The New York Public Library is seeking to appoint a Curator for Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Studies. Click here for more information and how to apply.
With a collection that exceeds 46 million items, and a mission to advance knowledge and inspire lifelong learning, the New York Public Library stands as one of the world’s great public research libraries. Its four research centers provide opportunities for engagement with in-depth and unique collections, inspirational reading rooms, exhibitions, programs, and a range of research services.
NYPL’s collections on Latin America, Iberia, and the Hispanic experience in the United States constitute an international resource of considerable importance, measured by the depth and variety of the research materials held, and the large numbers of unique and scarce materials in the collections. The Latin American collections span the history of the region from the earliest rarities to present-day publications and are rich in primary source documents, literary texts, ephemera, and many other resources that serve both the scholar and student. Collections on Spain and Portugal are equally extensive, with particular strengths in literature and history, including manuscripts and rare books from the Golden Age through the Age of Discovery and the Spanish and Portuguese colonial period in the Americas. Building on these historic strengths, the Library has continued to document the history and literature of Latinos in the United States, particularly in New York City. The broad scope of NYPL’s collecting over the years has resulted in a collection that provides extraordinary opportunities for interdisciplinary research across the full range of humanities and social science topics, and, consequently, within each of its four research centers.
The Curator for Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Studies provides essential leadership in the development, management, and promotion of the Library’s research collections in these areas. Based within the Collections and Research Services department, which is responsible for establishing a unified strategic vision for NYPL’s Research Collections, the Curator works collaboratively with staff across the Research Libraries to coordinate the development of the collection and the delivery of research services that help position the Library as a vital resource to support learning, creativity, scholarship, and enterprise.
The Curator will provide strong and effective subject expertise and leadership in developing and promoting the Library’s collections documenting Latin American, Iberian, and Latino culture, serving as the primary spokesperson for the collection, and undertaking activities that advance expanded use and other strategic goals.
In support of teaching, learning, and scholarship, the Curator will contextualize the collections in a variety of ways, including through exhibitions and publications, and will facilitate digital humanities and other scholarly projects, and collaborate on the development of public programming and educational resources. The Curator is responsible for raising awareness of the collections and cultivating new communities of users, including a supportive donor base. The Curator will actively engage in fundraising activities to support the needs of the collection, fellowships for researchers, and new initiatives.
Drawing on an understanding of the collection’s historical strengths, its use, and scholarly trends, the Curator will plan for, communicate, and implement strategies to build and shape the collections, and will investigate and make specific recommendations for special collections acquisitions across the Library, including the cultivation and pursuit of major new archival acquisitions.
The Curator will maintain and strengthen existing institutional partnerships and identify and initiate opportunities to collaborate on new approaches to building collections and promoting their use to both a national and international audience.
- Promotes scholarly, educational, and general use of the collections in collaboration with divisions across the Research Libraries, in particular, the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, the Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Library for the Performing Arts
- Participates in the ongoing evaluation and assessment of the collections to identify and build on collection strengths
- Identifies and makes recommendations for the acquisition of special collections. Explores new areas for further development of the collection and cultivates potential donors of materials; manages an acquisitions budget; coordinates a collaborative team approach for ongoing development of the general research collections
- Actively engages with researchers by providing consultative services; cultivates and builds strong relationships with the academic community through classes, outreach, and strategic partnerships
- Works closely with the Development staff on fundraising activities by identifying new opportunities, cultivating donor relationships, and preparing grant proposals, and other reports
- Identifies, evaluates, and prioritizes materials for digitization initiatives and helps facilitate the use of digital collections
- Collaborates with the Exhibition staff on the preparation of exhibitions that highlight the collections; develops thematic narratives, selects materials, prepares interpretive materials, and supporting publications
- Keeps abreast of the changing needs of researchers in the field, as well as emerging trends in research libraries, higher education, and humanities and social science scholarship in general
- Establishes a record of participation in and contributions to the profession by serving on committees and representing the Library at professional organizations, conferences, and various public meetings
- Evaluates and makes selections of collection materials in languages other than English, in particular, special collections, including archives, rare books, and other formats.
- Engages in fundraising and donor relations.
- Develops concept and content for exhibitions.
- Prepares scholarly articles and other interpretive materials for publication; prepares donor reports and grant applications.
- Analyzes and prioritizes opportunities for collaboration in outreach and digitization projects.
- Accountability and Professionalism – Demonstrates enthusiasm for and commitment to the position and accepts responsibility for personal actions.
- Customer Service – Commits to meeting the expectations of internal and external customers.Listens and responds effectively to customer questions; resolves customer problems to the customer’s satisfaction; respects all internal and external customers.
- Collaboration and Teamwork – Supports a positive team environment in which members participate, respect and cooperate with each other to receive desired results.
- Job-Specific Knowledge and Skills – Plans, prioritizes, and organizes work effectively to produce measurable results; keeps current with and effectively applies new work methods, skills and technologies to complete work.
- Ph.D. in topic related to Latin American history or Hispanic literary studies, or an MLS from an ALA-accredited program and advanced relevant subject degree.
- Minimum of five years of relevant professional experience in an academic or research library, or cultural organization setting or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal skills, including the ability to speak and write effectively in both English and Spanish.
- Fluency in English and Spanish.
- Demonstrated knowledge of current practices and emerging trends in humanities and social sciences scholarship and research libraries in general.
- Successfully demonstrated experience in public speaking, as well as teaching and instruction that promotes the use of primary source documents.
- Successfully demonstrated ability to work effectively in a collaborative team environment.
- Demonstrated knowledge of special collections, including archival research.
- Record of professional engagement and contribution, such as research, publication, and involvement in pertinent professional and scholarly organizations.
- Successfully demonstrated analytical skills and familiarity with various assessment methodologies.
- Working knowledge of Portuguese and at least one other Western European language.
- Familiarity with library preservation practices.
- Experience with the preparation and curation of exhibitions.