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Curator of Prints, Boston Public Library (Boston)

Under the direction of the Manager of the Arts, the Curator of Prints is responsible for stewardship and management of the Boston Public Library’s large and diverse collection of

prints, drawings, and works on paper, spanning Old Master works through contemporary prints of the 21st century. Responsibilities include promoting the use, care, and servicing of the library’s print collection, including rare and unique print and manuscript material related to prints; researching and interpreting materials; providing specialized and complex reference services; and developing the print collection in support of the library’s collecting strategy and mission.

Reports to

Manager of the Arts or delegate


Professional and support staff as assigned
Develops, maintains, supervises, and actively promotes the Boston Public Library’s special collections and reference materials related to prints.
Performs difficult and complex reference and research services in person, on the phone, and by correspondence.
Assists in planning and managing the services, operations, and staff of the Arts Department. Assumes administrative responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the department in the absence of the Department Head or other ranking staff member.
Works with the Special Collections and Content Discovery teams to set priorities for the organization, access, servicing, digitization, and preservation of prints special collections to facilitate their use. Advises on the development of a variety of bibliographic access applications, both print and electronic, to facilitate use of the collections by users throughout the City and the Commonwealth.
Carries out continuing research on the Library’s print collection and works with the Content Discovery team to develop descriptions and cataloging material in the print collection, particularly rare or unique print and manuscript material.
Provides expert interpretation and context to prints-related special collections for exhibitions, public programs, publications, speaking engagements, web-based projects, and social media outlets.
Participates in the development and implementation of innovative services that connect library users with prints special collections, lowers hurdles to access for researchers, and facilitates the sharing of knowledge among users.
Works with appropriate staff to identify, evaluate, and prioritize candidates for digitization initiatives and helps facilitate the use of digital print collections.
Alternates with other staff members in supervising a public reading room in such a way as to maintain an atmosphere conducive to research while responsibly preserving and protecting materials. Instructs patrons in the proper handling of special collections materials related to prints.
Participates in stacks maintenance and inventory projects and conducts periodic conservation assessments in collaboration with conservation and preservation staff. Suggests items or special collections in need of conservation and makes recommendations for rehousing or reformatting of materials.
Under the direction of the Manager of the Arts, oversees the selection, evaluation, and maintenance of prints, drawings, and works on paper within established collecting areas and in alignment with the BPL’s Collection Development Policy. This includes recommending acquisitions, suggesting areas for future growth, and reviewing donations and gift proposals.
Assists in the training of Special Collections staff and in the orientation of both staff and members of the public to the services of the department.
Commits to keeping current in the best practices of the profession by taking advantage of training and development activities, by reading professional literature, and by participating in professional activities.
Represents library at local and national conferences.
Contributes as appropriate to the development of grant narratives, work plans, and budgets.
Performs other related and comparable duties as assigned.

Knowledge of printmaking and drawing techniques and knowledge of the history of prints and drawings.
Reading knowledge of one or more foreign languages and the ability to deal with unfamiliar foreign languages preferred.
Strong working knowledge of relevant print and electronic resources.
Strong working knowledge of the best practices for print and drawings collection arrangement and description, particularly rare or unique material.
Strong familiarity with collection management and inventory systems, library automation systems, digital object repository applications, and web delivery platforms for cultural heritage content.
Ability to work collaboratively and proactively with various advisory groups and levels of staff in a team environment.
Knowledge of specialized preservation and handling techniques for rare and fragile items related to the field.
Ability to carry out detailed procedures with accuracy.
Ability to plan and prioritize job responsibilities and tasks.
Demonstrated initiative and appropriate independent decision making skills.
Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal skills.
Communicates effectively and presents ideas clearly.
Ability to execute library policy.
Proficiency with Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
Ability to think creatively and innovatively.


Minimum Entrance Qualifications:

Bachelor's degree from a recognized college or university and a master's degree in library and information science from an ALA accredited library school, or a master’s degree in Art History from an accredited college or university.  Relevant subject knowledge and/or specialized training required. In exceptional instances specialized education, training, and/or experience may be substituted for part or all of the educational requirements.


Four years relevant experience from a library, museum, or other similar cultural heritage institution.


Some evening and weekend hours.
Residency - Must be a resident of the City of Boston upon the first day of hire.
CORI - Must successfully clear a Criminal Offenders Record Information check with the City of Boston.

Union/Salary Plan/Grade: PSA/P- 3

Hours per week: 35

Full/Part Time

Full Time



Salary Range

$69,941.04 - $91,224.85  / year

Closing Date

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please visit the City of Boston Career Center Portal direct link.


2023-10-22 |  Quick link to this job