Global Curatorial Project Archivist

Brown University

Providence, RI

Application Deadline

Apply By Apr 25th, 2022


Not Specified


Providence, RI


Not Specified


Not Specified

Minimum Education

Not Specified

Library Experience

Not Specified

Supervisory Experience

Not Specified

Type of Library


This job is more than 3 weeks old or the application deadline has passed.

Job Description

Anticipated Start Date: July 1, 2022

Applications will be reviewed beginning April 25, 2022

The Global Curatorial Project Archivist is a project-based position housed at the John Hay Library  in partnership with the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ). The Global Curatorial Project (GCP) was founded in 2014 to be a network of scholars, curators, and educators who are committed to creating innovative forms of public history about the historical social system of racial slavery and the ways in which it continues to shape our world. The GCP is led by CSSJ and the Center for the Study of Global Slavery (CSGS) at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Together, they convened 10 partner institutions located in Africa, Europe, and South America on two interconnected projects: a traveling exhibition, In Slavery’s Wake and a curatorial / archival collection and public engagement project, Unfinished Conversations. In Slavery’s Wake is an international exhibition project curated by the GCP which re-frames the history and legacies of slavery as both a locally and globally central story with deep contemporary relevance to our lives throughout the Atlantic world. The Unfinished Conversations initiative supports the exhibition project by focusing on exploring the question “How Slavery Shaped this Place” both through public programs that will encourage new conversations, and by establishing new collections of oral histories that will explore the lived experiences and historical memories of enslaved Africans and their descendants.  

Reporting to the Head of Collection Services and Metadata, the Global Curatorial Project Archivist accessions, arranges, describes, and catalogs the oral histories and related documentation, in all types of digital and analog formats, created and collected by the Global Curatorial Project. The Archivist will contribute the resulting collections and descriptive metadata to existing online databases and a new digital archive site dedicated to the GCP. The work is done in a user-centered and access-driven approach to processing and cataloging archival collections while paying close attention to the ethical needs of diverse cultural materials and their creators.  The position will ensure the description and vocabulary meets the needs of the creators and a global audience.  The Archivist  will also be an integral member of the  intellectual and professional communities of the John Hay Library and the CSSJ.  They will serve as a close collaborator with faculty and staff at the CSSJ and GCP partner institutions.  They will participate in the Center's internal and external programs and as needed in partner meetings related to the Global Curatorial Project.   The Archivist will participate with the CSSJ, GCP partners, and Brown University Library staff on the creation of the new digital archive site to present the oral histories and related documentation to researchers worldwide.  To support this work, the Global Curatorial Project Archivist will train and mentor student assistants to perform entry-level tasks. The cataloging work will also be informed by direct user interaction through regular service at service points at the John Hay Library.

About the Library:

The John Hay Library is home to Brown University’s remarkable collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archival material. The Hay and its collections attract an international cohort of researchers, and as a Carnegie Library, the Hay is committed to investing in community and public engagement. To ensure that its collections are carefully stewarded for long-term access and use by any visitor, the John Hay Library Collection Policy outlines six strategic collecting directions and core guiding principles for collecting. The Hay’s mission is to collect and preserve rare and unique materials that promote interdisciplinary research, teaching, and learning and inspire experimentation and creativity. Its collections support free and open inquiry, and we are committed to providing equitable access to our collections, exhibitions, and programming to a global community of students, scholars, and the public.

The Brown University Library is a dynamic center of scholarship and community at the heart of a world-class research university. Supporting and collaborating with a broad and diverse academic constituency, the Library is essential for Brown’s mission “to serve the community, the nation, and the world by discovering, communicating, and preserving knowledge and understanding in a spirit of free inquiry.” Integrating with Brown’s ambitious strategic plans, the Library is a site of innovation that fuels intellectual creativity.  Signature Library initiatives include the establishment of the Center for Library Exploration and Research to increase campus and community impact; the Racial Justice Project to assess and counteract the legacies of historical racism in library practice; the Digital Publications Initiative pioneering new approaches to born-digital scholarship; and a revisioned special collections program that is positioning the John Hay Library as a research destination and leader in reparative and community-based collecting. We are seeking outstanding library professionals at all levels of the organization who are excited about advancing academic excellence at the highest level, and who will bring a wide array of backgrounds, experiences, and abilities to a scholarly community that is actively committed to being more diverse and inclusive.

About the CSSJ:

Founded in 2012, CSSJ creates a space for the interdisciplinary study of the historical forms of slavery while also examining how these legacies continue to shape our contemporary world. 

