JOB: Curator for Medieval Manuscripts and Early Printed Books, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Consideration of applications will begin on December 15, 2008.

Curator for Medieval Manuscripts and Early Printed Books, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University
Librarian III-V

The University and the Library
One of the world’s leading research libraries, Yale University Library is a full partner in teaching, research, and learning at Yale and is visited by scholars from around the world.  A distinctive strength is its rich spectrum of resources, including approximately thirteen million volumes and information in all media, ranging from ancient papyri to early printed books to electronic databases.  The Library is engaging in numerous projects to expand access to its physical and digital collections.  Housed in twenty-two buildings including the Sterling Memorial Library, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the new Bass Library, it employs a dynamic and diverse staff of nearly six-hundred who offer innovative and flexible services to library readers.  To learn more about Yale University Library and its collections and services, visit

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library The Beinecke Library, one of the world’s largest buildings devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts, is Yale’s principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books. The Beinecke collections are internationally known and heavily used by scholars from around the world. For further information about the Beinecke Library, consult the library’s web site at:

General Purpose
Under the general guidance and supervision of the director of the Beinecke Library, the Curator for Medieval Manuscripts and Early Printed Books will be responsible for developing, interpreting, and promoting the collection; for actively engaging and aiding Yale University faculty and students and scholars from outside Yale in effective instructional and research use of the collection; for identifying and setting priorities for cataloging and conservation of the collection; and for establishing the digital priorities of the collection.

Collection development responsibilities include research and selection of materials for acquisition by purchase and gift of medieval and renaissance manuscripts and early printed books into the sixteenth century as well as cultivating dealer and donor relations. The collection has a substantial budget to support an extensive acquisition program. In addition to primary responsibility for medieval and renaissance manuscripts and early books, this curator will oversee certain other collections, such as the papyrus collection and Near Eastern Manuscripts including those in Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Coptic, Hebrew, and Armenian. The Curator will participate in the weekly meetings of the Beinecke Library Acquisition Committee as well as in regularly scheduled meetings of the Beinecke curatorial staff. The Curator will collaborate with other curators as well as the Associate Director for Academic Programming and Educational Outreach in planning and implementing collection- and exhibition-related academic and public programs, including lectures, conferences and symposia, public performances, master classes, and fellowships. At some time in the course of appointment, this curator may be named to the revolving position of Lead Curator.

The Curator is expected to forge particularly strong associations with relevant Yale faculty and to encourage the use of medieval and renaissance manuscripts and early books as well as other Beinecke collections in Yale teaching and research. This curator is expected to participate in presenting Beinecke Library materials to Yale classes and to other groups who may visit the Beinecke. The Curator should also be prepared to aid in paleographic instruction for reading and interpreting medieval manuscripts. An important assignment is both to build upon existing strengths and to undertake new directions of collection development, such as attention to vernacular literature and documents, and a formal program of publicizing and interpreting the collection in the United States and abroad. The Curator will be expected to undertake substantial new initiatives in the digitization of the Beinecke medieval collections and to encourage the use of these medieval digital assets by a broad scholarly and educational public.

The Curator also has the responsibility for interpreting the holdings of the collection to both the international scholarly community and broader public, particularly the New Haven community. These responsibilities include designing and organizing exhibitions and planning special programs such as conferences, symposia, and lectures as well as writing and editing catalogs. The Curator may also be called upon to issue news releases, grant interviews, conduct tours, and make presentations beyond the Beinecke Library itself. Outreach also extends to cooperation with the other units of the Yale Library System, the Lewis-Walpole Library, the Yale Center for British Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Whitney Humanities Center. The Curator is encouraged to publish scholarly works that promote the collection and is expected to be active professionally in publishing, conference attendance, and participation in professional organizations.

The Curator provides specialized assistance to researchers in person, by telephone, letter, and e-mail and coordinates reference service and instruction relating to the collection through the Access Services Unit.

The Curator cooperates with other departments in the Beinecke Library and the Yale Library to see that the collections are well described and cared for. In all these respects, the Curator is expected to function in a collegial fashion as part of a larger team of curators and librarians sustaining a broad program of collection development, scholarly outreach, cataloging, and international research in the humanities.  May be required to assist with disaster recovery efforts. May be assigned to work on the West Campus.

A completed Ph.D. in a field related to medieval literature, history, art history, or other appropriate area of specialization within medieval studies, with commitment to ongoing scholarly growth beyond the area of initial disciplinary specialization strongly preferred. Absent a doctoral degree, a candidate must possess a Master’s Degree in one or more of these fields and display a substantial record of publication in journals, books, or other refereed research venues. Other desirable but not required qualifications include: an MLS from an ALA-accredited school or an equivalent library degree; teaching experience; work experience in a research library, archive, or museum; and teaching experience are also desirable.

Candidates appointed to the rank of Librarian III must demonstrate at least five years of relevant experience and professional achievements. Appointment at the rank of Librarian IV requires at least eight years of relevant experience and professional achievements. Appointment at the rank of Librarian V requires at least twelve years of relevant experience and professional achievements.

A proficient reading knowledge of medieval Latin and paleography, as well as a research knowledge of at least one modern European language beyond English is required. Knowledge of a vernacular medieval language(s) is preferred, but not required. The applicant should display genuine enthusiasm for the active engagement of faculty with medieval collections. The applicant should have demonstrated skills in bringing projects to completion as well as being able to provide evidence of the personal organizational skills required to oversee an extensive program of acquisitions, collection management, and exhibition and conference planning. These skills, however, may have been demonstrated in a variety of settings and planning levels. Other desired qualities include evidence of bibliographical and scholarly accomplishment, commitment to organizational collegiality, familiarity with technological change in library work, and excellent interpersonal and communication skills in both writing and public speaking.

Salary and Benefits
Rank and competitive salary will be based upon the successful candidate’s qualifications and experience (min: 59,000). Full benefits package including pro-rated 22 vacation days; 18 holiday, recess and personal days; comprehensive health care; TIAA/CREF or Yale retirement plan; and relocation assistance. Consideration of applications will begin on December 15, 2008, and will be accepted until the position is filled. Applications consisting of a cover letter, resume, and the names of three references should be sent by creating an account and applying online at Please be sure to include Source Code #: 6254BR.

Background Check Requirements
All external candidates for employment will be subject to pre-employment screening. All offers are contingent on successful completion of a background check. Internal candidates are also subject to pre-employment screening for this position.

Yale University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Yale values diversity in its faculty, staff, and students and strongly encourages applications from women and members of underrepresented minority groups.

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