Senior Curatorial Assistant (Part-time)

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Job Description

Senior Curatorial Assistant for the Archive of World Music

Harvard College Library

Library Assistant VII

Schedule: 17.5 Hours per week

Duties & Responsibilities

The Loeb Music Library seeks a service-oriented Senior Curatorial Assistant for its Archive of World Music, a collection of field and commercial recordings and accompanying material collected world-wide with a focus on Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The job requires knowledge of library and archival procedures as well as knowledge of world musics and ethnomusicology. The incumbent will need excellent communication and public service skills to interact with faculty, students, staff, patrons and researchers regarding the collection. In addition, the incumbent provides access to the collection and manages the manuscript, audio and visual materials collections in ethnomusicology. The Senior Curatorial Assistant will collaborate with faculty to provide access to rare and unique field collections for use in teaching and research initiatives; and will create multi-media finding aids for archival collections. Please note that this is a part time (17.5 hours/week) position.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Interacts with faculty and students regarding materials for teaching and research

  • Serves as main liaison with faculty and with collections creators/donors, and coordinates deeds of gifts

  • Processes archival collections, including accessioning, arranging, describing and rehousing new acquisitions

  • Uses ArchivesSpace to create and manage finding aids for AWM collections

  • Works with donors to gather complete documentation for collection materials

  • Prepares original recordings and metadata for digital reformatting by Media Preservation Services

  • Consults with Audio Engineers at Media Preservation Services regarding digital preservation of media collections

  • Provides intellectual and physical access to collections both on-site or through networked digital access

  • Retrieves digital objects in the Harvard DRS (Digital Repository Service) in order to maintain, select, and retrieve preserved audio objects for access and maintenance

  • Participates in teaching and outreach programs, including outreach to Music Department faculty and graduate students to promote deposit of their research collections

  • Works with a variety of languages

  • Responds to inquiries concerning content and use of the collections

  • Contributes to resolution of problems and establishment of new procedure

  • Supervises student assistants

Basic Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent education required

  • Background in music, including world musics, required

  • Three years of experience working in an academic library or research setting with at least one being in technical or archival services

  • Working knowledge of preservation and archival standards and practices required

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Windows operating system and Windows software required

  • Demonstrated facility with automated systems, including using online databases, working with spreadsheets and knowledge of file management techniques

Additional Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education preferred

  • Background in ethnomusicology strongly desirable

  • Reading knowledge of one Western European or Asian language desirable; as is demonstrated ability to work with transliteration schemes and Non-Western concepts and scripts

  • Experience with ArchivesSpace and/or other archives management applications

  • Must be able to perform detailed work accurately and efficiently in a productivity-oriented environment and effectively in a small interactive group with minimal supervision

  • High level of comfort with changing technologies preferred

  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively and collegially in a busy environment and the ability to work independently

  • Demonstrated service orientation preferred

  • Ability to communicate on a high level and work effectively with faculty, students, vendors, staff, and users at all levels and from diverse backgrounds

Additional Information

Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University’s mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world’s most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support.  Today, Harvard Library’s holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University’s faculty, students, and researchers—now and in the future—with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at and about the Harvard University community at

How to Apply

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