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Research Assistantship for Digitisation of UK Japanese Collections, funded by Ishibashi Foundation

Since June 2022, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures has launched the innovative ‘Ishibashi Foundation Digital Futures’ initiative. This initiative, generously supported by the Ishibashi Foundation, aims to establish pioneering digital platforms that forge connections between students, early career researchers, curators, and established specialists, granting them access to Japanese art collections across Europe, the US, and Japan.

One of our key areas of focus within this initiative is the digitisation of Japanese arts in UK collections. This project aims to bring unparalleled experience in the digital recording of Japanese art collections in museums in the UK. Work to date has mainly focused on two-dimensional art (prints, paintings, drawings and associated paper archives). This strand of activity will develop new methods for the recording of three-dimensional artworks, in particular those whose ‘shininess’ makes them inherently difficult to capture digitally (for example, lacquerware and metalwork). Practical sessions to achieve these objectives will take place at prestigious locations such as Chiddingstone Castle and the National Museum of Scotland.

As part of our initiative, we are aiming to invite four research assistants for the following locations:

National Museum of Scotland
Objective: Digitise over 400 sword ornaments in the collection.
Dates: 17-21 July 2023 (10.00-17.00)
Orientation: An orientation session will be held on 14 July, 2023, at the Sainsbury Institute. The exact date will be confirmed later, with flexibility provided to accommodate the candidate’s schedule. Please note that all travel expenses related to this orientation session will be covered by the project

Chiddingstone Castle
Objective: Digitise approximately 600 urushi lacquerware pieces in the collection.
Dates: 28-30 June, 7-8 August, and 14-17 August 2023 (10.00-17.00)
Orientation: An orientation session is scheduled to occur at the Castle from 28-30 June 2023.

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to contribute to the digitisation of a significant collection, assisting with sophisticated digital photography, digital data management, and cataloguing tasks.

We invite applications from individuals with graduate-level academic backgrounds in Japanese or East Asian art history, library science, museum studies, or archival studies. Desirable skills include proficiency in computer software, particularly database programmes, relevant museum or archival experience, object handling and experience in photography and/or data processing or managing digital resources.

Please note, whilst travel expenses within the UK, accommodation and a daily subsistence allowance will be provided, these positions do not include additional remuneration.

We kindly request that all applications be submitted to r.matsuba@uea.ac.uk by 5pm on Thursday 15 June 2023. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted. The application form can be found here.

We look forward to receiving your application and potentially collaborating on this exhilarating project.