Postdoctoral position - Hernando Colón's Book of Books

The Arnamagnæan Institute, Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen Denmark, invites applications for a two year postdoctoral position to be filled by 1 April 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.


Hernando Colón’s Book of Books
Last year a remarkable discovery was made at the University of Copenhagen’s Arnamagnæan Institute, when one of the manuscripts in the collection was positively identified as El libro de los epítomes, one of the principal bibliographical tools from the library of Hernando Colón (1488-1539), son of the navigator Christopher Columbus.

Long believed to be missing, the book’s discovery has been hailed as one of the most exciting developments in early modern book history for decades, and the University of Copenhagen has therefore decided to launch a three-year research project focusing on this remarkable book. Funding for the project is provided by the Carlsberg Foundation.

The Principal Investigator is Professor Matthew Driscoll of the Arnamagnæan Institute, who will oversee the production of an edition and translation of the Libro, both in digital and print form.

Job content
The project is seeking a postdoctoral researcher, to be based at the Arnamagnæan Institute, for a two-year period starting at some point between 1 April 2020, the project’s starting date, and 1 April 2021. The successful candidate will be expected to assist with the editorial work by, among other things:

  • Identifying the books which are summarised in the Libro and linking them to entries in the other bibliographical tools in Colón’s library.
  • Determining whether the books still exist in Colón’s library, and finding copies and descriptions elsewhere; identifying digital copies where they exist.
  • Mapping the book-trade in the early 16th century on the basis of Colón’s notes and comments.
  • And, most importantly, analysing the epitomes as evidence of reading practices in the 16th century, and situating them within/against other contemporary practices by humanists and other scholars from across Europe and beyond.

Qualification requirements

In order to be considered for the position applicants must have research qualifications at least corresponding to what can be achieved as part of a successfully completed PhD within a relevant field.

Applicants should have a PhD-degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, such as Classical philology, Spanish or Early Modern History. Requirements for the position include:

  • A solid knowledge of Latin, especially medieval and early modern, as well as fluency in Spanish and, ideally, Italian and French. English is the working language of the project and hence also required at a high level. Familiarity with Danish, or a willingness to acquire such, would be an advantage but is not required.
  • A background in book and collection history, European literature and the history of ideas in the early modern period.
  • Experience in conducting research into primary sources in archives and special collections libraries.
  • Familiarity with digital tools and techniques used in humanities.

For further information about the position, please contact professor Matthew Driscoll,

For further details about the qualification requirements for postdocs, please refer to the job structure for Academic Staff at Universities: (in Danish)

Submit the application online in Adobe PDF or Word format.

Please click on the “Apply now” icon at the bottom of the page.

The application must be written in English and include the following enclosures:

  • Application letter/cover letter (max 1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae (with applicant’s e-mail & telephone number) and names of two referees,
  • Documentation of qualifications (examination certificates/PhD diploma, etc.).
  • Complete and numbered list of publications. The enclosed publications must be marked with *.
  • Research plan, including a short description of previous research and a plan for the coming years that includes an account of how the applicant will contribute to the deliverables in the project description.
  • Documentation of teaching qualifications and research dissemination, if any
  • Publications. Applicants may choose a maximum of three publications for assessment. Publication dates must be clearly marked on the publication list. The publications selected must be uploaded as attachments and listed from 1 to 3.

Should any material submitted consist of work with named co-authors, or work that is otherwise the result of collective academic endeavours, the extent of the applicant’s contribution to the work must be clearly stipulated. The Faculty may ask for a signed statement from the co-authors stipulating the extent and nature of each individual’s contribution.

Only material in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and English can be expected to be assessed.

Appointment procedure
After the application deadline, the Head of Department selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointment Committee.  All applicants are notified whether their application has been accepted for assessment. The Dean subsequently appoints an expert assessment committee tasked with carrying out an assessment of the selected applicants for the specific post. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee. Applicants are ultimately offered the opportunity of commenting on the part of the assessment relating to themselves before the appointment is finalized.

Applicants will be continuously informed about the progress of the procedure by e-mail.

Further information about the application procedure is available from Mette Christensen (HR), please refer to ID number 211.0319/19-2I.

Salary and conditions of employment
Terms of appointment and salary will be in accordance with an agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The salary range starts at DKK 33,600 (EUR 4,507) per month + a 17,1 % contribution to the pension scheme. It is possible to negotiate salary supplements on an annual basis.

The Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) have further agreed on a protocol that makes it possible for international researchers employed by the University to achieve a pension exemption, whereby the pension contribution will be paid out as salary. For more information about the different pension schemes, please see

A special tax scheme is offered to researchers recruited abroad,

If you consider applying from abroad, you may find useful information on how it is to work in Denmark and at UCPH.

Read more here :, and

UCPH wishes to encourage everyone interested in this post to apply, regardless of personal background.

The closing date for applications is 23.59 CET, 3 February 2020

Applications or supplementary material received thereafter will not be considered.



Københavns Universitet giver sine knap 10.000 medarbejdere muligheder for at udnytte deres talent fuldt ud i et ambitiøst, uformelt miljø. Vi sikrer traditionsrige og moderne rammer om uddannelser og fri forskning på højt internationalt niveau. Vi søger svar og løsninger på fælles problemer og gør ny viden tilgængelig og nyttig for andre.


Ansøgningsfrist: 03-02-2020
Ansættelsesdato: 01-04-2020
Afdeling/Sted: Institut for Nordiske Studier og Sprogvidenskab

Søg i stillinger