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About the Program

Applications are open for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 Buchanan Library Fellows.

The Buchanan Library Fellows Program

The Buchanan Library Fellowship program is designed to create in-depth learning experiences for students. The program is open to undergraduate students who are interested in participating in strategic projects for Vanderbilt Libraries over the course of a semester. With faculty and professional librarians as mentors, students work on tactical library projects that will benefit library users. Fellows commit to attending weekly seminars where they work together on multidisciplinary teams to complete their project. They present their work at the end of their fellowship. Selected students learn new skills and complete immersive projects that add to their expertise and resumes. Projects may involve work with rare print and digital collections enhancing accessibility, social media, exhibits and print resources. Through the Buchanan Library Fellowship program, our libraries promote undergraduate research.

Program Benefits

  • Opportunity to add discrete project to resume and build contacts
  • Expand research skills
  • Applied learning opportunity
  • 10 weekly classes supplement independent teamwork
  • Work with leading experts in the library field

Spring 2020 Fellowships

Encoding Music Manuscripts in Vanderbilt University Special Collections Apply Here
The Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) is the musical parallel to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). Used in various musical digital editions across the globe, MEI has in recent years arisen to become the premiere application of digital humanities methods in the sphere of music scholarship and analysis. This project seeks to acquaint a new generation of students to the nuts and bolts of coding notated music as applied to manuscripts held by the Libraries' Special Collections. As well as developing skills in coding and project management, students will explore how music is distinct from, overlaps with, and can be connected to other subject areas within the larger digital community. The conclusion of the project will consist of a public presentation. Prerequisites: 1) Ability to read notated music; 2) Unless cleared in advance, attendance at the MEI Workshop over Fall Break, 24-27 October 2019. Contacts: Jake Schaub, Dr. Joy Calico.

Fall 2019 Fellowships

Strengthening Ties: Cornelius Vanderbilt and the Founding of Vanderbilt University/Celia Walker and Mary Anne Caton [Date TBD] Apply Here 
Vanderbilt students celebrate founder's day on March 17, the day Cornelius Vanderbilt wrote to Bishop Holland Nimmons McTyeire, "I make the following offer, through you, to the Corporation known as the Central University of the Methodist Episcopal Church South...." From this gift sprang our university. But what is (or was) Central University? And who was Holland McTyeire? And how did Cornelius Vanderbilt, a northern financier, get the idea of giving such a large sum of money to a southern institution, a place he never visited? These are just a few of the stories that may be found in the rare letters, photographs and artifacts held in Vanderbilt University's Special Collections. If you are interested in Vanderbilt University's history and would like to know how to curate an exhibition, please apply for this fall 2019 Buchanan Fellowship program. Contact: Celia Walker

 The Evolution of the Peabody Esplanade/Steve Baskauf and Stacy Curry-Johnson [Date TBD]  Apply Here

The Peabody Esplanade is one of Vanderbilt's iconic greenspaces, framed by rows of stately trees.  Yet when Peabody was founded a little over a century ago, it looked nothing like it does today.  How did a space occupied by randomly placed trees evolve into the Jeffersonian styled campus envisioned by the planners of Peabody?  This project will involve GIS analysis of historic aerial photographs, measurement of the location and size of existing trees, and creation of a permanent tree database.  At the conclusion of the project, we plan for the results to be used to create an exhibit to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Peabody Library, as well as recognition of the trees on the Esplanade that have been determined to be over 100 years old. Contact: Susan Grider

Text Mining at Scale [Fridays, 2:00-3:00] Apply Here
Interested in working with textual data at scale? XQuery is a great language to learn if you are working with semi-structured data of any sort—literary texts encoded in TEI, bibliographic data in JSON, or even tabular data that you are currently keeping in Excel. By learning XQuery, you’ll learn how to explore hidden patterns in your data and to visualize them for others. We’ll also teach you how to connect and combine different sources of data. This semester, we will focus particularly on querying large sets of textual data using Apache Spark, a framework for querying distributed data sets, and Sparqsonic, an emerging query language for Spark based on XQuery. After completing the sessions this semester, you will be able to explore and extract information from big data sets in the humanities, social sciences, or other disciplines with ease and confidence. Fellows must be available to meet during the XQuery Working Group, which meets from 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. on Fridays during the fall semester. Contact: Susan Grider

Applications are open for the Fall 2019 Buchanan Library Fellows.