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Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Digital History and Geography of the American Revolutionary War Era

Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Digital History and Geography of the American Revolutionary War Era

The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon and the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library invite applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in the Digital History and Geography of the American Revolutionary War Era beginning in Spring 2021. This position combines scholarly work in the history and geography of North America in the late eighteenth century with development and stewardship of a digital public history project. This position is renewable for up to one additional year at a salary of $58,500 annually. This is a benefits-eligible position.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work remotely. The Washington Library may facilitate a short residency at Mount Vernon and the Boston Public Library to work with physical map collections and collaborate with project team members.

Project ARGO:

The postdoctoral fellow will work closely with key partners at both institutions, including the Digital Historian at the Washington Library’s Center for Digital History and the Leventhal Center’s Curator of Maps & Director of Geographic Scholarship, to advance the creation and intellectual development of ARGO: American Revolutionary Geographies Online.

ARGO is a multi-institutional digital repository and research platform designed to inspire research, teaching, and learning about Revolutionary War-era maps and cartography. The project encompasses the years 1750 to 1800. It builds on an earlier initiative by the Leventhal Center aimed at bringing together major cartographic collections from various institutional partners in the United States and the United Kingdom. ARGO expands the scope and scale of these original digital efforts by leveraging existing frameworks and new technologies to drive new research and pedagogical engagement through curated content and scholarship.

The postdoctoral fellow will serve as project manager for ARGO. Reporting primarily to the Washington Library’s Digital Historian, with guidance from the Leventhal Center’s Curator of Maps & Director of Geographic Scholarship, the project manager will:

  • Co-develop ARGO’s new digital architecture
  • Liaise with a hired development team contracted for ARGO’s frontend development
  • Coordinate with contributing partner institutions and assist in the selection of relevant archival materials, which may involve some travel
  • Curate and write original interpretive content
  • Present on ARGO and its content to professional and general audiences

This fellow will work with the project’s steering committee and have the opportunity to collaborate with the project's external advisors as well as scholars, curators, and educators in North America and elsewhere in the world. 

The postdoctoral fellow will devote 80% of their time on ARGO’s development and 20% to their own scholarly projects.


  • Degree requirements. One of the following qualifications, likely earned, within the past five years:
    • (Preferred) A Ph.D. in History, Geography, History of Science, American Studies, Library and Information Science, or a related field.
    • (Possible) A MLIS or MLS degree specializing in History, Geography/Cartography, Rare Books, or Digital Humanities
  • Topical expertise. The candidate should demonstrate scholarly expertise in one of the following fields, or a closely related field:
    • History of the Atlantic world during the American Revolutionary era
    • History of science in the early modern era
    • Material and print culture of the Atlantic world
    • Historical geography of North America
    • History of cartography
    • A chronological focus on the eighteenth century
  • Project expertise. The candidate should have working experience in one or more of the following domains:
    • Digital projects for the public
    • Digitally-integrated scholarly research (including computational methods or large-corpus analysis)
    • Database design and management
    • Public-facing journalism or science communications
    • Museum curation or library collections management
  • Ability to work in a collaborative, remote digital environment

Applications Must Include:

  • Cover letter stating their interest in the project and their research interests.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • A scholarly writing sample of no more than 10,000 words.
  • A writing sample aimed at a public audience of no more than 1,000 words.
  • Evidence of successful digital history/humanities work.
  • List of three professional references who can speak to the desired qualifications, including email and telephone contact details.

Please submit your application by April 15, 2021. 

Submit An Application