Digital Humanities Undergraduate Assistantship

The Digital Humanities Undergraduate Assistant undertakes a project in relation to the collections of W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections. Project details will be determined collaboratively by the student and the Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections.

Through this assistantship, students will be introduced to proper techniques for the handling and use of rare books and special materials, and how digitization can at once describe collections and interpret materials and collections for researchers. Projects will encourage research and use of rare books and special collections. Examples of project output include, but are not limited to, interpretive exhibits, visibility on social media platforms, mapping applications, and the development of metadata templates. At the conclusion of the assistantship, the student will: 

  • Be practiced in analyzing and organizing material for digitization; creating digital images; applying descriptive metadata to digitized material; and providing public access to digital material
  • Be familiar with physical materials that are the sources of digitized images and texts, and understand their organization, handling, conservation and post-digitization disposition with respect to digital projects.
  • Understand the practical implications of digital preservation as these affect their projects
  • Know how to present and/or publish their work in public venues such as “Inquiry@Queen’s”

The Digital Humanities Assistant will report to the Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections. 

Duration and Remuneration

The Digital Humanities Undergraduate Assistantship is a paid position with a flexible schedule averaging up to 10 hours per week during the fall and winter academic terms; or, full-time hours over 12 weeks during the summer term. Regular hours are to be decided and agreed upon at the beginning of each term. 


Registered Queen’s University undergraduate students are eligible to apply for a fall/winter term Assistantship. Applicants for a summer term Assistantship must be returning to studies in the fall. Applicants can be from any program of study, must demonstrate an interest in digital humanities or digital preservation, present a solid record of academic achievement, and demonstrate an interest in research through their application statement. 

Application Process

A call for applications will typically be issued on an annual basis. Candidates must submit a résumé and statement (max. 500 words) outlining their skills or talents, especially any that may apply to a digital project. The statement should also indicate how this position will help forward the candidate’s academic or professional aspirations. Contact information for two references who can speak to the candidate’s academic and career aspirations should also be submitted. Please send all materials to

Past Digital Humanities Undergraduate Assistants

Haley Svensrud (Summer 2023)

Haley Svensrud designed a digital exhibition based on her research into a collection of 16th century books acquired by Queen’s University Library with a gift from Bader Philanthropies, Inc., from the personal collection of Michael John Hatcher.  The collection features a dozen 16th century books printed in England, France, and Switzerland, covering a broad range of topics, highlighting the vast interests of readers throughout the period. Each volume bears evidence of former owners throughout the years in the form of marginalia, bookplates, and/or their bindings. Haley's exhibit draws on the Private Libraries in Renaissance England (PLRE) project database, compiled by the Folger Shakespeare Library, to build a contextual framework for analyzing and considering the changing intellectual trends of the 16th century, how the books may have been read, and the social positions of book owners and collectors: Fragmented Libraries: An Exploration of the Material Culture of 16th Century Books.  Funding for the 2023 Digital Humanities Undergraduate Assistantship was provided by Bader Philanthropies, Inc.

Abby Berry (2017-2018)

For her project, Abby Berry created a 3D model of Canterbury Cathedral using James Cole's engravings from The history and antiquities of the cathedral church of Canterbury, published in 1726. The antiquarian, John Dart completed the text for the book. The beautiful book is part of the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection. The 3D model is presented online in the context of the exhibit, James Cole's 18th-century Canterbury Cathedral engravings. Abby completed the assistantship as a fourth year undergraduate student in Art History and Mathematics. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Art History at Queen's University with a focus on technical art history.

Qi "Vivian" Fu, volunteer (2017-2018)

For her volunteer project, Vivian digitized, transcribed, and translated our collection of Chinese papercut posters. This unique collection reflects the history of the Chinese revolution from the founding of the Chinese Communist Party to the establishment of People's Republic of China. Vivian volunteered with us during her fourth year as an undergraduate Economics and Spanish student. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Library and Information Science with a concentration in User Experience Design at the University of Toronto.

Kelsey Jennings (2016-2017)

For her project, Kelsey Jennings digitized our Architectural Guidebooks collection which are now available on an Omeka site. She not only digitized each guidebook, but also mapped their locations. Her research led her to curate a virtual exhibit, Then & Now, that compares our contemporary collection of guidebooks with fascinating books of antiquities found within the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection. Kelsey completed the assistantship as a third year undergraduate student in Global Development Studies at Queen's University. She worked as a research assistant at BISC digitizing 19th-century periodicals Tit-Bits and The Strand in 2016.

Jenna Mlynaryk (2015-2016)

For her project, Jenna Mlynaryk digitized our Young Ladies’ Journal supplements which are now available through QSpace. Her research and digitization work culminated in the virtual exhibit, The Young Ladies’ Journal. Jenna completed the assistantship as a third year undergraduate student in English Language & Literature at Queen’s University. Her interests include Digital Humanities, cultural geography, pedagogy in elementary education, and music. She studied at the DH Field School at the BISC in 2015.

Tiffany Chan (2014-2015)

For her project, Tiffany Chan digitized our stereo card collection which are now available through QSpace. Her research and digitization work culminated in the virtual exhibit, Stereoscopic Views. Tiffany completed the assistantship as a fourth year undergraduate student in English Language & Literature at Queen’s University. Her interests (scholarly or otherwise) include Digital Humanities, 19th-century studies, multi-modal storytelling, and video games. She studied at the DH Field School at the BISC in 2014. Tiffany is currently pursuing a Masters in English with a focus on Digital Humanities at the University of Victoria.

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