On These Grounds Project Graduate Assistant

UNC Libraries is one of five archival repositories selected as “testing partners” for the On These Grounds (OTG) project. OTG is designed to “surface the history of slavery on our campus by carefully examining the institutional archives and related collections”. You can read more about the program here: https://onthesegrounds.org/s/OTG/page/about. Our project team includes a historian, several archivists, a metadata librarian, and this graduate assistant position

This position incorporates themes and principles from UNC Libraries’ Reckoning (https://library.unc.edu/reckoning/)  work and initiatives related to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA https://library.unc.edu/idea/ ).

This position serves for one academic year, encompassing Fall 2021 and Spring 2022.

This is a primarily on-site position in Wilson Special Collections Library, with limited opportunities for remote work.

Time: 20 hours per week

Reports to: Technical Services Archivist, Laura Hart


  • Approach the records of the enslaved with an acknowledgement of the multiple types of systemic violence that produced these fragmented records and a persistent effort to recover the human lives reflected in these documents
  • Work collaboratively to develop and implement workflows for tagging and interpreting records of the enslaved in Wilson Special Collections Library
  • Learn how to create metadata for event descriptions and people described in 19th century manuscript materials
  • Enter data in the Omeka-S platform
  • Reflect on individual and collaborative efforts of the project through presentations, written reports, and group meetings
  • Complete testing/documentation forms
  • Meet with project team regularly to share updates
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Awareness of the Libraries’ work around inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA)
  • Experience in conducting archival research
  • Undergraduate degree in the humanities or library science
  • Familiarity with standard office software
  • Ability to interact within a team environment and with other library departments
  • Effective communication skills, both written and oral


  • Interest in the records of the enslaved in university libraries
  • Experience in digital humanities, linked data, or metadata creation
  • Familiar with current scholarship in Comparative Literature, History, American Studies,
  • Awareness of reparative description initiatives in academic libraries
  • Facility reading handwritten documents


  • $1672.67/monthly with no additional benefits.

How to Apply:

If you are interested in this position, please submit a resume and cover letter to chaitra@email.unc.edu. We will give priority to applications received by July 31, 2021