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Robert H. Taylor Curator of Literary and Historical Manuscripts

The Morgan Library & Museum seeks an experienced and dynamic curator to lead its Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts. The Robert H. Taylor Curator will report to Director Colin B. Bailey and oversee the Morgan’s notable collection of primarily handwritten documents spanning more than 500 years and including major collections on prominent literary figures such as Voltaire, Austen, Dickinson, Joyce, and Hemingway. This extensive manuscript collection includes literary and historical documents, correspondence, personal papers, autographs, and other special-collections materials of prime importance in the Western cultural tradition, dating from the 15th c to present. Among the contemporary materials in the department are the business records of the Pierre Matisse Gallery and the Paris Review archive, which includes correspondence and interviews with authors such as Jack Kerouac, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin and Anne Sexton.

The ideal candidate will have exceptional skill in 3 key areas: 1) developing creative and engaging exhibitions, publications, and programs that illuminate aspects of the collection and fulfill the educational mission of the Morgan; 2) managing, building and caring for an exceptional manuscript collection, one of the finest in the world; 3) communicating the excitement of this work and the importance of the Morgan to the public, potential donors, collectors, stakeholders, and the press.

The LHMS Dept Head will be an intellectual leader and an advocate for the study and appreciation of literary documents, a person who can speak to the relevance and significance of these artifacts in contemporary culture. He/she will have specific knowledge of the professional skills of archivists and librarians and be able to prioritize and organize departmental tasks related to accessioning, cataloging and storage; manage access and support the work of outside researchers; oversee the care and preservation of the collection; and develop acquisitions strategies. He/she must have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to establish and strengthen relationships with trustees, staff, the literary community, donors, scholars, researchers, the press, and lay audiences. The department head presently oversees a staff of 2 curators & 2 project catalogers and is expected to work collaboratively across departments. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

7-10 years’ experience working with primary materials in an institution that holds rare books and literary manuscripts, including experience in exhibition and publication development as well as cataloging and processing.
Strong liberal-arts foundation, especially in Western EU and US literature and history.
Superior writing and public-speaking skills.
Strong record of publication.
Ability to interpret literary and historical scholarship for the general public.
Ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, researchers, students, and journalists.
Demonstrable experience working with donors and identifying funding sources.
An excellent track record of managing staff and a commitment to collaboration and teamwork.
Current knowledge of the auction and dealers’ market for literary and historical manuscripts.
Familiarity with the principles of the care and handling of rare books and manuscripts and of reference services.
Professional knowledge of cataloging standards and digitization of manuscript materials.
Graduate degree in relevant field and/or ALA-accredited Master’s degree in Library and Information Science desirable, PhD preferred.
Strong reading knowledge of French or other European language desirable.
Working knowledge of TMS software and/or Voyager desirable.

Qualified candidates should email cover letter, résumé (Word preferred), salary requirement, and names of 3 references with contact information to search firm Marilyn Hoffman and Connie Rosemont, Museum Search & Reference,

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