Call for Editorial Board Members: Literary and Cultural Heritage Maps of Pennsylvania Project

The Literary and Cultural Heritage Maps of Pennsylvania project is seeking Editorial Board members to assist in ongoing efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) on its sites and within its editorial operations. For additional project and application details, see below. If interested, contact Bernadette A. Lear (, Affiliate Faculty of the PACFTB and Administrator of the Maps initiative, no later than Friday, July 14th, 2023.

The Literary and Cultural Heritage Maps of Pennsylvania is a digital humanities project and reference source developed and maintained by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book (PACFTB, a state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book) within the Education Library at Penn State’s University Park campus. It currently consists of a database of approximately 1,000 biographies of literary and cultural figures who are connected to Pennsylvania, about 300 feature articles concerning Pennsylvania cultural history topics, plus a Literary Heritage Map, a Cultural Heritage Map, and other maps that present similar information geospatially. Elementary and secondary curricula are being developed to encourage educational use of the sites. For more information, see our About page.

Inspired by a paper-based map from the 1950s and significantly expanded 10-20 years ago, our existing biographies and feature articles were primarily developed as course-related writing assignments for Penn State and Lock Haven University undergraduate students. After undertaking significant content assessments in 2021/2022, however, we have redeveloped our Inclusion Guidelines for Biographies and Inclusion Guidelines for Feature Articles to center diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We now prioritize new content about women, people of color, and other historically excluded/underrepresented groups. Also, we are revising older content to be more culturally aware and informative. Thus, we seek additional Editorial Board members with personal or professional experiences, community connections, and/or academic knowledge that can assist us in attaining our current purpose of representing all geographic locations and demographic groups that have contributed to Pennsylvania’s literary and cultural heritage. We especially welcome Editorial Board members who will empower and equip others who choose to work with us, and who will help us identify and correct editorial procedures that contain systemic biases or otherwise hinder the project’s development.

Editorial Board members’ duties are as follows:

  • Assist PACFTB faculty and staff in reviewing incoming submissions pertaining to one’s assigned areas of expertise.
  • Assist PACFTB faculty and staff in identifying and prioritizing cultural and literary topics, categories, and biographies to be added to the project.
  • Identify potential authors within one’s geographic and other communities; communicate the project’s purpose, priorities, and procedures to them; and assist PACFTB faculty and staff in reviewing authors’ contributions to the project.
  • Assist authors in using primary and secondary information sources pertaining to one’s assigned areas of expertise.
  • Notify PACFTB faculty and staff of, and assist with, opportunities to promote the project to educators, librarians, historical society and museum employees, and other potential users within one’s assigned areas of expertise.
  • Assist in assessing and evaluating the Literary and Cultural Heritage Maps project’s websites and advise PACFTB faculty and staff about opportunities for enhancement.
  • Review inclusion criteria, style guides, and other project documentation and advise PACFTB faculty and staff about necessary or desirable revisions.
  • Attend meetings (held virtually, approximately once per month) and assist with other aspects of the project upon request of the project’s administrator (Bernadette A. Lear) 
  • Maintain one’s knowledge of Pennsylvania culture, history, literature, populations, and scholarship by engaging in relevant educational activities or professional development opportunities. 

We are seeking at least 3 new Editorial Board members this year. New members will serve staggered terms of 2 or 3 years (August 1, 2023-July 31, 2025, or August 1, 2023-July 31, 2026), with the possibility of reappointment for additional 2-year terms. Each member will be assigned several Pennsylvania counties contiguous to their location or research interests; chronological periods; populations; and/or subject areas of expertise (such as African American History). 

If interested, contact Bernadette A. Lear (, Affiliate Faculty of the PACFTB, no later than Friday, July 14th. Please include a brief statement indicating your background related to DEI, History, Humanities, Geography, Literature, development/review of reference sources, editorial work, and other topics related to the project. Also, please indicate which Pennsylvania counties, major cities, chronological periods, topics, and populations are of greatest interest to you. As currently configured, the project’s websites highlight:

  • Cultural Subjects:  Activism, Art and Design, Athletics, Business, Education, Entertainment, Law and Politics, Medicine, Military, Religion, and Science
  • Cultural Periods: Before 1600, 1600-1775, 1775-1800, 1800-1865, 1865-1900, 1900-1945, 1945-present
  • Literary Genres: Children’s, Fiction, Young Adult, Graphic/Comic, Journalism, Nonfiction, Oral Tradition, and Screenwriting/Playwriting
  • Literary Periods: Before 1600, Colonial, Revolutionary, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism, and Contemporary

We look forward to hearing from you!

Bernadette A. Lear

Affiliate Faculty, Pennsylvania Center for the Book 

Contact Info: 

Bernadette A. Lear

Affiliate Faculty and Project Administrator

Literary and Cultural Heritage Maps of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Center for the Book  |  717-948-6360

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