The New York Public Library seeks a dynamic and enthusiastic professional to serve as Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Curator of English and American Literature. The curator will provide leadership for the development, exhibition, interpretation, and promotion of distinctive literary holdings across The Library’s special collections to support advanced research and inspire lifelong learning for the general public.
The New York Public Library’s (NYPL) landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building houses outstanding collections, expert staff, and magnificent reading rooms which support a mission to advance knowledge and inspire lifelong learning. Literary holdings include, but are not limited to, The Library’s Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature. Part of the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, which is responsible for the service and stewardship of unique archival and literary collections, the Berg Collection is one of the world’s most celebrated collections of literary material. Originally formed as an author collection with the bequest of Henry and Albert Berg, the collections have expanded by gift and purchase to encompass a broad range of English and American literature. Strengths of the collections support research in the Irish Literary Renaissance; British poets of the First World War; early and late Modernism; Bloomsbury; the Black Mountain poets; the Beats; and the New York School. Significant archival holdings include the papers of Paul Auster, Joseph Conrad, Alfred Kazin, Jack Kerouac, Annie Proulx, Terry Southern, and Virginia Woolf. Other notable literary archives at The Library include the papers of author Tom Wolfe, Truman Capote, the records of The New Yorker, and the publishing company Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
The curator will be responsible for developing unique literary collections in print and manuscript; supporting their use through assistance to researchers; community engagement; digital humanities initiatives; exhibitions, programming, publication and other outreach activity. The curator will also cultivate and maintain relationships with established and potential donors, and work as part of the management team in close collaboration with Collection Development, Exhibitions Department, and Special Collections and Preservation Services. The successful applicant for the curatorial position will demonstrate a historical understanding of the intellectual content and materiality of literary collections, their use in contemporary scholarship, as well as providing vision for the acquisition of literary archives.
Under the general direction of the Assistant Director for Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books, the Berg Curator will be responsible for the following areas:
Public Service and Programming Responsibilities:
Professional and Other Responsibilities:
The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Curator of English and American Literature will coordinate the work of specialists whose roles are primarily serving researchers across the reading rooms of Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books and in the processing of Berg Collection, in close coordination with colleagues across the library, locally and at the NYPL’s Library Services Center.