Research Fellowship on Early Jewish Books, 1500-1700


Marsh’s Library is a perfectly preserved library of the early Enlightenment located in central Dublin. Established in 1707, it houses approximately 25,000 books from the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Marsh’s possesses a small, but intellectually significant, collection of almost 200 early Jewish books, which belonged to the founder of the Library, Narcissus Marsh. Most of these books are in Hebrew, but around half a dozen are in Yiddish.

The Project

In association with the Footprints: Jewish Books Through Time and Place project, Marsh’s Library wishes to appoint a qualified Research Fellow to a short-term project (three months) on these books. The successful candidate will:

– Provide accurate bibliographical details on these books.
– Collect copy-specific information from these books using ownership marks, inscriptions, annotations and marginalia.
– Research the provenance of the Jewish books in the collection using ownership marks, inscriptions, annotation and marginalia.
– Begin the initial planning for a physical and digital exhibition relating to the Jewish books in Marsh’s Library.
The details captured by the researcher will be used to improve the catalogue records of Marsh’s Library and to populate the Footprints database, which traces the movement of Jewish books through time and space.

This project at Marsh’s Library is intended to draw attention to Ireland as a site of Jewish history and culture, and to the book culture of early modern Jewish communities. It will also encourage scholars to use this neglected collection of early Jewish books, and to link it to other collections of a similar nature.

The Position

This position is open to suitably qualified scholars, librarians, or postgraduate students. A demonstrable interest in early-modern books, and a good knowledge of Hebrew is essential. Familiarity with Yiddish would be advantageous as would palaeographic skills for early modern hands in Roman and Hebrew characters.Training in cataloguing standards and the handling of rare books will be provided, if necessary.

The position is tenable for a period of three months at any time from 1 May 2017, but must be completed no later than 31 December 2017. The successful candidate will receive:

– A fellowship stipend of €3,000 per month for three months
– A contribution of up to €600 towards the cost of an economy return airfare/moving expenses from their home country.

If the successful candidate comes from outside Ireland, the Library will be able to assist with orientation in Dublin, and will be able to assist with the details of properties, or rooms in properties, available for short-term rent. If desired, the Research Fellowship may be split into two different periods of residence; however, return airfare/moving expenses can only be provided once.

How to Apply

The closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00pm (Irish time) on Wednesday, 1 March 2017. Applicants should send a letter of application and a CV to by this date.

They should also arrange to have two references sent to the same email address by 5.00 pm (Irish time) on Wednesday, 1 March 2017.

It is envisaged that interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place online in mid to late March 2017.


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