Call for Guest Editor: American Revolution Enhancement Initiative, Pennsylvania Center for the Book

Bernadette Lear Discussion
Call for Volunteers
April 13, 2023 to June 16, 2023
United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Military History, Political Science

The Pennsylvania Center for the Book (PACFTB), a state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book, is seeking a volunteer Guest Co-Editor to assist us in a 2-year (Summer 2023-Summer 2025) initiative to generate revised and new content related to the American Revolution for our Literary and Cultural Heritage Maps of Pennsylvania project. The role is similar to a guest editorial role for a scholarly journal, but the final products are meant for general audiences, including biographies of about 1,000 words and feature articles of about 2,500 words. We hope to produce approximately 25-40 new or revised items before the 250th Anniversary of the beginning of the Revolutionary War in 2026. For additional details, see below. If interested, contact Bernadette A. Lear (, Affiliate Faculty of PACFTB and Administrator of the Maps project, no later than Friday, June 16th, 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 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 other general information, see our About page

Preliminary assessments indicate that our existing biographies and feature articles related to the American Revolution are frequently used, but many have not been revised in 10 years or more. We are also aware of some gaps in biographical and topical coverage. Thus we seek a temporary Guest Editor to work with Maps Project Administrator Bernadette A. Lear and Editorial Board member Matthew J. Wayman to:

  • Further review existing PACFTB biographies and feature articles pertaining to the American Revolution to identify existing content that should be revised or rewritten.
  • Use various resources to identify additional persons and topics that should be included. 
  • Write and distribute a call for submissions.
  • Develop a list or spreadsheet to keep track of author assignments and contact information. 
  • Manage peer review, related correspondence, and revision of submissions.
  • Provide peer review of submissions.
  • Mentor authors as needed.
  • Assist the Administrator in other details relating to publication of accepted submissions.

See our proposed project timeline for more details and a general sense of scheduling. The Map project’s general Inclusion Guidelines for Biographies, Inclusion Guidelines for Feature ArticlesInstructions for Reviewers of Biographies, and Instructions for Reviewers: Feature Articles  are important starting points for the American Revolution Enhancement Initiative’s development. 

The Guest Co-Editor should be energized by digital and editorial projects; have excellent communication and follow-through skills; and possess formal education, a publications portfolio, professional experience, long-term interest, or other qualifications related to the history of the American Revolution, especially in Pennsylvania. While experience with editorial projects is beneficial, the Administrator is willing to mentor a first-time editor who sees collaboration with PACFTB as an opportunity to expand their skill set, provided they view editorship as constructive, kind mentoring of authors and are willing to learn PACFTB’s submission system (Open Journal Systems). We especially welcome candidates who are willing to creatively and thoroughly explore possibilities for increasing the project’s inclusion of female, Black, Indigenous, and other previously marginalized and underrepresented groups–not only as subjects for content coverage, but also as authors/contributors of content. 

If interested, please send a statement of interest, a CV or resume, and at least one brief writing sample (such as a blog post, an encyclopedia entry, or a magazine article) to Bernadette A. Lear ( After reviewing application materials, Bernadette and Matt may schedule a brief meet-and-greet through Zoom or over the telephone. The Guest Editor will be appointed during the Summer by Bernadette, in consultation with Matt and other members of the Editorial Board.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Bernadette A. Lear

Affiliate Faculty, Pennsylvania Center for the Book 


Contact Info: 

Bernadette A. Lear,

Affiliate Faculty Member and Project Administrator

Literary and Cultural Heritage Maps of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Center for the Book  |  717-948-6360

Contact Email: