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George S. Parker II ’51 Curator of Maps and Prints – John Carter Brown Library

The John Carter Brown Library has one of the world’s most important collections of maps and atlases related to the history of the Americas and, more broadly, to the entire world, across the period stretching from the earliest printed atlases (c. 1472) through to maps showcasing the end of the colonial period (c. 1825). The Library has consistently added significant geographical works to its world-renowned collection of Americana. The print collection, albeit smaller, has likewise continued to grow, and consists of a separate collection of prints as well as a collection of mostly British political cartoons. The George S. Parker II ’51 Curator of Maps and Prints serves as the chief ambassador – and chief proselytizer – for both of these extraordinary collections. Responsibilities for this collection include: its continued growth through acquisitions and collection development; its interpretation for scholars and the general public, through onsite and digital engagement; exhibition and publication preparation; the provision of reference services; identifying materials for preservation and conservation; and other duties as assigned by the Director/Librarian, to whom this position reports. It is essential that the incoming Curator of Maps and Prints have a solid grasp on the history of the Americas and the history of maps (and, ideally, how the two intersect) so as to be able to answer reference questions concerning the collection, and to be able to effectively and meaningfully present cartographic material to staff, fellows, researchers, the Brown community, and the world outside of Brown.

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- Ph.D. or extensive curatorial/scholarly experience in a field related to the history of cartography, including but not limited to history, art history, literary studies, geography, anthropology, or other cognate disciplines; minimum of 5 years of experience with map and/or print collections; experience with the stewardship of unique collections and discovery tools to access these collections; knowledge of metadata and cataloguing concepts
- Demonstrated aptitude for teaching and developing instructional materials for advanced researchers and students of all levels, including digital outreach and the use of electronic media for a robust range of pedagogical and scholarly activities
- Demonstrated experience in rare materials and/or special collection libraries
- Ability to speak publicly and write with demonstrable skill, including grant and proposal writing as well as advanced scholarship
- Familiarity with or strong aptitude in foreign languages and knowledge of history/geography are highly desirable
- Interest or ability in linking the study of historical maps and atlases with emerging technologies, including digital humanities and/or GIS-based projects
- Ability to manage projects effectively and independently; strong organizational, administrative and time management skills; initiative, confidence, and good judgment to prioritize, problem-solve, and execute tasks in a timely manager; ability to work with a diverse group of people, maintaining confidentiality, tact, and diplomacy.

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