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Job Description

About Curtis:

The Curtis Institute of Music (Philadelphia, PA) educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level.

One of the world’s leading conservatories, Curtis is highly selective, with an enrollment of about 165. In this intimate environment, students receive personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. A busy schedule of performances is at the heart of Curtis’s distinctive “learn by doing” approach, which has produced an impressive number of notable artists since the school’s founding in Philadelphia in 1924.

Grounded in this rich heritage, Curtis is looking to the future in a flexible and forward-thinking way, evolving strategically to serve its time-honored mission.

The John de Lancie Library is located in the Milton L. Rock Resource Center at Curtis. The library holds more than eighty thousand music scores, books, and recordings for study and performance. In addition, the library collects and archives manuscripts, gifts of music, and memorabilia of Curtis and people associated with it.  The Archives, a unit of the library, houses more than 150,000 documents and media related to the history of Curtis, its students and faculty, and related materials.

Essential Functions:

The position of Archivist is full time, reporting to the Director of Music Library Information Resources. The Archives is a rapidly developing area within the Library as we develop a digital repository for the preservation of print and audio-visual archival materials. The Archivist will be key in accessioning and organizing existing and new archival collections and in promoting our resources to internal and external researchers. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Processing and preserving print-based materials such as recital and concert programs, Overtones, student records, and other Curtis ephemera
  • Generating electronic finding aids and indexes to Archives collections
  • Locating and assessing inactive Curtis records for historical value and acquiring new, relevant collections for the Archives
  • Promoting the archives to other universities, libraries, archivists, and scholars
  • Collaborating on internal library outreach projects, especially those related to Archives collections
  • Answering Archives and library-related reference questions
  • Developing archives web projects, including advising on the digital repository and digitizing existing finding aids
  • Collaborating with Overtones editorial staff on content related to the Archives
  • Creating physical and digital exhibits related to Curtis history
  • Training and supervising student assistant(s)
  • Performing additional library-related tasks such as circulation and reference and special projects as assigned


  • Master’s degree in archives or library science, ACA archival certification, or equivalent in experience and education
  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in a music-related field and/or experience in the performing arts
  • At least two years’ experience with archival procedures and practices
  • Experience with Microsoft software, including Word and Excel


  • Outstanding analytical, organizational, and time management skills with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Demonstrated experience in the arrangement and description of archival and manuscript collections
  • Interest and ability in developing and managing relationships with students, staff, faculty, and alumni in documenting the history of the school
  • Demonstrated proficiency and capability with information technology systems as they relate to archives (such as ArchivesSpace) and the willingness and ability to learn new software
  • Knowledge of metadata standards and schemas such as MODS and/or Dublin Core, some knowledge of cataloging (MARC, RDA and/or AARC2) and ability to describe archival records using the appropriate schema in the creation of finding aids (DACS and EAD)
  • Knowledge of copyright issues surrounding the acquisition of and access to archives and special collections
  • Evidence of active membership and involvement in professional or scholarly associations
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to thrive as a member of a two-person archives team
  • Curiosity for and willingness to learn new and emerging technology and adapt to rapidly changing environments
  • Ability to read music and demonstrated knowledge of classical music

Working Conditions/Physical Demands:

Routine for office environment. The employee will be required to perform the essential functions of the job and is included in a night and weekend coverage rotation.

How to Apply

For best consideration, interested and qualified applicants should electronically submit a cover letter, resume, three professional references, and salary requirements to: by June 15, 2016. Curtis offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and an attractive benefits package. Hire is contingent upon the successful passing of PA Act 153 and criminal (ADP) background screenings. No phone calls, please. EOE.

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