Curator for Race and Ethnicity

Harvard Radcliffe Institute
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted date
Dec 2, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Librarians & Library Administration
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


While applications will be accepted until the position is filled, we strongly encourage candidates to apply by January 10, 2022.


The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America documents the lives of women of the past and present for the future and furthers the Harvard Radcliffe Institute’s commitment to the study of women, gender, sexuality, and society. We seek a visionary candidate to fill the position of Curator for Race and Ethnicity, created in 2016. Reporting to the Executive Director of the Schlesinger Library, the Curator plays a vital part in the Library’s sustained and ongoing work to build a more complete historical record in order to support research and learning. Working as part of a team as well as independently, the Curator collaborates with other Library staff to ethically develop collections documenting the history and contributions of women and organizations under-represented in Schlesinger’s collections, especially those from Latinx, African American, Caribbean, and Asian American groups. The successful candidate should have extensive knowledge of the history of women and gender in one or more of these areas.

The Curator collaborates with the Library’s faculty director, executive director, other curators, and members of the Acquisitions Committee to identify gaps in the collections and to develop and implement a robust strategy to broaden the Library’s holdings by fostering relationships with multiple communities. The Curator is responsible for collection development of manuscript, printed, and electronic records in these areas. They determine strategic priorities, manage acquisitions, and engage with collections holders and their communities to support this crucial facet of the Library’s mission. They work with colleagues to steward the Library’s existing collections, communicate with donors about ongoing collection issues, and offer intellectual guidance to archivists on the processing of newly-acquired collections. The Curator also works with Library and faculty colleagues to elevate inclusive stories from within Schlesinger’s existing collections.


  • Working collaboratively with Library staff to deepen the world-class collections for American women’s and gender history, especially collections that document the experiences of historically under-represented groups.
  • Building relationships with potential donors of manuscript collections.
  • Working with other Schlesinger curators to build and manage advisory working groups comprised of scholars, Library staff, and philanthropic supporters.
  • Working with colleagues in the broader Harvard Library system to plan for the processing of collections that require linguistic competencies beyond those of Schlesinger staff.
  • Working with Library leadership to further a comprehensive strategy of community engagement to support our enhanced collecting mission. Such a strategy will include:
    • Collaborating with Radcliffe colleagues to develop vibrant public programming
    • Working with Harvard faculty and colleagues in Research Services to enhance and support teaching and learning through our collections
    • Planning and curating exhibitions of Schlesinger materials
    • Representing the Library at community events
    • Maintaining high visibility in the archival profession and in Harvard and Radcliffe publications to elevate the efforts
  • Serving on the Schlesinger Library’s Acquisitions Committee and recommend potential acquisitions (both donations and purchases).
  • Negotiating the terms of deeds of gift and agreements to purchase.
  • Overseeing acquisition budgets, monitor funds, manage gift, and purchase agreements, and document all facets of ongoing work.
  • Reporting on collection development efforts to varied stakeholders, contributing, and assessing data as needed.
  • Promoting awareness, understanding and recognition of legal issues which may arise from working with unpublished collections in areas such as copyright, privacy, confidentiality, right-to-know, and ownership.
  • Leveraging technology to expand collection development in a technology-driven collecting landscape.
  • Representing the Schlesinger Library on Harvard Library committees.
  • Other duties may also be assigned.


  • Master’s degree or comparable evidence of advanced study in American history; Africana, Latina/o, or Asian American Studies; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies or other related field.
  • ALA-accredited MLS (Master’s in Library Science) or equivalent degree in a related field such as Public Humanities.
  • Knowledge of archival theory, practice, and technologies, including in relation to born digital material.
  • Three plus years of curatorial or collection development experience.
  • Excellent organizational skills, including experience with budget and records management.
  • Experience building community relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively, both independently and collaboratively, in a highly collegial and team-based environment.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Language expertise relevant to the Curator’s particular collecting missions.
  • Familiarity with conservation and preservation practices relating to special collections and ability to assess the conservation / preservation demands of potential acquisitions, including born digital material.
  • Proven experience working with collectors and building donor relationships.

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