Nadia Sophie Seiler Rare Materials Residency

It’s satisfying to put the pieces of a puzzle together when we can, but it’s just as exciting to think of the undiscovered treasures that might be hiding in this collection. — Nadia Sophie Seiler

Nadia Seiler's passion for rare materials and for cataloging inspired all of us at the Folger Shakespeare Library. The Nadia Sophie Seiler Rare Materials Residency ("Seiler Residency" for short) is a nine-month term-limited position for new library professionals made possible by the Nadia Sophie Seiler Memorial Fund and hosted at the Folger. We who worked closely with Nadia are pleased and honored to be able to help ensure that our beloved colleague's memory lives on. Seeing the spark of enthusiasm for rare materials ignite the mind of a new librarian is seeing Nadia's spirit in the next generation.

Position description

The Seiler Resident will work hands-on with rare materials in the collection while being actively trained and mentored by Folger librarians. The focus will be on rare materials cataloging, but the Seiler Resident will also work directly with curators, public services, and other professionals in order to gain a thorough and practical understanding of rare materials librarianship. We hope that this person will be inspired to learn new things, discover true passions, and make meaningful contributions to scholars and as-yet-unknown audiences, within a rich and supportive environment.

The Seiler Resident will be an integral part of the Folger staff, participating in departmental meetings, joining the Saturday Reading Room rotation (working at the Reading Room service desk on a Saturday approximately once every five or six weeks), attending talks, and contributing to the collegial environment on a professional level in order to gain genuine career-oriented experience.

Application procedure

The application deadline for 2017/18 was July 15, 2017. Applicants are required to submit a cover letter and CV, and must have received a master's degree within the 18 months prior to application from a program accredited by the American Library Association.

Key personnel

  • Erin Blake, Head of Collection Information Services, will direct the residency, ensuring the Seiler Resident's development of and advancement toward focused career goals. In her seventeen years in various departments at the Folger, Erin has gained a thorough understanding of the wide range of activities and opportunities within the library and the world of rare materials.
  • Caroline Duroselle-Melish, Curator of Early Modern Books and Prints
  • Deborah J. Leslie, Senior Cataloger, will be the Seiler Resident's primary mentor in rare materials cataloging. Deborah is a sought-after teacher of Rare Book Cataloging with eighteen years of in-depth experience with the Folger collection and a large network of professional contacts.
  • Heather Wolfe, Curator of Manuscripts

Potential projects


Assisting the Curator of Early Modern Books and Prints with an exhibition on illustrated books, and curating a satellite exhibition for the Tea Room case.

Finding Aids

Creating a finding aid for a manuscript collection.

Folio Fragments

The 82 First Folios in the Folger collection have been thoroughly studied and cataloged, as have the 58 Second Folios, 23 Third Folios, and 38 Fourth Folios. However, the library also holds a large collection of individual plays and portions of plays extracted from an unknown number of Folios in the distant past. Known as the "Folio Fragments," these leaves remain uncataloged and largely unidentified.

Manuscript cataloging

Cataloging 17th- and 18th-century manuscripts at the item level

Uncataloged Wings project

The Folger holds a large collection of books published in English, or in Britain and its dependencies, between 1641 and 1700. These publications are known as "Wings" because Donald Wing compiled the standard reference work on them, the Short title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and British America, and of English books printed in other countries, 1641-1700. Approximately 20% of the Folger's Wings are not yet fully cataloged in Hamnet, the Folger's online catalog. This project was begun by the 2016-2017 Seiler Resident.

Past talks


  • May and June 2017: Solicit applications through library schools and their alumni networks, discussion lists, and social media, and in person at the RBMS Conference and the ALA Conference.
  • July 2017: Review proposals and select candidate.
  • October 2017: Resident joins the Folger staff for nine months
  • February 2018: Resident meets with representatives of the Nadia Sophie Seiler Memorial Fund
  • April 2018: Based on the Resident's experience, and in consultation with the Resident and representatives of the Fund, prepare materials for the 2018/2019 Nadia Sophie Seiler Rare Materials Cataloging Residency
  • June 2018: Nadia Sophie Seiler Rare Materials Cataloging Resident attends the RBMS Conference.
  • June/July 2018: Residency culminates with the Resident's public talk on a topic relevant to the substantive experience gained during the residency