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Curator of Media, Music, and Arts

Vanderbilt University and the Vanderbilt Libraries are in an exciting time of transformation. With new leadership at the Chancellor, Provost and University Librarian levels, the Libraries are re-envisioning the future of library services at Vanderbilt. Through radical collaboration we seek to deepen student and faculty engagement with the libraries, equip students for life-long information proficiency, increase faculty research impact, create more opportunities for interdisciplinary experimentation, and optimize access to collections and resources, including marginalized and hidden histories and cultures.

Vanderbilt Libraries Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) are part of this transformation, developing innovative approaches to the curation, preservation, and access to its collections and resources including those related to Media, Music, and the Arts. The new Curator of Media, Music, and the Arts will oversee and lead on the accessioning, arrangement, description, and preservation of the relevant diverse collections of permanent records in the care of Vanderbilt University Libraries, which includes manuscript, audio-visual, born-digital, and multimedia formats. 

The curator will collaborate with existing donors, potential donors, and external organizations such as the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) to search out, acquire, and manage new collections and bring in funding. The new Curator will play a pivotal role in shaping and diversifying the curation of, and access to, SCUA collections.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develops and supports a strong working relationship with colleagues in the Wilson Music Library, the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM), and University Faculty.
  • Collaborates on projects and shared initiatives that will develop and diversify the SCUA media, music, and the arts collections in line with the SCUA collection development strategy.
  • Leads and manages the setting up and improvement of the processing, arrangement, and preservation of diverse, historic, and contemporary collections of manuscripts, audio-visual recordings, artwork, and scores from the media, music, and the arts domains.
  • In collaboration with colleagues from the Wilson Music Library, Vanderbilt TV News archive, and other curatorial specialists, supplies guidance for the development and management of recorded sound, audiovisual, and other media format collections in Vanderbilt.
  • Leads and manages the arrangement and description of new, and existing, unprocessed collections from the media, music, and the arts domains; develop and maintain a clear and transparent plan for the prioritization of the processing of all these collections.
  • For music collections, collaborates with colleagues from the Wilson Music Library and NMAAM to make the collections of Phil Schaap, Dizzy Gillespie, and other African American musicians accessible and available for researchers and the public.
  • Leads on the creation of finding aids in DACS for media, music, and the arts collections, uploads them to ArchivesSpace while collaborating with colleagues across SCUA and beyond.
  • Supports and collaborates with the Curator of Born Digital Special Collections to assess, preserve, and provide access to born digital, and digitized audio-visual, and sound recordings derived from a wide range of analog and digital formats.
  • Alongside other SCUA Curators collaborates with IT Teams to improve preservation of and access to digital media, music, and arts materials.
  • Provides a reference service to donors, faculty, students, and the public, related to media, music, and the arts collections in collaboration with colleagues.
  • Contributes to the energetic SCUA team by reaching out to Vanderbilt faculty to promote the collections; support teaching, public engagement, and outreach; take part in regular schedule of exhibitions and present and publish regularly on the media, music, and the arts special collections and their curation.
  • In collaboration with Faculty, and other Library and SCUA colleagues, identifies and applies for grants to support and enable academic and SCUA projects in the media, music, and the arts domains.
  • Supervise a small team of paraprofessional staff, undergraduate and graduate student workers and student interns on various projects for SCUA.


  • A Bachelor of Arts degree in a media, music or arts related field is required.
  • A Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences (MLIS) from an ALA-accredited university is required.
  • A minimum of 3 years’ experience in library special collections, archives, or museum library is required.
  • A strong subject expertise in media, music, and the arts, including a focus on American and/or African American music, with an informed background in broadcast and streaming media, other audiovisual and sound recording is required.
  • Demonstrable collaborative and user-focused perspective with good written and oral communication skills are required.
  • Demonstrated ability to thrive in the challenging and changing environment of a major research institution and to respond quickly and effectively to changing needs and priorities is required.
  • Working knowledge of EAD-XML Schema, DACS, and other relevant metadata formats is required.
  • Demonstrated project management skills and experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of anti-racist archival theory and description.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify, assess, handle, and preserve, a wide range of analogue and digital media and formats.
  • Demonstrated experience of regular and effective communication with both internal and external stakeholders is required. (including other librarians, IT teams, university administrators, faculty members, students, digital curators and archivists at other universities, and cultural institutions and museums)
  • Demonstrated knowledge of archival information management systems, particularly ArchivesSpace is preferred.
  • Familiarity with audio and video digitization techniques and workflows is preferred.
  • An ability to lift 40-50 lb. archival storage boxes and help in receiving large deposits of records is preferred.
  • Working knowledge of intellectual property issues related to archives, libraries, and special collections and copyright issues associated with audio, video, print, and digital technologies is preferred.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are.  We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.

Vanderbilt University is an equal-opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.

About Us

Vanderbilt is a community of talented and diverse staff & faculty!

At Vanderbilt University , our work - regardless of title or role - is in service to an important and noble mission in which every member of our community serves in advancing knowledge and transforming lives on a daily basis. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, on a 330+ acre campus and arboretum dating back to 1873, Vanderbilt is proud to have been named as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” as well as a top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area by Forbes for several years running. We welcome those who are interested in learning and growing professionally with an employer that strives to create, foster and sustain opportunities as an employer of choice through:

  • Working and growing together as a community of communities... we are One Vanderbilt.
  • Providing a work environment where every staff and faculty member can be their authentic and best self, while providing the resources and opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Encouraging development, collaboration, and partnership both internally and externally while fostering the value that every member of the Vanderbilt community can lead and grow regardless of title or position.

We understand you have a choice when choosing where to work and pursue a career. We understand you are unique and have a story. We want to hear it. We encourage you to apply today so that you might become a part of our story.


Vanderbilt University has made the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff and our surrounding communities a top priority. As part of that commitment, the University may require employees to comply with any testing or health and safety measures which the University may require.