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Assistant Curator, Poetry Collection

University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
New York, United States
Posted date
Jul 6, 2017

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Humanities, English & Literature, Professional Fields, Library & Information Sciences
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Special Collections unit of the University at Buffalo Libraries seeks dynamic applicants for the position of Assistant Curator of the Poetry Collection. Founded in 1937, the Poetry Collection is the library of record for 20th- and 21st-century Anglophone poetry and is comprehensive in its collection of first and other bibliographically significant editions, little literary magazines and journals, broadsides, anthologies, criticism and reference materials. Additionally, the collection holds more than 150 archives and manuscript collections from a wide range of poets, presses, magazines and organizations including James Joyce, William Carlos Williams, Helen Adams, Robert Duncan, Robert Graves, Dylan Thomas, Jargon and Wyndham Lewis. The Poetry Collection is also a regional repository for many of the publishers and arts organizations of Western New York. There are also substantial collections of artwork, audio recordings, ephemera, photographs, visual poetry and zines, making it one of the largest poetry libraries of its kind in the world.

As an active research center for the study of modern and contemporary poetry, the Poetry Collection supports with its materials a wide range of scholarly publications; opens its doors to visiting researchers from around the world; assists with the educational activities of undergraduate and graduate students at UB and elsewhere; hosts lectures, conferences, readings and other events; and loans items to exhibitions.

The Assistant Curator assists the Curator in all activities of the Poetry Collection, including supporting visiting scholars and students in their research, teaching introductory and special topic graduate and undergraduate classes, collection development, departmental collaboration, community outreach, public presentations and tours for individuals and groups, reference requests, public services and patron billing, publications, interlibrary loans, publicity, communications, planning exhibitions and digital collections, and special events. S/he also participates in all development activities including fundraising, donor relations, gift processing, receiving gifts in kind and grant writing; helps plant the yearly annual fund; manages permission issues with copyright holders; and develops regional, national and international partnerships and collaborations. The incumbent works collaboratively with the Poetry Collection's Processing Archivist and Poetry Catalogers, is jointly responsible for maintaining order in the storage areas and helps supervise student assistants. S/he supports the Libraries' vision, mission and values that include open communications, inclusiveness and respect for the individual.

This is a two-year, renewable faculty appointment with rank leading to tenure in an academic research-oriented environment with expectations for publication and professional service. The Assistant Curator will report to the Curator of the Poetry Collection and work collaboratively with other librarians and staff across the University Libraries.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in English with a concentration in twentieth-century American poetry (degree must be conferred by September 30, 2017)
  • Knowledge of twentieth- and twenty-first-century poetry written in English, with particular attention to British, Irish and American poetry
  • Teaching experience in a college or university
  • Two to three years of experience (broadly defined) working in a literary special collection
  • A publication record of scholarly expertise in twentieth-century Anglophone poetry
  • Evidence of professional engagement through presentations and publications in regional and/or national settings
  • Familiarity with the attitudes and operations of small presses and little magazines and the evolution of contemporary poetry
  • Understanding of the nature of archival research and the needs of literary researchers
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational, oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to prioritize projects, work on several projects simultaneously, work independently and collaborate with colleagues
  • Ability to work positively with students, faculty and patrons from diverse backgrounds and holding a diverse range of knowledge in a complex academic environment
  • Evidence of professional scholarly interest and the ability to meet the University at Buffalo's promotion and tenure standards in librarianship, research, service and outreach

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Coursework and/or training in library science, archives management, preservation, history of the book, book arts or other related field
  • Proficiency with the general functions of a university research library (such as interlibrary loans)
  • Awareness of emerging trends in scholarship and current issues facing research libraries, such as open scholarship and digital publishing methods
  • Familiarity with copyright laws and regulations
  • Editing experience

Interested candidates should upload a CV and separate cover letter that includes contact information for three professional references (including email addresses). The Libraries' Human Resources Officer may contact you and ask for a statement of research and service interests. Candidates invited to interview for the position will be expected to give a short presentation to faculty and staff of the University Libraries. Nominations and/or questions may be addressed to Cherie Williams, University Libraries' Human Resources Officer,




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