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Digital Fellowship: Guidelines


The Digital Fellowship has been established as an opportunity for creative technologists and digital humanists to work collaboratively with the Library in developing new and exciting ways to discover, view, experience and use the State Library Victoria collection.


The project will be required to deliver a practical outcome that furthers the Library's Digital Experience Transformation Strategy (see More to explore, below), such as a new way to:

  • browse or search digitised collections
  • interact with, and learn about, individual collection items
  • understand the nature of the Library's collection by scope, theme or time period
  • present engaging narratives around subsets of the collection by topic or creator
  • support new forms of scholarship.

The projects undertaken at the British Library Labs, for example, give an indication of the possibilities of applying digital technologies to cultural heritage materials, and the ways in which the work, life and imagination of the public can be enriched.


The recipient is expected to build and deliver by the end of June 2020, at a minimum, a working prototype of their project.

This prototype will be hosted on the Library's infrastructure and made available for the public to use on the Library website and via a digital device or large-scale screen within the Library building.

Documentation will be required to accompany the prototype.

Any code and datasets used in the project must be made openly available on the Library's Github account (where appropriate) for others to reuse.

The recipient of the Digital Fellowship will also be expected to:

  • liaise regularly with the Library's Digital Experience Division to ensure their project outcome will be compatible with SLV digital standards and infrastructure requirements
  • make short presentations on the progress of their project to internal stakeholders as required
  • write a short article/blog post on their fellowship project and processes for online publication by the Library at the conclusion of their fellowship
  • be available for publicity purposes, including interviews with the media, to promote the fellowship
  • acknowledge the support of the Digital Fellowship and State Library Victoria in any publication or presentation about, or promotion of, the project.

What does a fellowship offer?

The fellowship can be undertaken over three months full time or longer if part-time.

The recipient will receive:

  • a grant of $15,000, which can be used for living expenses as well as relevant travel, research, software and equipment. In addition to the grant, the Library may give consideration to purchasing any equipment or software needed to support delivery of the project outcome.
  • introductions to appropriate State Library staff who can provide assistance to access SLV digitised collection materials, collection metadata, APIs etc as well as access to the Library's technological infrastructure
  • space in a shared office
  • access to the Friends of the Library members lounge for the duration of the fellowship
  • complimentary Friends of the Library membership for one year after the conclusion of their fellowship.

Can I apply?

  • The Digital Fellowship is open to creative technologists and digital scholars who are Australian residents.
  • Applicants may be individuals or collaborative partnerships.
  • Applicants must have a high level of specialist digital skills and the ability to creatively and thoughtfully apply technology to digitised cultural heritage items and/or manipulate data.
  • Academics with access to paid study leave as part of their employment conditions and projects that are supported by university-derived funding are not eligible.
  • Projects that are part of examination requirements towards a degree or similar qualification are not eligible.

How are projects selected?

We value different ways of thinking, and strongly encourage digital thinkers from all disciplines and backgrounds to apply.

The following criteria are applied to the selection of the shortlist.


The project must:

  • demonstrate innovative and creative thinking about how to use the Library's resources in a dynamic and inspiring way
  • incorporate new or emerging technologies
  • advance the Library's Digital Experience Transformation Strategy
  • be feasible within the three-month timeframe
  • have the potential to be scalable and to be re-used or repurposed by the Library.


  • The applicant has previous experience working with collections or cultural heritage organisations.

Selection process

  • Applications are reviewed and shortlisted by Library staff according to the criteria outlined above.
  • Shortlisted applications are provided to an expert panel for consideration.
  • Shortlisted applicants may be invited by the panel to attend an interview and referees are contacted.
  • The expert panel's recommendation and a report are prepared for the Library Board of Victoria.
  • Following the acceptance of the offer of the Fellowship, unsuccessful applicants are advised by email.

What happens to my intellectual property?

While any copyright you have created as a recipient of the fellowship will be retained by you, it is a condition of acceptance of the fellowship that you agree to licence your work under a Creative Commons licence. In most cases, this will be the International Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence.

See Creative Commons Australia for more information on these licences.

Need more information?

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