Black History Archives Student Residency

Position title: Student Resident
Department: Special Collections, Vanier Library
Status: Part-time student residency with 15 hours per week for 8 weeks
Date posted: March 25, 2022
Application deadline: Monday, April 11, 2022, 9:00 am
Advertised until: Position is filled

About

Concordia University Library's Special Collections houses a large and growing collection of Black History and community archives that serve as an important record of the histories and contributions of Montreal's English-speaking Black communities. The Black History and community archives contain records documenting the activities and interests of community organizations and individuals and cover a wide variety of topics, including community activism, social justice, politics, arts and culture, social and economic issues, and education, among many others. The archives include textual records, such as newspapers, reports, correspondence, and financial documents; photographic materials; artworks; oral histories; and more.

The Black History Archives Student Residency in Special Collections program offers a Concordia student enrolled in full or part-time studies at any level the opportunity to discover and explore the materials held by the Library's Special Collections; to learn about archives and using primary sources; and to develop their research skills in a supported and stimulating environment.

The student resident will have the freedom to explore any of the materials in the Library's Special Collections, though it is hoped that the Black History and community archives will be activated through this research and discovery focused residency.

The student resident will work to complete a project based on what they have learned in the archives held in Special Collections. The final project could be a research paper; a newspaper or magazine article; a creative work, such as a 2D or 3D artwork; an exhibition; a website; an interactive timeline or data mapping project; an oral history interview; a community-based initiative; an educational resource, or anything in between. The outcome will be driven by student interest. It is hoped that the projects proposed will include a public-facing component, in which the results of their work can be shared widely, though this is not a requirement. The student will prepare a short report at the end of their residency or provide a copy of their final project to the Library for inclusion in Special Collections.

Objectives of the program

  • To support the research and learning goals of the student resident by providing a supported opportunity to work with rare and archival materials held in the collection of the Library's Special Collections.
  • To foster student interest and engagement with archives and archival research.
  • To activate the Black History archives through research and hands-on exploration.
  • To connect the Black History archives preserved at Concordia University Library with a new generation of learners and community members.

Features of the program

  • The residency will run for a period of 8 weeks at 15 hours per week. The student resident will conduct their research and complete their project outcome at the Vanier Library on Concordia's Loyola Campus. The student resident's schedule will be determined in consultation with the Special Collections Archivist.
  • This is a paid student resident program. The rate of pay is determined using the scale established by Concordia University. For undergraduate students, the rate of pay is currently $16.75 per hour. Masters students receive $21.20 per hour and PhD students receive $28.75 per hour of work.
  • The student in residence will be supervised by the Special Collections Archivist. Mentorship will be provided by the Library's current Researcher-in-Residence.
  • Instruction on how to conduct primary source research will be offered at the start of the residency. Training will be provided in how to conduct primary source research; how to cite and ethically use archival resources; and understanding copyright. Depending on the interests of the students, training may also cover other areas, including digital scholarship and research data.
  • The program is an opportunity for the student resident to learn about archival resources and conducting primary source research; to broaden and develop research skills in a supportive environment; to discover archival resources in a variety of areas, with particular emphasis on the Black History and community archives preserved by the Library's Special Collections; to conduct primary source research; and to prepare a research or creative project based on their work with rare and archival materials.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies in any Concordia faculty (full or part-time). They must be enrolled at the time of application and be eligible for student work for the duration of the residency.
  • Applicants must be registered with the Black Perspectives Office.

Anticipated start date

  • It is anticipated that the student resident will begin their work in May 2022. It is hoped that the student will begin the week of May 9, 2022. The official start date is to be discussed with the successful applicant.

How to apply

  • To apply, please submit an expression of interest that tells us a bit about yourself, why you are interested in learning about and working with archival materials, and if possible, what materials you are interested in working with and a brief description of your anticipated project outcome. Please note that it is not necessary to have your outcome firmly defined at this stage, this is something the successful candidate will have time to determine during the residency. Your expression of interest should be about 1 page in length (approximately 500 words).
  • The Library will work with the Black Perspectives Office to select an interested student registered with their office.

Deadline

  • The application process for the Black History Archives Student Residency in Special Collections is now open.
  • The deadline for receiving expressions of interest is April 11, 2022, at 9:00 AM. They may be submitted in either English or French.
  • Expressions of interest should be submitted as a PDF file to Sandra Biron, Library Personnel Assistant: employment.library@concordia.ca.
  • Questions about the program or how to apply can be directed to Alexandra Mills, Special Collections Archivist, alexandra.mills@concordia.ca.
  • The successful applicant will be notified in April 2022.

Territorial Acknowledgement

Concordia University is located on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien'kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of the lands and waters on which we gather today. Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations. Today, it is home to a diverse population of Indigenous and other peoples. We respect the continued connections with the past, present and future in our ongoing relationships with Indigenous and other peoples within the Montreal community.

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