The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice is a scholarly research center with a public humanities mission. Recognizing that racial and chattel slavery were central to the historical formation of the Americas and the modern world, the CSSJ creates a space for the interdisciplinary study of the historical forms of slavery while also examining how these legacies shape our contemporary world.

This is a 2-year externally-funded  term-limited position with the possibility of extension. This position is hybrid eligible with 1 day of remote work and 4 days of onsite work.

Major Responsibility:   Catalog born-digital, archival, manuscript, and oral history collections     70%

Supporting Actions:       

  • Receives and accessions incoming materials that are part of the permanent archival documentation for the Global Curatorial Project.
  • Prepares the archival, manuscript, and oral history collections containing all types of digital and analog formats for researcher use and long-term preservation through physical arrangement, and the creation of description and access materials (archival finding aids, MARC catalog records, MODS records) that maximize discoverability. Contributes those access records to existing databases such as the Brown University Library catalog, the Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online (RIAMCO) finding aid database, and the Brown Digital Repository.
  • Ensures that description and access materials are culturally sensitive, trauma-informed, and contain nuanced and respectful descriptions of Blackness, Indigeneity, sexuality, gender identity, and other similar topics.
  • Recommends creation and use of locally-controlled descriptive vocabulary to accurately describe the materials created and collected by the Global Curatorial Project in consultation with the creators.
  • Creates access and use protocols, including restrictions, for the diverse cultural materials to maintain confidentiality, respect cultural privilege, and comply with donor agreements, University policies, or relevant laws.
  • Maintains efficient workflows and production standards including incorporating changes in accessioning and cataloging protocols as needed.
  • Hires and trains student assistants or graduate student proctors as necessary for the project.
  • Participates in the CSSJ internal and external programs and as needed in partner meetings related to the Global Curatorial Project.
  • Collaborates with Special Collections staff, CSSJ staff, and GCP partner institutions regarding best practices for the project documentation that will become part of the permanent archival record for this project. Provides guidance about best practices for oral history documentation prior to the start of oral history interviews at the various GCP partner locations

Major Responsibility:              Digital archive   20%

Supporting Actions:       

  • Collaborates with Library staff on the creation and maintenance of a digital archive that will store and present the archival documentation of the Global Curatorial Project for a global audience.
  • Uploads digital objects and corresponding descriptions to the Brown Digital Repository or similar systems and links digital images to finding aids, MARC records, or other websites as needed.

Major Responsibility:              Professional development   10%

Supporting Actions:       

  • Actively updates professional knowledge and skills, participates in professional and/or scholarly associations, and is aware of current trends in higher education, libraries, and cultural heritage institutions.
  • Continually updates cultural knowledge and stays current with reparative justice issues and best practices.
  • Stays current with research trends through educational opportunities and direct regular engagement with patrons at service points at the John Hay Library.

Education and Experience

  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in library or information science, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 1 year of experience in an academic library, public library, school library or other cultural heritage setting, or educational institution in a cataloging, teaching, administration, or research role.
  • Experience or academic training in one or more of the following: Black Studies (or equivalent), Gender & Sexuality, Native American & Indigenous Studies or other related fields.
  • Experience providing public access to original cultural heritage resources through cataloging, reference, research or teaching.
  • Demonstrated ability to research historical subjects, remain abreast of research and academic trends, and learn and apply evolving professional descriptive standards.
  • Familiarity with library or museum cataloging standards such as DACS, CCO, MARC, AACR2, or RDA, desirable but not required.
  • Familiarity with oral history collections is desirable but not required.
  • Demonstrated planning, decision making, and problem-solving skills with superior verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational, time, and project management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a diverse, dynamic, team setting or across institutions and to balance multiple competing priorities.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of the University.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a criminal background check and education verification satisfactory to Brown University.

Recruiting Start Date: 022-04-04-07:00

Job Posting Title: Global Curatorial Project Archivist

Department: University Library

Grade: Grade 10

Worker Type:


Worker Sub-Type:


Time Type:

Full time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:


Position Classification:

Hybrid Eligible

Submission Guidelines:

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

Vaccination Requirements:

In order to maintain 90% or greater universal vaccination rates on campus, all newly hired employees at Brown University must receive the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before they begin work, unless they are approved for a medical or religious exemption. All employees must also receive a COVID-19 booster within thirty (30) days of becoming eligible. For more information, please visit the Healthy Brown site.

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Brown University is an E-Verify Employer.

Brown University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic global community; as an EEO/AA employer, Brown considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.


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