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Curator, Drawing and Archives

Curator, Drawing and Archives

Columbia University Libraries Job Location: New York Apply By: Open until filled Date Created: 03-15-2022

Columbia University Libraries seeks a Curator to support and develop, at the highest level possible, the fundamental collection-related activities of Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library’s Drawings & Archives division (D &A). Activities include exhibitions, course integrated instruction, scholarly endeavors, and outreach to and collaboration with D&A’s international audiences. Because of the high research value of this collection, generally acknowledged to be among the finest in the world, an international community of scholars, students, and museum curators regularly use materials in Drawings & Archives to conduct original and advanced research. Our materials are exhibited, reproduced, and frequently cited in studies of American architectural history.

Avery, and this position in particular, works with architects and historic preservation and planning professionals who consult our records for renovation and restoration projects, as well as precedent studies for new designs. The Department has a very public role in New York and the greater architectural community in addition to its academic role and suite of services it provides to Columbia University students and faculty.


  • Explore new areas of collection growth with supervisory support.
  • Steer a collecting program for visual materials and archival collections related to architectural design and practice including paper-based, film, and born-digital formats, consistent with Avery's overall collecting policies and priorities.
  • Build an instructional services program for D&A with particular emphasis on service to the teaching and research programs of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) and the Department of Art History and Archaeology.
  • Build and extend networks with other museums, foundations, libraries and the international architectural community.
  • Develop public programs and events in collaboration with other Avery and CUL staff to promote awareness and understanding of D&A collections and to bring attention to the contemporary relevance of the collection’s holdings in diverse ways.
  • Respond to inquiries from D&A patrons (in person, telephone, email); assist patrons with research inquiries and on-site use of collection materials.
  • In conjunction with supervisor and director of Avery, prioritize departmental activities related to the collection including research, care, storage, conservation initiatives, and digital project priorities.
  • Cultivate and help secure external support for the department, in conjunction with the Director and the CUL development staff. Maintain open communication and collaborative relationships with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and MoMA.
  • Represents the Department in CUL related projects and external venues such as professional conferences, the greater architectural community, and in writing and speaking.

Minimum salary: $73,000

About Columbia University Libraries

We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, identities, and abilities to apply for this unique opportunity to become a part of our evolving Libraries and University community. Columbia University Libraries is a globally-recognized academic research library system, serving one of the world’s most important centers of research and learning in the most exciting and dynamic city in the world. Talented Libraries staff build, sustain, and make discoverable collections that transcend traditional boundaries of format and domain, keeping pace with a dynamic and rapidly evolving information environment and creating opportunities for users to encounter 4,000 years of human thought.

Our decisions are informed by new curricula developed to meet the needs of a more diverse student body, new and emerging areas of research being conducted by a broad spectrum of researchers, including graduate students and newly-hired faculty, as well as by perspectives from the diminished or entirely lost voices of historically oppressed, marginalized, and underserved populations and communities. As an organization, the Libraries provides a supportive, connected environment where every employee’s perspective is valued and every employee is encouraged to grow. All staff members have an impact on Columbia’s mission to advance knowledge at the highest levels and make the results of research accessible to the world.

Columbia University has a longstanding commitment to diversity rooted in values of inclusion and social justice, a commitment reflected in the curriculum and throughout University life. Columbia welcomes applications from candidates who share these values and who will foster their contribution to the University's educational mission. We invite applicants who have demonstrated creative approaches to empowering and mentoring staff, leading projects, solving problems, and developing user-centric programs, services, or collections. We offer salary and benefits commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The Search Committee will review applications and nominations and will continue to receive and review them until the position is filled. Proposed start date is negotiable.


Minimum Degree Required:

Master’s Degree in Library Science or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 3 to 5 years curatorial and project management experience.
  • Expertise in American architectural history and theory.
  • Thorough knowledge of architectural records, archival materials, and preservation practices.
  • Strong organizational skills, excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to interpret architectural scholarship for the general public

Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD in a related subject.
  • Has a collaborative work style, is comfortable sharing credit and resources with peers and other staff to fulfill Avery’s/CUL’s mission; able and motivated to mentor staff.
  • Record of professional engagement with the field (publication record, presentations, professional society appointments, etc.)
  • Familiarity with digital project development and management, digitization, and web technologies.
  • Experience supervising interns, students, or other staff.
  • Experience producing online exhibitions or digital humanities related projects.

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