Curator for the Archive of World Music — Harvard Library, Cambridge, MA

Harvard University

Curator for the Archive of World Music
Harvard College Library

Job Summary

Although the position will remain posted until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by end of day on June 19, 2023.

The Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library seeks an innovative, collaborative, and user-centered Curator for the Archive of World Music to build, manage, and promote use of the Library’s Archive of World Music (AWM). The AWM is a collection of field and commercial recordings and accompanying material collected world-wide with a focus on Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It includes archival collections in various formats including manuscripts, audio, and visual materials. This position offers the opportunity to work with the collections of a world-class music library, and to inspire broad and creative use of those collections among existing and as-yet untapped audiences. The incumbent will steward and develop AWM collections and build programs and services connecting students, faculty, and the broader community with the rich resources contained in the AWM. They will actively collaborate with colleagues across all areas of the Library’s work. This position reports to the Richard F. French Librarian of the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library.

Position Description

•Develops and implements collection development policies, selects materials for the AWM.
•Researches and evaluates potential purchases and donations for the AWM in consultation with colleagues and faculty members.
•Liaises with AWM donors. In consultation with colleagues, prepares deed-of-gift paperwork, tracks and maintains relevant documentation for collection materials.
•Identifies potential grant opportunities relevant to the AWM, develops proposals and/or contributes information or proposal ideas for grant development.
•Establishes priorities for AWM collections for digitization, preservation, or special projects in collaboration with Music Library colleagues. Contributes to the development of digitization and preservation strategies for media and special collections held across the Music Library.
•Maintains awareness of digital scholarship within ethnomusicology and related fields, identifies and pursues opportunities to highlight AWM collections through digital scholarship.
•Collaborates with faculty, instructors, and other librarians to provide direct instruction to undergraduate and graduate students for classes, orientation sessions, and other related educational activities utilizing AWM collections. Works with faculty, instructors, and other librarians to identify opportunities to integrate AWM collections into course curricula and assignments.
•Provides expert research assistance relating to the holdings of the AWM and related collections held at Harvard and elsewhere.
•Collaborates with Music Library colleagues and others to organize outreach promoting the AWM, including social media, exhibits and programming, online exhibitions, and projects utilizing emerging technologies.
•Engages in outreach to Music Department faculty and graduate students to promote deposit of their research collections. Engages with stakeholder communities represented in AWM collections.
•Sets processing priorities, develops documentation and workflows for AWM archival collections. Processes selected collections, supervises students and/or project staff completing processing work. Works with colleagues in the Arts, Archives, and Special Collections portfolio’s Technical Services for Archives and Special Collections Department to identify opportunities to streamline and/or coordinate workflows.
•Works with Information & Technical Services colleagues and others to set cataloging and processing priorities for commercial recordings in AWM collections.
•Maintains awareness, understanding and recognition of legal issues resulting from working with unpublished collections concerning areas such as copyright, privacy, confidentiality, right-to-know, and ownership.
•Maintains awareness of ethical issues relating to the stewardship of cultural heritage collections. Implements best practices and contributes to efforts to educate colleagues across the Harvard Library.
•Serves on Library and University committees as appropriate.
•Remains current on developments in the field and represents the Library at relevant professional and scholarly meetings and conferences; contributes to the profession with research, presentations, publications, and/or participation in professional organizations.
•Supervises student assistants and temporary/project staff (as needed).

Basic Qualifications

•Advanced degree(s) in Ethnomusicology, Library Science, and/or another subject area relevant to the collections of the AWM.
•Minimum two years related professional experience.
•Demonstrated experience supporting the information needs of faculty, students, and advanced researchers.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

•ALA-accredited MLS preferred.
•in a subject relevant to the collections preferred.
•Strong service orientation.
•Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to work effectively with culturally diverse library users and colleagues.
•Demonstrated commitment to supporting efforts to foster equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and antiracism in library, university, and professional contexts.
•At least two years professional experience in an academic setting with collection development, teaching, and/or outreach activities.
•Ability to learn new technologies and systems; enthusiasm for adopting innovative approaches that expand access to collections and to facilitate their use in research, teaching, and learning
•Working knowledge of library-specific software such as ArchivesSpace. Working knowledge of DACS, EAD, EAC-CPF and MARC, as well as other archival content and communication standards.
•Familiarity with transliteration schemes and non-Western concepts and scripts. Ability to work with information resources in a variety of languages.
•Familiarity with basic preservation and conservation issues related to archival materials, particularly audio and visual formats.
•Familiarity with legal and ethical issues related to cultural heritage and archival collections.
•Record of engagement with professional groups and activities and/or contributions to professional or scholarly literature.

Physical Requirements

•This position includes lifting and moving of materials weighing up to 40 pounds and pushing heavily loaded book trucks.

Working Conditions
The position is based on onsite in Cambridge, MA.
There may be the opportunity for a flexible or hybrid work model compliant with Harvard University flexwork policies.
Work location is responsive and subject to change based on business needs.
Work is normally performed in a library environment. Some work requires contact with heavy dust, dirt, and/or mold.


We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
•Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
•Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
•Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
•Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
•Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
•Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
•Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
•Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University’s mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world’s most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support. Today, Harvard Library’s holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University’s faculty, students, and researchers-now and in the future-with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting our web-site and about the Harvard University community at this web-site.

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

Job Function

USA – MA – Cambridge

Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library

Time Status

00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Education, Identity

Department Office Location
USA – MA – Cambridge

Work Format
Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Apply here.