9 Feb 2024


Assistant Curator

New York Public Library  →   New York, New York, United States


New York Public Library jobs

Job Description

Assistant Curator, Jerome Robbins Dance Division

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division is the world’s largest dance archive with an international and extensive collection that spans seven centuries. Founded in 1944, we provide a community space for dance professionals, researchers and the general public, offering programs and exhibitions, a dance studio for special projects, educational activities, residencies, fellowships, documentation of performances and oral histories and, of course, dance reference services, all free of charge.

The Dance Division seeks applications for the role of Assistant Curator. Reporting to the Anne H. Bass Curator, the Assistant Curator works holistically with the Curator to oversee the day-to-day operations of all aspects of the Division’s Circulating, Research, and Special Collections. This includes management of staff, acquisitions, duplication and loan requests, cataloging and processing, reference, programming, exhibitions, documentation, education and other areas as necessary.


We are looking for someone we can count on to:

Own: Reference services and archival and record management
Teach: Collection management and description
Learn: Dance field engagement and service
Improve: Patron research experience

Some expectations for this role are that within:

1 month, this person will:
Be familiar with NYPL’s various internal and external tools for navigating research and circulating materials.
3 months, this person will:
Be implementing improvements to public service and supporting staff projects.
6 months and beyond, this person will:
Be confident assuming responsibility for the Dance Division in the absence of the curator.



  • Assists the curator with special collections acquisitions, including liaising with collection donors, completing site visits and collection evaluations, and managing information during NYPL’s acquisitions approval process
  • Manages staffing issues, including planning, assigning, and supervising staff projects, the selection and training of staff, and managing volunteer and special projects
  • Coordinates access to restricted collections and items, including copyright and intellectual property rights for audio and moving image material
  • In consultation with the curator, directs conservation and collections care projects variously involving volunteers, Dance staff, NYPL’s Conservation department, and independent contractors
  • Represents Dance Division to internal and external stakeholders, facilitating community outreach, audience and donor development, special projects, and institutional collaborations
  • Fosters innovative research and engagement with collections, particularly supporting annual Dance Research Fellowship and Symposium, education initiatives, and staff development
  • Collaborates closely with curator and NYPL’s Special Collections processing department to assess and coordinate archival processing and special collections cataloging
  • Helps to establish priorities with NYPL’s Collection Management team to address collections storage and preservation at both on- and off-site facilities
  • Manages large-scale exhibitions and loans for Dance Division, involving Conservation, Exhibitions, Registrar, Digital, and Rights teams across the Library
  • Collects statistical data on Special and General Research Collections usage for internal and external reports
  • Maintains bibliographic and intellectual control over Special and General Research Collections, including legacy collections, 3D materials, original artworks, audio and moving image collections, print and photographic vertical files, and rare books, in addition to archival collections
  • Contributes to Divisional reference services through remote consultations and in-person public service
  • Serves on LPA and NYPL-wide committees and working groups, including the Special Collections Council, Loan Committee, Research Libraries Council and other groups as assigned

Required Education, Experience & Skills

Required Education & Certifications

  • ALA-accredited MLS degree or equivalent qualification / experience, preferably with an archives specialization

Required Experience

  • 6+ years experience in a library, archives, or museum context
  • Demonstrable experience managing large and complex collections and projects
  • Subject expertise in dance and / or the performing arts, with a knowledge of dance history, literature, and research methodologies
  • Substantial experience in public service, particularly archival and secondary source reference at a research library or similar institution
  • Successfully demonstrated knowledge of current archival practices for a paper-based and audio and moving image materials, including acquisition, description, preservation, digitization, and rights management
  • Budget management experience, including grant writing / reporting and administration
  • Experience working with diverse audiences and community stakeholders
  • Experience managing staff

Required Skills

  • Organizational skills and the ability to work effectively under pressure with judgment, accuracy, and attention to detail
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills and the ability to communicate tactfully and effectively with staff, the general public, and dance professionals
  • Ability to work independently and to take responsibility for successful achievement of agreed objectives
  • Proficient in the use of library and archival management systems, digital repositories, and databases, in addition to G-Suite and Microsoft Office applications
  • Knowledge of copyright and other rights management issues for published and unpublished materials
  • Managerial/Supervisory Responsibilities
  • In absence of Curator, assumes administrative and supervisory responsibilities for team of 13 employees, including staff responsible for reference and public service, education, outreach, public programming, audio and moving image preservation, and original documentation
  • Serves as LPA Chief-in-Charge on a rotational basis


Core Values

  • All team members are expected and encouraged to embody the NYPL Core Values:
  • Be Helpful to patrons and colleagues
  • Be Resourceful in solving problems
  • Be Curious in all aspects of your work
  • Be Welcoming and Inclusive
  • Work Environment
  • Office environment.
  • Will occasionally have to visit private homes and storage facilities.
  • Physical Duties
  • Lift 40lbs.

Pre-Placement Physical Required?

Union/Non Union

FLSA Status

Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm, some Saturdays and evening hours
Availability until 8pm on Mondays and Thursdays required.


$80,000 – $85,000 / year


How to Apply

Apply online at nypl.pinpointhq.com


About The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources.



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Full-Time Job in Library:
Assistant Curator
New York Public Library
 New York, New York, United States

Job Categories: Library. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: assistant, curator, curatorial, library, non-profit, and NYPL. States: New York.