Curator of Avery Classics, Columbia University Libraries/Information Services

Job Information


Curator of Avery Classics
Columbia University Libraries/Information Services

The Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library seeks a knowledgeable, creative, and collaborative individual for the position Curator of Avery Classics. Reporting to the Avery Library Director, the Curator will provide leadership and administration for collection development and resource management of the Avery Classics (rare books) collection. The Curator will develop and conduct reference and instruction service programs related to the collection, and coordinate development of public programs and digital projects for Avery special collections. Specific duties:

Collection development & management
Working with the Avery Library Director, the Avery Classics Curator sets the collection development policy and establishes collecting priorities for the Avery Classics collection. The Curator manages the Avery Classics acquisitions funds, selects and purchases new materials for the Avery Classics collection. The Curator oversees management of Avery Classics collection of more than 40,000 rare books including:

  • On-site stack maintenance and responsibility for the security and environmental controls of Avery Classics on-site storage facilities.
  • Supervises one full-time rare books clerical assistant, and occasional grantsupported staff, student workers and/or interns.
  • Coordinates movement of collection materials to and from ReCAP (CUL’s remote storage facility) in collaboration with Avery Library’s Head of Access Services.
  • Coordinates rare materials cataloging with CUL’s Bibliographic Services and Collection Development Group (BSCDG).
  • Coordinates conservation and preservation of Avery Classics materials in collaboration with CUL Preservation and Conservation staff.

Awareness, outreach & instruction
Leads efforts to promote and expand the use of Avery Classics through awareness,
outreach and instructional activities. Participates in programs and services offered
through the Avery Library research support services team.

  • Develops exhibitions, public programs, publications and digital projects to promote awareness and use of the Avery Classics collection.
  • Works closely with faculty to build an instructional services program for Avery Classics 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.
  • Responsible for on-site and remote assistance for the Avery Classics collection, and responds to requests for reprographic services, permission to publish, and loans to exhibitions.
  • Participates in the Avery Library reference services including online and inperson research support services.

Digital programs coordination
Works with the Avery Library Director to envision, develop and coordinate the Avery Library digital projects program based primarily on the holdings of Avery special collections. The Curator will participate in expanding existing projects and coordinate creation of new Avery digitization projects, websites and electronic publications in collaboration with the Avery Library staff, the Avery special collections team and the Libraries Digital Programs Division.


  • ALA-accredited masters in library or information science; extensive knowledge of rare books or equivalent experience
  • Advanced degree in architecture, architectural history or related disciplines, or demonstration of subject expertise in scholarly or curatorial practice related to architectural disciplines.
  • Reading knowledge of one or more European languages; reading knowledge of Latin, German, Italian or French preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in teaching and research support.
  • Enthusiasm for outreach and cultivation activities.
  • Familiarity with digital project development and management, digitization and web technologies.
  • Strong organizational skills and excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a broad range of people, including professional colleagues, students, faculty, and visiting researchers.
  • Personal commitment to service and professional growth and development

Submit an application HERE.

The Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library is one of the most comprehensive architecture and fine arts library collections in the world. Avery collects a full range of primary and secondary sources for the advanced study of architecture, historic preservation, art history, decorative arts, city planning, real estate, and archaeology. The Library contains 600,000 volumes including more than 40,000 rare books, and receives approximately 1,900 periodicals. Avery’s Drawings and Archives collection includes two million architectural drawings and records. The Avery Library is home to the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, the only comprehensive American guide to the current literature of architecture and design.

One of the world's leading research universities, Columbia University provides outstanding opportunities to work and grow in a unique intellectual community. Set in the Morningside Heights academic village, Columbia also presents the unmatched dynamism, diversity and cultural richness of New York City. The University Libraries, grounded in collections of remarkable depth and breadth, are also building extensive electronic resources and services. The Libraries at Columbia are committed to collegiality, professionalism, innovation and leadership. We offer a salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

Starts On
July 18, 2014, 2:54 p.m.