Global Curatorial Project Archivist

Providence, RI
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Created: April 12, 2022


Job Requisition ID: REQ177387

Job Description

Anticipated Start Date: July 1, 2022

Applications will be reviewed beginning April 25, 2022

The Global Curatorial Project Archivist is a project-based position housed at the John Hay Library  in partnership with the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ). The Global Curatorial Project (GCP) was founded in 2014 to be a network of scholars, curators, and educators who are committed to creating innovative forms of public history about the historical social system of racial slavery and the ways in which it continues to shape our world. The GCP is led by CSSJ and the Center for the Study of Global Slavery (CSGS) at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Together, they convened 10 partner institutions located in Africa, Europe, and South America on two interconnected projects: a traveling exhibition, In Slavery’s Wake and a curatorial / archival collection and public engagement project, Unfinished Conversations. In Slavery’s Wake is an international exhibition project curated by the GCP which re-frames the history and legacies of slavery as both a locally and globally central story with deep contemporary relevance to our lives throughout the Atlantic world. The Unfinished Conversations initiative supports the exhibition project by focusing on exploring the question “How Slavery Shaped this Place” both through public programs that will encourage new conversations, and by establishing new collections of oral histories that will explore the lived experiences and historical memories of enslaved Africans and their descendants.  


Reporting to the Head of Collection Services and Metadata, the Global Curatorial Project Archivist accessions, arranges, describes, and catalogs the oral histories and related documentation, in all types of digital and analog formats, created and collected by the Global Curatorial Project. The Archivist will contribute the resulting collections and descriptive metadata to existing online databases and a new digital archive site dedicated to the GCP. The work is done in a user-centered and access-driven approach to processing and cataloging archival collections while paying close attention to the ethical needs of diverse cultural materials and their creators.  The position will ensure the description and vocabulary meets the needs of the creators and a global audience.  The Archivist  will also be an integral member of the  intellectual and professional communities of the John Hay Library and the CSSJ.  They will serve as a close collaborator with faculty and staff at the CSSJ and GCP partner institutions.  They will participate in the Center's internal and external programs and as needed in partner meetings related to the Global Curatorial Project.   The Archivist will participate with the CSSJ, GCP partners, and Brown University Library staff on the creation of the new digital archive site to present the oral histories and related documentation to researchers worldwide.  To support this work, the Global Curatorial Project Archivist will train and mentor student assistants to perform entry-level tasks. The cataloging work will also be informed by direct user interaction through regular service at service points at the John Hay Library.


About the Library:


The John Hay Library is home to Brown University’s remarkable collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archival material. The Hay and its collections attract an international cohort of researchers, and as a Carnegie Library, the Hay is committed to investing in community and public engagement. To ensure that its collections are carefully stewarded for long-term access and use by any visitor, the John Hay Library Collection Policy outlines six strategic collecting directions and core guiding principles for collecting. The Hay’s mission is to collect and preserve rare and unique materials that promote interdisciplinary research, teaching, and learning and inspire experimentation and creativity. Its collections support free and open inquiry, and we are committed to providing equitable access to our collections, exhibitions, and programming to a global community of students, scholars, and the public.


The Brown University Library is a dynamic center of scholarship and community at the heart of a world-class research university. Supporting and collaborating with a broad and diverse academic constituency, the Library is essential for Brown’s mission “to serve the community, the nation, and the world by discovering, communicating, and preserving knowledge and understanding in a spirit of free inquiry.” Integrating with Brown’s ambitious strategic plans, the Library is a site of innovation that fuels intellectual creativity.  Signature Library initiatives include the establishment of the Center for Library Exploration and Research to increase campus and community impact; the Racial Justice Project to assess and counteract the legacies of historical racism in library practice; the Digital Publications Initiative pioneering new approaches to born-digital scholarship; and a revisioned special collections program that is positioning the John Hay Library as a research destination and leader in reparative and community-based collecting. We are seeking outstanding library professionals at all levels of the organization who are excited about advancing academic excellence at the highest level, and who will bring a wide array of backgrounds, experiences, and abilities to a scholarly community that is actively committed to being more diverse and inclusive.


About the CSSJ:


Founded in 2012, CSSJ creates a space for the interdisciplinary study of the historical forms of slavery while also examining how these legacies continue to shape our contemporary world. 


The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice is a scholarly research center with a public humanities mission. Recognizing that racial and chattel slavery were central to the historical formation of the Americas and the modern world, the CSSJ creates a space for the interdisciplinary study of the historical forms of slavery while also examining how these legacies shape our contemporary world.


This is a 2-year externally-funded  term-limited position with the possibility of extension. This position is hybrid eligible with 1 day of remote work and 4 days of onsite work.


Education and Experience

  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in library or information science, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 1 year of experience in an academic library, public library, school library or other cultural heritage setting, or educational institution in a cataloging, teaching, administration, or research role.
  • Experience or academic training in one or more of the following: Black Studies (or equivalent), Gender & Sexuality, Native American & Indigenous Studies or other related fields.
  • Experience providing public access to original cultural heritage resources through cataloging, reference, research or teaching.
  • Demonstrated ability to research historical subjects, remain abreast of research and academic trends, and learn and apply evolving professional descriptive standards.
  • Familiarity with library or museum cataloging standards such as DACS, CCO, MARC, AACR2, or RDA, desirable but not required.
  • Familiarity with oral history collections is desirable but not required.
  • Demonstrated planning, decision making, and problem-solving skills with superior verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational, time, and project management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a diverse, dynamic, team setting or across institutions and to balance multiple competing priorities.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of the University.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a criminal background check and education verification satisfactory to Brown University.




Last updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2022 17:54 UTC