.
Set up a crowdsourcing project for West African manuscripts using Zooniverse (guidance will be provided)Promote the crowdsourcing project within West Africa as well as relevant institutions outside of the regionEngage with the community of contributorsHelp promote the project more widely through blog articles and collection highlights on the Library’s webpage, to encourage further engagement with the collections
Create at least 5,000 titles in Arabic, to be incorporated into the Library’s catalogueCreate a step-by-step guide on setting up a crowdsourcing projectCreate a document about lessons learnt, with opportunity to develop insights into an article and/or a presentation for the UK Libraries & Archives Group on Africa (SCOLMA)An article about the project on the Asian and African Studies blog or in an external newsletter/journalA show & tell session/staff talk
Fluency in reading Arabic/Ajami scriptDemonstrable knowledge of Islamic manuscript cultureStrong computer skills and familiarity with Excel spreadsheetsExcellent written and spoken EnglishFamiliarity with using social media
Interest in Digital HumanitiesUnderstanding of cataloguing metadataWritten French
12-month period of project-based activity at the British LibraryLiving expenses for the duration of the fellowshipReturn economy airfare from home country to the UKUp to £1,000 from the British Library for approved project-related expensesAccess to a programme of cultural events and activities organised by the FCDO and the Chevening SecretariatAccess to a highly regarded global network of over 50,000 Chevening Alumni
Individuals must be residents in their home country at the time of making their application.
This fellowship is open to candidates from Mali/Niger, Nigeria and Senegal
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