Maury A. Bromsen Curator of Latin American Books – John Carter Brown Library
The John Carter Brown Library has one of the world’s most important collections of books related to the history of the Americas across the period stretching from the arrival of Europeans in the Americas (c. 1492) through to the end of the colonial period (c. 1825). Books about Latin America and books printed in Latin America hold a special place within that collection, as well as our significant holdings in Spanish and Portuguese works printed in Europe but forming part of a large Iberoamerican print culture that spanned the oceans and, indeed, the globe. The Curator of Latin American Books serves as the ambassador – and chief proselytizer – for these extraordinary collections. Responsibilities include: the Library’s continued growth through acquisitions and collection development; its interpretation for scholars and the general public, through onsite and digital engagement; exhibition and publication preparation; the provision of reference services; identifying materials for preservation and conservation; and other duties as assigned by the Director/Librarian, to whom this position reports. It is essential that the Curator of Latin American Books have a solid grasp on the history of the Americas and to be able to effectively and meaningfully present material in imperial history, cultural history, the history of the book, and other relevant disciplines to staff, fellows, researchers, the Brown community, and the world outside of Brown.
The Curator of Latin American Books serves researchers both onsite and virtually by providing information about the JCB’s collection – and especially its Latin American books – to scholarly and nonscholarly constituencies. This requires continual study of the Library’s holdings, mastery of relevant bibliographical resources, and a knowledge of the history of Europe and the Americas. Occasional assistance in the teaching of courses out of the collection will also be expected.
In order to enhance her/his understanding of the collection, the Curator of Latin American Books is encouraged to undertake individual and collaborative research projects and to produce exhibitions based on the collection. It is expected that written articles will emerge from this research, which will be published either online as part of the Library’s broader digital engagement, outreach, and curation program or through advanced scholarly journals that bring prominence and prestige to the Library.
In conjunction with the Director and other members of the curatorial staff, the Curator of Latin American Books will actively participate in acquisitions decisions. Deep knowledge of the existing collection is a prerequisite for wise counsel on acquisitions, as is regular contact and close relations with leading antiquarian book dealers and collectors. The Curator will engage with the current (and past) market in books to be able to recognize material that would fill gaps in the collection, to define areas where the collection might expand and deepen, and to advise the Director on potential acquisitions in the areas of Latin American books and occasional manuscripts across a range of geographic fields, as well as secondary resources in all forms, analog and digital.
Ph.D. or extensive curatorial/scholarly experience in a field related to European and/or Atlantic world history, including but not limited to history, art history, literary studies, geography, anthropology, or other cognate disciplines; minimum of 5 years of experience with library collections; experience with the stewardship of unique materials and discovery tools to access these collections; knowledge of metadata and cataloguing concepts
Demonstrated aptitude for teaching and developing instructional materials for advanced researchers and students of all levels, including digital outreach and the use of electronic media for a robust range of pedagogical and scholarly activities
Demonstrated experience in rare materials and/or special collection libraries
Ability to speak publicly and write with demonstrable skill, including grant and proposal writing as well as advanced scholarship
Strong aptitude in foreign languages and knowledge of history/geography are essential
Interest in or ability to link traditional topics in the history of the Americas with emerging technologies, including digital humanities and/or web-based projects
Ability to manage projects effectively and independently; strong organizational, administrative and time management skills; initiative, confidence, and good judgment to prioritize, problem-solve, and execute tasks in a timely manager; ability to work with a diverse group of people, maintaining confidentiality, tact, and diplomacy.
Candidates please note: All offers of employment are contingent upon a criminal background, credit and education check satisfactory to Brown.
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Maury A. Bromsen Curator of Latin American Books
John Carter Brown Library
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