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Crowdsourcing for Western African Manuscripts Project/Fellowship

  • August 8, 2022
  • 5 min read
Crowdsourcing for Western African Manuscripts Project/Fellowship

Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Editorial Team

A small sample of Africans is targeted for the West African Manuscripts Crowdsourcing project fellowship.

Applications are welcome until December 1, 2022 at the British Library. The Endangered Archives Programme provides the grant.

It is well-known worldwide for its work protecting documentary historical content which may be destroyed, neglected, or abused.

It also grants funding for international projects whose goal is to digitize and store documents in British Libraries.

Chevening Western African Manuscripts Crowdsourcing Project Fellowship

  • Type: Fellowship
  • Organisation: Chevening
  • Course to study: Not specified
  • Gender: Men and Women
  • Application Deadline: November 1, 2022

Western African Manuscripts Crowdsourcing Project 2023

The fellowship will be run through the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP). The Programme has international acclaim for its efforts to safeguard archives that are in danger of destruction, neglect , or physical degradation.

EAP is a funder of projects from across the globe, in order to make electronic copies of the collections and to store these locally and inside the British Library.

Chevening Fellow Chevening Fellow will develop a community-based crowdsourcing initiative to increase the accessibility of around 10,000 digitally digitized West African manuscripts in Arabic script.

The EAP team wants to ensure that these manuscripts are given Arabic titles in the Library’s catalog and make easily accessible for local populations.

There is a present imbalance between titles in the their original scripts and English and non-standard transliterations.

This Library’s Digital Research team will provide direction to the Fellow in all aspects of establishing and overseeing the crowdsourcing components that comprise the research project.

The Fellow will manage and promote the project by drawing on their established relationships and establishing new contacts.

The Fellow’s knowledge of West African manuscript culture and the communities that are interested will provide experience, expertise, and support on the subject, drawing information from the crowdsourcing project as well as making preparations for the integration of the new information into the library’s catalog.

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About Chevening

Chevening is the UK government’s international awards program that aims to develop leaders from around the world.

It is funded through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) as well as other partners, Chevening offers two types of awards: Chevening Awards and Chevening Fellowships, the winners of which are selected by British embassies and high-commissions across the globe.

Chevening provides a unique opportunity for future leaders, influencers and decision-makers from around the world to grow academically and professionally and network extensively, as well as take part in UK cultural aspects.

Aim and Benefits of Chevening Western African Manuscripts Crowdsourcing Project Fellowship

  • 12 months of project-based activities within the British Library
  • Costs for living expenses to be paid for during the period of your fellowship
  • Economy airfares from your the country of origin to UK
  • The Library can grant up to a maximum of PS1,000. British Library for approved project-related costs
  • Access to a program of cultural events and activities arranged through FCDO and Chevening Secretariat. FCDO along with the Chevening Secretariat
  • Access to a highly-regarded worldwide network of more than 50,000 Chevening Alumni

Key Responsibilities

  • Create a crowdsourcing project to collect West African manuscripts using Zooniverse (guidance will be given)
  • Promote the crowdsourcing project in West Africa as well as relevant institutions that are not part of the region.
  • Connect with the contributors’ community
  • Promote the project in a more extensive manner through blog posts and highlights of collections on the Library’s website to further encourage engagement with the library’s collections

Deliverables

  • Make at least 5,000 titles in Arabic that will be included into the Library’s catalog
  • Develop a step-by step guide for the process of setting up a crowdsourcing campaign.
  • Create a written record of the lessons learned, and have the opportunity to incorporate ideas for an article and/or an oral speech for UK Libraries & Archives Group on Africa ( SCOLMA)
  • A piece about this project could be posted on the Asian and African Studies blog or in an external journal/newsletter
  • A show and tell session or staff talk

Development Opportunities

  • An insider’s view of curatorial work at an important national library and institutional for culture within the UK
  • Staff-level access to exclusive British Library collections and research tools, which includes access to training courses for staff workshops, talks and seminars
  • A thorough understanding of the activities that is carried out by the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) and opportunities to work together and closely British Library staff, in particular, with staff from the Digital Research and the EAP teams.
  • The opportunity to develop the written and spoken English through practice at work and collaboration with coworkers
  • Opportunities to network within opportunities for networking across British Library and a range of other networks within the UK and around the world, including attending conferences like the UK Libraries & Archives Group on Africa (SCOLMA) conference.
  • Specialized crowdsourcing training and the opportunity to market the project and get people involved by using a variety of social and communication channels

Requirements for Chevening Western African Manuscripts Crowdsourcing Project Fellowship Qualification

Essential

  • Reading proficiency in the script of Arabic/Ajami
  • A demonstrable understanding regarding Islamic manuscript culture
  • Computer skills are strong and you should be familiar with Excel spreadsheets
  • Excellent spoken and written English
  • Acquaintance with the use of social media

Desirable

  • Interest in Digital Humanities
  • Knowledge of metadata cataloguing
  • Written French

The applicant must be a resident of their country of origin at the time of submitting their application

How to Apply for Western African Manuscripts Crowdsourcing Project

Interested and qualified candidates should use the link below to apply.

For more details, visit Chevening website.

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