Cambridge University Is Hiring an Archivist to Catalog 160 Boxes of Stephen Hawking’s Work

Stephen Hawking at Cambridge's Emmanuel College in 2013.
Stephen Hawking at Cambridge's Emmanuel College in 2013. / Karwai Tang/Getty Images

When Stephen Hawking died in March 2018, he left behind 160 boxes of personal letters, scientific papers, and other written materials from his illustrious life.

The collection includes, for example, scripts from The Simpsons and more TV shows that Hawking guest-starred on; and an extremely short story about pirates that a 6-year-old Hawking wrote for his father: “Once [upon] a time some pirates were loading some treasure onto a ship,” he wrote, signing it with a line of X’s and O’s.

There’s also a note that accompanied an important paper on black holes that Hawking sent to the science journal Nature in 1974. “As rumours about my work have begun to spread, I feel that it is necessary to publish something as soon as possible,” Hawking wrote. “If you feel that the paper is too long for Nature I would be grateful if you would return it immediately so that I can submit it elsewhere.” (Nature wisely published the paper.)

Last month, it was announced that the University of Cambridge—where Hawking got his Ph.D. and worked for decades—would house the archive in its library. Now, as BBC News reports, Cambridge is looking for an archivist to “arrange, describe, audit the physical condition, rehouse, and review” all 10,000 or so pages. Their main task is to digitize every document so researchers around the world can access them online.

Applicants should have archiving experience; and since they’ll be operating out of Cambridge University’s library, they also need to be allowed to live and work in the UK. The gig is set to last two years, and it’ll pay somewhere between £30,942 and £40,322 (about $43,000 to $56,000). If you’re an avid archivist who’d like to have a hand in preserving Hawking’s legacy, you can apply online here.

[h/t BBC News]