Fellows 07-09|Fellows 08-09|Practicum Settings

Background to the Fellowship Program

Note: These Master's-level Fellowships are no longer available.

Increasingly, the world's knowledge is being captured in digital formats. Management across the life cycle of these digital assets stands as one of the grand challenges of the early 21st Century. Preservation of access to these materials requires information and library science professionals with a blend of technology, organizational, and cultural skills and knowledge.

To meet this growing need, the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced the Carolina Digital Curation Fellowships. This program supports five graduate students interested in research and work in data and digital curation for two academic years (2007-09). Funded through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Carolina Digital Curation Fellows will combine coursework with a digital curation practicum assignment in a UNC-CH academic library, archive, or data center, leading to a master's degree in Information Science or Library Science or a Ph.D.

Update: Based on the success of the program in the Fellowship's inaugural year (2007/08), three of the project's practicum settings, University Library, Information Technology Services' Teaching and Learning Division, and the Odum Institute for Research in the Social Science, provided funding to support four additional Carolina Digital Curation Fellows for the 2008/09 academic year to help meet the growing digital curation challenges of their respective departments.

The program's goal is to produce high-quality information and library professionals prepared to work in the 21st century environment of trustworthy digital and data repositories. It offers successful applicants the unique opportunity to interact and collaborate with key international leaders in digital preservation from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand.

Ranked number one in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report, UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Information and Library Science (SILS) consistently takes a leadership role in today's ever-changing information and library science landscape. For seventy-five years SILS has educated individuals to work in the information and library science fields. Academic excellence has been a hallmark of the school since its establishment, with our graduates obtaining employment throughout the nation and the world. Visit the SILS website to learn more about our graduate programs.

What the Fellowship Offered

1. A work assignment in a data or digital repository
2. A stipend of $13,500 per year for two years
3. In-state tuition and health coverage
4. Mentorship by senior academic library, archives, and data center administrators

Meet the Fellows (2007-09)


Left AlignJohn Blythe, M.S.I.S.
John Blythe's first lesson in the need for digital curation and preservation occurred with receipt of a box of tapes made by John's grandfather during his long career as a newspaperman and writer in North Carolina. A native Chapel Hillian with a love of Tar Heel history and a fascination with sound, John found the box of tapes a gold mine of sound nuggets. But first he had to figure out how to listen to the old recordings and how to make them available to successive generations of his family. For John, whose 18-year career in journalism includes stints as a web editor, radio producer and newspaper reporter, the process of preserving and digitizing the tapes and the issues it raised were intriguing and the impetus for his return to his alma mater to pursue a Master's of Science in Information Science (MSIS).

The 1986 American Studies major looks at digital curation as a way to combine an interest in technology with an equally strong interest in storytelling, and, ultimately in recording history. John has worked on several projects, including the development of a processing workflow for born-digital items in the Southern Historical Collection and the mass digitization of audio for the Southern Oral History Program and the Southern Folklife Collection. His experience also includes processing, outreach and collection development for the Archive for Human Rights at Duke University. Download John's resume [pdf].

Left AlignLisa Gregory, M.S.L.S.
Lisa Gregory earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Samford University. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of New Mexico (UNM). Her library experience includes working as an undergraduate at the Special Collections Department of the Samford University Library, at the Bunting Digital Resources Library of UNM and, more recently, at D.H. Hill Library at North Carolina State University. Lisa earned a Master's of Science in Library Science (MSLS) at SILS in May 2009.

Lisa first became interested in digital curation while digitizing and preserving slide images at UNM. During her first year as a fellow, Lisa was able to advance those skills as part of the Digital Production Center of the Carolina Digital Library and Archives, where she scanned photographic negatives and positives, as well as large-scale maps and other two dimensional items. Image correction and manipulation were also part of this fellowship experience. In her second year, Lisa has been placed with the University Archives and Records Management Services department, where she has been exploring tools and best practice in archiving websites. Since graduation, Lisa has worked with RTI, International and is now the Digital Projects Liaison on the Digital Information Management Program team at the State Library of North Carolina. Download Lisa's resume [pdf].

Left AlignSamantha Guss, M.S.L.S.
Samantha is a graduate of Penn State University's Schreyer Honors College. During her time at UNC-CH she has worked at the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science on metadata, risk assessment, and user services projects, and has held reference positions at NC State's Burlington Textiles Library and UNC's Health Sciences Library. Before coming to library school, she worked on the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project at Penn State, preserving and microfilming historical Pennsylvania newspapers, and was an intern for the Hemingway Letters Project, a project to collect and publish the complete correspondence of Ernest Hemingway. Following receipt of her M.S.L.S in May 2009, Samantha is now the Data Services Librarian at New York University. Download Samantha's resume [pdf].

Left AlignJennifer Mantooth, M.S.I.S.
Jennifer is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. After graduation, she filled a temporary position in the Duke University Library System as a language lab coordinator for the foreign language labs. In this position she witnessed first hand the value of digitized text and media as learning tools and the potential for future growth and application. Jennifer earned a Master's of Science in Information Science (MSIS) at UNC-CH in May 2009, with a focus on Digital Curation. Her professional interests lie in the research and advancement of digitized media. Download Jennifer's resume [pdf].

Left AlignMark Swails, M.S.L.S.
Originally from Alpharetta, Georgia, Mark entered the Master's Science in Library Science (MSLS) program at SILS in Fall 2007. Before coming to UNC-CH, he received his BA and MA degrees in American History from Emory University in Atlanta, focusing in Southern History. He first became interested in librarianship through a student job at Emory's Heilbrun Music and Media Library. This interest, combined with his work with historical documents, ultimately led him to digital curation. Through his work as a Carolina Digital Curation Fellow, Mark hopes to work towards making information more broadly and easily available, and to gain experience that will help him pursue this goal throughout his career. Following receipt of his M.S.L.S. in May 2009, Mark is now the Digital Services Librarian at the Hoke O'Kelley Memorial Library at the Oxford Campus of Emory University. Download Mark's resume [pdf].

Meet the Fellows (2008-09)


Alexandra Chassanoff, M.S.I.S.
Alex is originally from New England and holds a BA from Brandeis University. She spent several years in the IT field as a database programmer, data conversion analyst, and digital asset manager. The lack of standards and best practices for managing digital materials originally spurred Alex's desire to return to school. In December 2009, she received her Masters of Information Science (MSIS) from UNC-Chapel Hill. She also has a long-standing interest in community involvement. She co-founded and ran a volunteer non-profit dog rescue organization and has been active in college radio since 1993.

Currently, Alex is a doctoral student at SILS working with Dr. Richard Marciano to investigate repository interoperability at the policy level. Her research interests include metadata quality, digital humanities and information visualization, and policy-based preservation environments. She continues to be interested in community-related initiatives, particularly in the development of tools and resources for digital history projects.

T. Mike Childs
T. Mike is a native North Carolinian who received his BA in Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures from UNC-CH. He spent 9 years in Los Angeles, working in several IT-related positions. He also authored The Rocklopedia Fakebandica, a compendium of fictional music groups that was published in 2004. T. Mike returned to Chapel Hill in 2006, and is pursuing a Master's of Science in Library Science (MSLS) at SILS. He is interested in archives and record management, and has worked in the Manuscripts Department and Rare Books Collection in Wilson Library. Download T. Mike's resume [pdf].

Left AlignKatherine-Rose Repp
Katie-Rose Repp's professional interests converge in digital librarianship and digital projects. Outside of a five-year detour into ESL (English as a Second Language) education in Taiwan, much of her career has been spent in libraries, from the public library in her hometown of Rochester, NY, to Pattee Library at Penn State, where she received her BA in History from the Schreyer Honors College in 2001. Prior to beginning her studies at SILS, she worked at the Boston branch of the Internet Archive, which is digitizing the collections of a large number of New England libraries and making them publicly available. As a DigCCurr fellow, she assisted with IT Services' Sakai CLE (collaborative learning environment) pilot project, focusing particularly on the user help documentation.

She has also interned at the NPR Broadcast Library and at Modernista!, developing a metadata schema for their digital asset management system. She currently works as a digitization assistant at UNC's Southern Historical Collection. Katie-Rose plans to graduate from SILS in May 2010, with her MSIS. Download Katie-Rose's resume [pdf].

Left AlignTara Wink
Tara received her bachelors degree in History and German at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. While a student at Gettysburg, she worked in the Special Collections and College Archives department of Musselman Library. Her duties included the usual archival responsibilities such as reference, preservation, and processing collections as well as working with the rising number of Digital Collections at the College. After graduation, she continued working at Musselman Library as the Barbara Holley Intern, floating throughout the library and working in every department. Ultimately this internship influenced her decision to come to graduate school and become a librarian. While at SILS, she plans focusing her degree on Archives and Records Management, leading to a career in an archive where she can use her digital curation experience to preserve and create access to unique items. Download Tara's resume [pdf].

Local Practicum Settings


University Library:
Three Fellows have been assigned to the University Library. The Fellows will be gaining valuable, hands-on experience working on a number of established and emerging initiatives, including the award winning digital publishing initiative, Documenting the American South (DocSouth), the University's developing Carolina Digital Repository program, the the Southern Historical Collection, and the University Archives.

Information Technology Services (ITS) Teaching and Learning division
The three Fellows assigned to the Teaching and Learning division will work on several projects with the overall intent of applying principles of digital curation to practical teaching and learning applications. Particular foci include investigations into open source course management systems, outreach and engagement in regard to emerging technologies, and development of enhanced virtual learning environments.

The Odum Institute for Research in Social Science
This practicum setting will provide the two assigned Fellows with opportunity to investigate data life cycle characteristics in the particular context of a social science data repository. The Fellow will contribute to initiatives exploring Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) compliance and IQSS Dataverse Network usability, clarity and functionality.

ibiblio.org, a conservancy of freely available information and home to one of the largest "collections of collections" on the Internet, provides several unique opportunities for its assigned Fellow. The Fellow will work on the improvement of collection browse functionalities through the identification and tagging of archival sites, and locating and registering unregistered sites. Additionally, the Fellow will contribute to the development of automated collections' index registration processes at the point of collection creation, and investigate OAI compliance capabilities through application of Dublin Core metadata elements.