Invitation for Applications for Curator of Oral History in Columbia University Libraries

Rachel Schaedler's picture

The Columbia University Libraries invites nominations and applications for the position of Curator of Oral History, Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The Curator will develop and conduct outreach on behalf of the Columbia Center for Oral History (CCOH) archive, a partnership between the Columbia University Libraries and the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE). Working with faculty and researchers at INCITE and across the University, the Curator will expand oral history collections, as well as promote their access, preservation, and use in research, teaching, and learning.

The Curator of Oral History will provide research support, rights and permission guidance, and the implementation of policies and procedures related to oral history collections. The Curator will provide proactive outreach to faculty and students, including teaching in appropriate courses as requested. The Curator will assist in the identification of funding opportunities and preparation of grants supporting the programmatic needs of oral history collection development, access, and preservation. Working with the Oral History Archivist, colleagues from preservation and digital projects divisions within the Libraries, the Curator will prioritize the processing and digitization of oral history collections. The position will report to the Director, Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is Columbia University's largest repository for primary source collections. The range of collections in the RBML span more than 4,000 years and comprise rare printed works, cylinder seals, cuneiform tablets, papyri, and Coptic ostraca; medieval and renaissance manuscripts; as well as art, photography, and realia. Some 500,000 printed books and 14 miles of manuscripts, personal papers, organizational archives and records form the core of RBML holdings. The history of publishing, comics, graphic arts, human rights, the performing arts, and the Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian émigré materials are strengths of the RBML. The RBML is also home to the University Archives and the archival arm of the Columbia Center for Oral History. In addition, the RBML hosts several faculty and graduate student researchers each year through both the Library Research Awards and Primary Sources Internship programs. For more information about RBML collections and services, see http://library.columbia.edu/rbml.

One of the world's leading research universities, Columbia 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 and excellent benefits.

Columbia University is An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  

Minimum Qualifications:

  • MLS or PhD or equivalent
  • An advanced degree (Masters or PhD) in Oral History or a related field (Anthropology, Folklore, Sociology, etc.) or an equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Oral History as a discipline, including experience conducting oral history projects and using oral histories in academic research and teaching;
  • Knowledge of audio and video technologies used in conducting oral histories;
  • Successful experience managing complex projects;
  • Demonstrated ability to work collegially and collaboratively with diverse groups, across a complex organization;
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to actively listen, understand, and articulate the needs of researchers and other stakeholders.  

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Graduate training in oral history
  • Working knowledge of relevant web applications
  • Knowledge and experience in some aspect of digital humanities or social sciences
  • Experience with current audio technologies
  • Experience in writing and administering grants

To apply for this position, please visit: academicjobs.columbia.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=64195