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The New York Public Library

Friday, January 12, 2018 9:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
Curator, Manuscripts, Archives & Rare Books

(January 12, 2018)


The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture located in Harlem, New York, is a research unit of The New York Public Library system. Recently named a National Historic Landmark, the Schomburg Center is recognized as one of the leading institutions in the world devoted exclusively to documenting African American, African, and African Diasporan history and culture. For over 90 years the Center has collected, preserved, and interpreted the global black experience, with holdings now numbering over 10 million items.

As a division 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 initiatives, and much of its programming.

The Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Division enables researchers to work directly with original, rare, and unique source materials. The collection has grown through the years, beginning with the rare treasures from Arturo Alfonso Schomburg's personal holdings. Today, the Division holds more than 5,000 rare books, nearly 1000 manuscript collections, and 15,000 pieces of sheet music and rare printed material.

The Curator will provide strong and effective subject expertise, leadership and vision in developing and promoting the manuscript and archival collections, serving as the primary spokesperson for the Division, and undertaking activities that advance expanded use of the collection and other of the Schomburg Center’s strategic goals.

The Curator will plan for, communicate, and implement strategies to build and shape the collections, drawing on an understanding of the collection’s historical strengths, its use, and on scholarly trends. The Curator will investigate and make specific recommendations for acquisitions including the cultivation and pursuit of major new archival additions, auction purchases, and donations.

Principal Responsibilities

Under the leadership of the Director of Collections and Information Services, the Manuscripts Curator will perform the following functions:

Manage and develop the archival and rare book collections including developing a long-term strategic plan for creating enhanced access and discoverability.

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.

Work collaboratively with colleagues in Archives Unit, Cataloging and Metadata units and the Digital Imaging Unit to increase discovery, access, and collection use, including the curation of online exhibitions and facilitating digital humanities projects.

Manage an integral, dynamic team of archivists and cataloguers.

Shape and strengthen the Division’s profile in the field of Africana archives.

Partner with fundraising professionals to pursue and manage grants for supporting acquisitions and preservation and providing access to the collection, while also building relationships with private donors and funding agencies.

Support the Center’s teaching, learning, and scholarship initiatives by contextualizing the collections in a variety of ways, including through exhibitions, publications, class instruction as well as public programs.

Oversees internal and external loan requests in collaboration with the NYPL Registrar’s Office and Preservation Division.

Provides reference service and research consultation to library users.

Participates in Library-wide initiatives through membership on committees and task forces.

Participates in professional development activities by attending local and national conferences and meetings and maintains membership in relevant professional organizations.

Managerial/ Supervisory Responsibilities

Leads, manages and develops a team of reference librarians, archivists, technical professionals and support staff

Work within established budgets and with senior staff to set spending priorities

Represent the collections in public settings including conferences and fundraising opportunities

Minimum Qualifications

MLS from an ALA accredited library school; or an advanced degree in Africana or American History or cultural studies. A related advanced degree and equivalent work experience may substitute for exceptional candidates.

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

At least five years of progressively responsible leadership and management experience in manuscripts and archives in a research library or similar institution.

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

Experience processing, arranging, and describing archival and manuscript materials.

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

Familiarity with digitization and metadata standards, technologies, and digital workflow.

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 required.

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

Work Environment

Urban Public / Research Library

Core work will take place in the Schomburg Center but occasional travel to one or more Library facilities may be necessary.

Other duties may require site visits to view collections which may be at donors’ homes or in storage facilities and may inquire inspecting collections.

Lifting of heavy boxes.

Exposure to dust.

Union / Non Union

Non Union

To Apply: Please use link https://jobs-nypl.icims.com/jobs/9985/curator%2c-manuscripts%2c-archives-%26-rare-books/job

questions? communications@nycarchivists.org
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