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The New York Public Library (Schomburg Center)

Thursday, June 06, 2024 10:02 PM | Laura DeMuro (Administrator)

Assistant Curator, Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books

(June 6, 2024)

Position Title - Assistant Curator, Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books, Schomburg Center

Supervisor Title (All entry and mid-level position supervisors should be qualified, professional archivists.)- Curator, Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books, Schomburg

Position Type - Full-time, permanent

Benefits - Yes

Salary Range - $76,000 - $85,000

Assistant Curator, Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books, Schomburg Center


Founded in 1925 and named a National Historic Landmark in 2017, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the collection, preservation, and study of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences. The Schomburg Center, featuring diverse programming and collections spanning over 10 million items, has for over nine decades illuminated the richness of black history, arts, and experience worldwide. As a key part of one of the largest public library systems in the world, the Schomburg Center is committed to maximizing free and public access to its collections, exhibitions, educational activities, and much of its programming.

The Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books (MARB) Division enables researchers to work directly with original, rare, and unique source materials. Beginning with rare treasures from Arturo Alfonso Schomburg's personal holdings, the collection has grown since Arturo Schomburg's collection was acquired in 1926. Today, the Division holds more than 5,000 rare books, over 1,000 manuscript collections, and 15,000 pieces of sheet music and rare printed material, with more added annually.

The Assistant Curator of MARB, works in tandem with the MARB Curator to support the strategic growth and use of the Division’s collection holdings through collection development, outreach, exhibition and programming, and collection management.

We are looking for someone we can count on to:


The strategic growth of the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Books Division, with a focus on expanding the diversity of holdings.

A vision of inclusive outreach to a broad range of researchers.


Schomburg colleagues, as well as colleagues across NYPL to provide thoughtful instruction opportunities for teachers and students.

The holdings and mission of the Schomburg Center at conferences, external programs, and other forms of professional development.


About the Schomburg Center’s collections and ways they can support cutting-edge scholarship

Grants related to collection development, digitization, processing, and interpretation of Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Division collections


Interdepartmental collaboration and communication by serving as a liaison with MARB’s partners

Some expectations for this role are that within:

1 month, this person will:

Understand the division’s responsibilities and the range of services it provides, both internally and externally

Begin building knowledge of the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book division’s collection holdings and related collection systems

3 months, this person will:

Be familiar with the key departments with which our department collaborates

Begin to assist with collection development responsibilities and strengthening departmental workflows

6 months and beyond, this person will:

Establish and maintain relationships with key department collaborators throughout the institution

Begin assisting in outreach endeavors and promoting the division’s holdings


Reporting to the Curator of Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books, the Assistant Curator will:

Assist on all aspects of collection development for the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books division, including identification of important acquisitions, donor relations, proposal writing and acquisition description, and documentation oversight

Raise awareness of the collections and cultivate new communities of users, including a supportive donor base, to support the needs of the collections and new initiatives

Support the Center's teaching, outreach, and scholarship initiatives by contextualizing the collections in a variety of ways, including through exhibitions, publications, class instruction as well as donor and membership tours, and public programs

Assist with internal and external loan requests in collaboration with the Curator, NYPL Registrar's Office, and Preservation Division

Administer the Short-Term Fellowship Program in the division, including serving as contact for fellows

Provides occasional reference service and research consultations to library users

Collects and maintains statistics and produces reports related to collection use

Participate in Library-wide initiatives through membership on committees and task forces Participate in professional development activities by attending local and national conferences and meetings and maintains memberships in relevant professional organizations

In the absence of the Curator, assume responsibility for the Division

Perform other related duties as required

Required Education, Experience & Skills

Required Education & Certifications

ALA accredited Master's degree in Library and Information Studies preferred; or Master’s degree or higher in humanities field and relevant experience will be considered

Subject area expertise or educational background in any of the following: African American History/Studies/Literature, Africana Studies, or cultural studies.

Required Experience

3-5 years of research library or archives experience, with positions of increasing responsibility

Experience with special collections research and collection development

Demonstrated commitment to providing outstanding public services and a track record of promoting the use of special collections.

Knowledge of archival theory, practice, and national and international standards and best practices that govern the arrangement and description of primary source materials.

Successfully demonstrated experience managing and realizing projects.

Knowledge of rights issues pertaining to archival collections and rare books.

Outstanding interpersonal, oral, and written communications skills, including the ability to work effectively with all levels of staff and users.

Experience or willingness to speak publicly is required.

Required Skills

Strong organizational skills and attention to detail; ability to manage multiple responsibilities at once and meet deadlines

Demonstrated ability to work with a diverse range of humanities scholars, students, and independent researchers with varying levels of experience

Demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in collection development and outreach

Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to deal effectively and tactfully with donors, researchers, and colleagues

Up-to-date understanding of themes, debates, and trends in the field of special collections, especially archives, manuscripts, and rare books

Excellent writing and public speaking skills

Managerial/Supervisory Responsibilities


Preferred Qualifications

Advanced degree in any of the following: African American History/Studies/Literature, Africana Studies, or cultural studies

Demonstrated supervisory and team-building skills, including the ability to motivate, develop, and mentor others

Experience processing, arranging, and describing archival and manuscript material

Familiarity with digitization and metadata standards, technologies, and digital workflows

Grant writing and/or proven ability to develop and foster relationships with donors, collectors, and other institutions


Core Values

All team members are expected and encouraged to embody the NYPL Core Values:

Be Helpful to patrons and colleagues

Be Resourceful in solving problems

Be Curious in all aspects of your work

Be Welcoming and Inclusive

Work Environment

Research library/office setting

Will occasionally have to visit private homes and storage facilities

Physical Duties

Light lifting up to 15 lbs required

Sitting and standing for periods of time

Daily use of a computer

Pre-Placement Physical Required?


Union/Non Union


FLSA Status



35 hours per week to be scheduled Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm

This job description represents the types and levels of responsibilities that will be required of the position and shall not be construed as a declaration of all of the specific duties and responsibilities for the role. Job duties may change if Library priorities change. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description as needed.

The New York Public Library Salary Statement

At the Library, we believe that pay transparency and pay equity are important to ensuring we source the best candidates and keep the best employees. When making a determination as to the appropriate salary for a candidate, we consider a variety of factors such, including, but not limited to, the position requirements, the skills, prior experience, and educational background required or preferred for the job, the scope and impact of the role within the organization, internal peer equity, and the candidate's specific training, experience, education level, and skills. No single factor is conclusive; the Library reserves the right to consider any and all relevant factors and make a decision consistent with its policies.

Union Salaries are determined by collective bargaining agreement(s).

About The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org.


Questions? communications@nycarchivists.org

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