Philip Hofer Curator of Printing and Graphic Arts
Harvard College Library
Although the position will remain posted until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by April 10, 2020.
Harvard University invites applications and nominations for the Philip Hofer Curator of Printing and Graphic Arts (P&GA) at Houghton Library. The Curator provides vision, leadership, advocacy, interpretation, and passion for the collection and serves as catalyst and coordinator for a dynamic group of activities and individuals dedicated to connecting the holdings of P&GA to Harvard faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and an international community of scholars, artists, and other researchers and enthusiasts.
The Curator will have enthusiasm and demonstrated ability for sharing and interpreting the collection in the classroom, in the reading room, in the digital sphere, in publications, and through exhibitions and programming, and for communicating the value, power, and contemporary relevance of printing and the graphic arts to expert and general audiences. The Curator will have an extraordinary opportunity to build and shape the collection and will develop and implement a strategy that incorporates diverse cultures, new and evolving technologies, and the role of printing and graphic arts in social and political change.
The successful candidate will possess deep knowledge of printing history and graphic processes particularly as these relate to book illustration; the ability to master over time the broad range of formats, subjects, and time periods represented in the collection; enthusiasm for working with faculty and students; proclivity for adopting new technologies and methods that will improve access to and use of P&GA holdings; and a collaborative and collegial outlook and spirit.
The Department of Printing and Graphic Arts was founded at Harvard in 1938 by legendary curator, collector, and connoisseur Philip Hofer. The department holds an extensive collection of original artifacts from all periods illustrating the book arts and the materiality and historical development of the book, whether manuscript or printed. In addition to facilitating teaching and research based in the collection, the department administers a vibrant set of programs including the Frances and Philip Hofer lecture series, the Philip Hofer Prize for Collecting Books or Art, workshops on letterpress printing, and other activities core to the department’s mission and spirit.
The Department of Printing and Graphic Arts is one of the main curatorial departments of Houghton Library, Harvard’s principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library is a destination for students and scholars on campus and around the world, and each year welcomes thousands of researchers and students into its reading room and classrooms. Houghton Library’s collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century America. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. To learn more about the collections and Houghton Library, please visit our website at https://library.harvard.edu/
386059 Library Manager
• Establishes and implements vision and strategic and annual goals for Printing and Graphic Arts.
• Collaborates with faculty to design and host classes that allow students to learn directly from the primary source holdings of P&GA.
• In collaboration with the Director of Scholarly and Public Programs, promotes P&GA by planning, managing, and creating content for a robust program of exhibitions, lectures, symposia, workshops, publications, websites, and other activities that present and interpret the holdings of P&GA for a wide set of audiences.
• Provides expert reference and research consultation for users of P&GA and, as appropriate, the holdings of Houghton Library.
• Creates and implements a strategy to guide collection development and works with dealers, private collectors, and donors to acquire materials for the collection through purchase and gift.
• In collaboration with the Director of Operations and Finance, manages the P&GA budget for acquisitions and programs.
• Participates in development efforts by cultivating donors and preparing funding proposals for gifts and grants.
• Develops a network of faculty, professional colleagues, book and manuscript dealers, donors, and others to advance the goals of P&GA and the library at large.
• Assists with the cataloging and archival processing of new acquisitions and materials in backlogs by assessing collections, establishing priorities, and providing input on catalog records and finding aids.
• Collaborates with librarians and library staff at Houghton, Harvard, and other institutions, as well as scholars and students, to identify, plan, and execute projects that supply access to P&GA holdings in digital form, so that they can be discovered and utilized using emerging research and teaching methodologies.
• Identifies items in need of conservation treatment and works with staff to develop, review, and approve treatment plans.
• Coordinates with Houghton registrar to review loan requests.
• Collaborates with Houghton administration, curators, and other staff to publicize, select, manage, and host research fellowships.
• As a member of the Collections Division, works with Houghton curators and other staff on long-range and annual planning and the development and implementation of curatorial policies and procedures.
• Collaborates as appropriate with staff of library collections and programs at Harvard, whose missions align with P&GA including the Fine Arts Library, the Harvard Art Museums, and others.
• Participates and assumes leadership roles in appropriate groups in Houghton Library, Harvard Library, and the university.
• Cultivates and maintains a strong presence in the research communities related to printing and graphic arts and in the library, archives, and museum profession.
• May supervise staff, students, and interns, as needed.
• Advanced degree(s) in Art History, History, Library Science, and/or another subject area relevant to the collections of the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts.
• Minimum 5 years work experience in a special collections environment.
• Record of scholarly production and professional activities.
• Experience teaching with primary sources and working with students in classroom settings.
• Demonstrated experience and fluency with emerging fields of digital scholarship and outreach around the history of the book.
• Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language.
• Experience in an academic research library preferred.
• ALA accredited MLS strongly preferred.
• PhD in a subject relevant to the collections strongly preferred.
• A commitment to diversity and to serving the needs of a diverse population.
• General knowledge of cataloging, archival processing, digitization, and conservation methodologies and standards used in rare book and manuscript libraries.
• Advanced knowledge of printing history and graphic processes and ability to master over time the wide range of materials and time periods represented in the collection.
• Knowledge of intellectual property and scholarly communication issues and trends related to libraries, archives, and special collections.
• Knowledge of the antiquarian book market.
• Knowledge of current practices and emerging trends in the book arts.
• Demonstrated abilities to manage programs and complete projects that require collaboration with a wide variety of colleagues.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills.
• Excellent organizational, time, and project management skills.
• Ability to work creatively, collaboratively, and effectively both as a team member and independently and to promote teamwork among colleagues.
• Familiarity with digital printing technologies, including digital typefaces.
USA – MA – Cambridge
Harvard College Library – Houghton Library
00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
Criminal, Education, Identity
35 hours per week
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.
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