GIS Fellowship for Historical Chicago Data

Title: GIS Fellowship for Historical Chicago Data

Division/Department: Map Collection, University of Chicago Library

Reports to: GIS and Map Librarian

General Summary:

The GIS Fellow will undertake a project that enriches the University of Chicago’s Map Collection via geospatial technology. The Map Collection is comprised of over 450,000 paper maps, including important thematic maps from around the world. Several collections contain data, particularly demographic data from urban areas, which researchers need access to for longitudinal studies. The fellow will conduct an environmental scan to identify existing geospatial data of Chicago in the 19th and 20th centuries. Based on scan, the fellow will georeference important sheet map collections before digitizing data layers and creating metadata. These data layers will be made available via the Big Ten Academic Alliance Geoportal and locally at the university. The fellow will develop content that contextualizes the digitized data within existing resources.

Specific activities will vary according to fellow’s skills and interests, but may include:

  • Conduct a scan of existing geospatial data of Chicago in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Identify and prioritize sheet maps that will contribute to research programs on the development of Chicago
  • Scan and georeference maps using appropriate standards
  • Digitize data into vector layers
  • Prepare metadata and data documentation
  • Coordinate the preparation of maps and data for ingest into the BTAA Geoportal and local repositories
  • Participate in organization meetings and outreach activities relating to the project
  • Develop web content summarizing the contributions of the digitized data in relation to existing datasets


  • Enrolled in a UChicago graduate program and in good academic standing during the period of the fellowship
  • Demonstrated proficiency with GIS software
  • Knowledge of georeferencing, digitizing techniques, and metadata creation
  • Ability to prioritize research materials based on provided criteria
  • Strong written and oral communication skills

Hours and Schedule: Approximately 15 hours per week

Stipend: $3300 per academic quarter

Start Date: Winter 2018

To Apply:

Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter highlighting interest in the fellowship and relevant background experience to Cecilia Smith, GIS and Map Librarian The opportunity will remain open until filled.