Job Posting: Exhibition Curatorial Fellow

The Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library seeks to hire an Exhibition Curatorial Fellow for the period July 2022 through January 2023, extensible through June 2023. The Curatorial Fellow will take a lead role in planning, researching, and producing content for the Center’s 2023 exhibition on local-scale history in Greater Boston. The Curatorial Fellow will have lead authorial and creative direction over this exhibition, working closely with the Head Curator and other Center staff, and will be given byline-level credit for the final installed exhibition. This is a part-time, hourly, fixed-term position.

This opportunity may be particularly suitable for the following types of applicants:

  • Currently enrolled graduate students in programs such as history, urban studies, museum and library studies, or geography
  • Early career research and museum professionals working on local history and urban change
  • Individuals engaged with Boston’s local history in any capacity, including public historians and community historians

We are particularly interested in applicants who can demonstrate an interest and skill at connecting themes from historical geographic research to public engagement around contemporary social issues.

The Center’s 2023 exhibition, provisionally titled Building Up: Stories from the Atlas Collections, will draw on the Center’s collection of fire insurance and real estate atlases to tell the story of small-scale local change from the late nineteenth century onwards. These collections are the same ones that appear in the Center’s Atlascope digital discovery tool. Building Up will feature both historical atlases and original materials on display in the Center’s gallery at the Central Library in Copley Square, as well as potential moving installations to be shown at branch libraries and community centers.

Responsibilities

The primary role of the Exhibition Curatorial Fellow will involve the selection of objects, research on local history connected to the collections material, and the writing of captions and other original content for the exhibition. The fellow will work closely with Center staff in this process, and will also work with a cohort of high school guest curators in Summer 2022 to develop student-generated materials for the exhibition. The Center will provide research assistance and supervisory guidance pertaining to the consideration of materials for physical display, but the Exhibition Curatorial Fellow is expected to take authorial control over the exhibition’s overall narrative and focus. The scope of the exhibition will consist of approximately 16-20 objects on display, together with associated interpretive panels that extend the exhibition’s storytelling themes with additional material. The Curatorial Fellow will not be expected to perform design, fabrication, or install work, but during the final three months of the exhibition preparation period (October-December 2022), the Fellow will also take a key role coordinating these activities with close cooperation from Center staff.

Because the atlas collection primarily covers a chronological period roughly 1860-1940, we are particularly interested in applicants who can connect histories of this period to the present, especially on themes related to community development, architectural and landscape history, urban and environmental change, social history, and the importance of historical study for contemporary social justice issues. The Exhibition Curatorial Fellow will also have an opportunity to work with Center staff in expanding digital exhibition tools growing out of the existing Atlascope platform.

This position may be extensible January-June 2023 during the exhibition’s run time, with a role focused on interpreting the exhibition and coordinating public programs.

Compensation

Hours: 0.4 FTE, 16 hours/week

Compensation: $25.15/hour

This position is not eligible for health benefits.

The Leventhal Center is independent of the Boston Public Library and does not have a residency requirement for employees. All Leventhal Center employees are required to present proof of full vaccination against the COVID-19 virus per federal CDC guidelines.

Work is performed in-person at the Central Library in Copley Square, though some opportunities for remote work during the research and writing phase of work will be possible. The Library is well-served by public transit. No free facilities for employee parking are available. The Library and Map Center gallery are fully ADA accessible.

About the Leventhal Center

The Leventhal Map & Education Center is an independent, self-governing nonprofit organization in a long-term strategic relationship with the Boston Public Library. LMEC stewards a quarter million geographic objects in the Library’s collections and works to make them freely available to the public for research, interpretation, and engagement. LMEC’s collections range from fifteenth century atlases to modern-day geospatial data sets. LMEC creates original exhibitions hosted in its gallery space at the Central Library in Copley Square and promotes K-12 and public education on topics that explore the relationship between people and places.

As a mission-driven organization, LMEC endorses the following values:

  • Commit to integrity, excellence, respect in all our relationships, and professional library ethics (including the ALA’s Code of Ethics and the ACRL Code of Ethics for Special Collections Librarians)
  • Listen to and include community voices, especially those who have been less represented
  • Increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organization and our work with others
  • Work to advance a more just and equitable society
  • Keep our spaces and community services open, welcoming, and “free to all”

LMEC places great value on an organizational culture in which staff members have the flexibility and openness to work with a diverse group of audiences, constituencies, and colleagues. Our work is committed to public service and to innovation that fosters positive change in the world.

To Apply

To apply, submit:

  • A letter of interest, no longer than 2 single-spaced pages
  • A resume or CV
  • If applicable, examples of other public-facing projects in which you have played a major role (student work is appropriate for inclusion)
  • The names and contact information for two references

Longlisted applicants will be asked to provide a writing sample prior to interviewing.

Applications due May 23, 2022

Application Link

For more information

Please contact info@leventhalmap.org with questions about this vacancy.