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The Gladys Brooks Curator of Architecture at Athenaeum of Philadelphia

Athenaeum of Philadelphia
The Gladys Brooks Curator of Architecture
United States of America
Expiry Date
31 Dec 2023
Posted by
Tess Galen
Posted on
16 Nov 2023

Job Title: The Gladys Brooks Curator of Architecture

Reports to: The Executive Director

FLSA Status: Exempt

Job Status: Full Time


About the Role

The Gladys Brooks Curator of Architecture develops, stewards and activates The Athenaeum of Philadelphia's historical collections in 18th-20th century architecture for the scholarly community, Athenaeum membership and the broader public. The successful candidate should bring enthusiasm, vision and creativity to the challenges of managing a collection of more than 360,000 architectural drawings, 300,000 architectural photographs, maps, atlases, interior design collections, periodicals and trade catalogs; as well as books, periodicals, and digital assets. This position presents a unique opportunity for a candidate to create practices, policies and procedures that increase access and engagement with our collections. The successful candidate will be mission-oriented and confident in leading new initiatives; a technologically adept, self-directed, well-organized, creative problem-solver and collaborative team-player. The candidate should be passionate and knowledgeable about archival methods and standards, as well as tools and systems. A successful candidate will bring leadership, organization, vision, and support to The Athenaeum of Philadelphia's team, and will work to align departmental focus and capacity with The Athenaeum's mission and goals.


Specific Duties:

·        Develops and manages archival collections; acquires, processes, manages and develops access tools for the collections.

·        Provides research and reference assistance for the collection to researchers (in person, by phone and electronically).

·        Activates the collections for researchers and the general public through talks, exhibitions, tours, seminars, conferences, publications, digital initiatives and outreach activities.

·        Works collaboratively with other staff and stakeholders on permanent, temporary and online exhibitions.

·        Advises Executive Director and Collections Committee on potential acquisitions; serves as a contact for donors and potential donors; and participates in The Athenaeum of Philadelphia events and meetings.

·        Fosters partnerships and collaborations with other special collections libraries, educational institutions and non-profits and to promote collection engagement.

·        Represents the architecture collections to the Board of Directors, Collections Committee and other supporters through reports and presentations.

·        In partnership with Executive Director, staff and outside partners, identify, develop and administer grant-funded projects related to collections care, storage, accessibility and engagement.

·        Steers the digitization projects of The Athenaeum's holdings, integrating selected materials with the PAB and GeoHistory websites.

·        Keeps current with relevant historiographical concerns, issues, developments and trends in professional communities as well as archival methods and standards, tools and systems, and contributes to appropriate professional organizations.

·        Contributes to Athenaeum activities and initiatives.

·        Oversees the work of assistants, interns and contract workers as needed.

·        Coordinate the work of the Peterson Fellowship and Peterson Prize committees.

·        Other duties as assigned.


Candidate Requirements and Experience


·        A minimum of 3 years of professional experience in a special collections research or academic library, museum or gallery.

·        ALA-accredited Master's Degree in Library or Information Science and/or an advanced degree in a relevant discipline or equivalent knowledge acquired through professional employment.

·        MA or proof of subject knowledge of the history of architecture, American and/or Philadelphia history, museum studies, historical preservation, rare book studies or related field.

·        Excellent organizational, analytical, communication and interpersonal skills.

·        The ability to prioritize competing tasks effectively while working with numerous constituents in a busy and engaging membership library.

·        Demonstrated collegiality and a record of professional collaboration.


·        Advanced degree in a relevant subject area

·        Experience with digitization and digital humanities projects.

·        Experience curating exhibitions.

·        Understanding of rare materials and architectural materials preservation issues.


About Us: Chartered in 1814 and located on Washington Square, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia is a member-supported circulating library, research archives, and community forum that “nurtures curiosity in members and neighbors, strengthening community through learning, discourse and meaningful engagement.”


Pay:  $60,000 - $85,000/year, based on experience. The Athenaeum of Philadelphia provides a generous benefits package that includes generous PTO, comprehensive medical benefits package, a retirement plan and parental leave for new parents.


How to Apply: Please send a cover letter and CV/resume to [email protected]. Please put “Curator” in the subject line. No phone calls please. Only candidates under consideration will be contacted.

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse pool of candidates.

Chartered in 1814 and located on Washington Square, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia is a member-supported circulating library, research archives, and community forum that “nurtures curiosity in members and neighbors, strengthening community through learning, discourse and meaningful engagement.”


The Athenaeum of Philadelphia

219 South Sixth Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106


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