‘Representing Multicultural Australia in National and State Libraries’ PhD Scholarship

The ARC funded project ‘Representing Multicultural Australia in National and State Libraries’ is seeking a prospective PhD candidate. The project will offer a three-year scholarship (of approximately $30,000 p/a tax free), expert supervision, and the opportunity to be closely involved in an exciting and topical collaborative research project. The project’s chief investigators are Professor Klaus Neumann, Deakin University, and Dr Ian McShane, RMIT University.

The project aims to investigate how the collections of the National Library and three state libraries (NSW, SA and Victoria) represent the diversity of histories and cultures of people in Australia. It will analyse the relevant policy environments, policies and practices of the four libraries, focusing on how libraries collect and make available material about the lives and communities of multicultural Australia in the past and present. The project will develop strategies to enhance library collections, and implement and evaluate a pilot project to test these strategies. The investigators expect the project to result in informed public debate about the contours of Australia’s history and heritage, and Australia’s identity as a multicultural nation.

As part of the broader research project, the PhD student will work on a self-contained study of the policies, programs and projects that have informed the collection of material related to the histories and cultures of Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds at the State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW). The research might focus broadly on the institution’s collection, or on parts of the collection, such as oral history or photography.

This study is co-funded by SLNSW. The student would ideally be based in Sydney, and commence in early 2019. SLNSW will provide desk accommodation, and the student will have an opportunity to work closely with SLNSW staff and collections.

The candidate will be enrolled at RMIT University and needs to meet academic requirements for entry to the RMIT PhD degree (information about this is available through the RMIT School of Graduate Research). Supervision will be provided by Dr Ian McShane, and funding will be provided to enable travel to Melbourne for candidature milestones, and to participate in project team meetings.

The project seeks candidates with a background in history, library studies, cultural studies, or related disciplines, and a High Distinction honours degree or equivalent. Your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree must have a significant research component, such as an honours or minor thesis.

Expressions of interest ought to include a covering letter, a CV, an academic transcript, the names and contact details of two academic referees, and two unpublished writing samples.

Please direct all enquiries to Dr Ian McShane, ian.mcshane@rmit.edu.au. Expressions of interest should be sent by email to that same address.

Deadline: 15 November 2018