YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is seeking a Chief Curator for its new online museum, which will aim at telling the story of Jewish life in Eastern Europe and Russia over more than 400 years through YIVO’s vast archival and library collections. The YIVO Bruce and Francesca Cernia Slovin Online Museum will be funded by a $3 million gift received in April 2018.
We are pleased to share the call for applications.
This Museum will select from 1.1 million original documents and over 2.5 million pages of books that have been digitized as part of the Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Collections Project—YIVO’s landmark preservation and digitization initiative—to create English language galleries that reflect the entire spectrum of Jewish life in Eastern Europe and Russia from music, literature, and theater to mercantile guilds, municipal organizations, and rabbinic courts; from traditional ways of life and the education of children to Zionism and revolution. The exhibits will include manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings, posters, and other artifacts. The Online Museum will be integrated with the YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, the most heavily consulted online reference work on East European Jewish history in the world.
Galleries will be selected and curated by leading scholars. Timelines and commentary will contextualize the exhibits and place them in accessible narratives enabling Jewish people worldwide to reconnect with their heritage in Eastern Europe and Russia that was lost because of the Holocaust, erased under Soviet communism, or forgotten through assimilation. The Museum will also serve as a comprehensive historical and educational platform for both Jews and non-Jews, and will serve as a key resource for Europeans who seek to understand their own countries’ multicultural histories.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
YIVO seeks a skilled, innovative, and knowledgeable professional with experience in museum and online exhibition curation to:
- Work collaboratively with YIVO staff and other subject specialist/scholars to conceptualize content and produce exhibitions and other online features for the Online Museum in accordance with institutional priorities.
- Work collaboratively with the Director of Digital Initiatives to develop a request for proposal for prospective web developer/designers, help evaluate vendor bids, and work with the winning vendor to conceptualize the design of the Online Museum.
- With the assistance of the Digital Initiatives Associate, maintain product schedules and work plans, and budgets; develop work flows; create project reports.
- Oversee the work of translators and researchers.
- Participate in the creation of funding proposals and publicity materials.
- Master’s degree or higher in History, Jewish Studies, Public History, Museum Education, or relevant field.
- Prior experience curating exhibitions at museums, libraries, research institutions and/or other venues, including in online formats, and/or digital humanities projects.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Basic knowledge of and interest in Modern European Jewish and/or American Jewish history and history of the Holocaust.
- Familiarity with trends in the digital humanities, online presentation of the arts and public history.
- Highly developed research, writing, and oral communication skills.
- The ability to serve as an effective spokesperson with visitors, outside communities, supporters and donors.
- Proven ability to work collaboratively with colleagues.
- Foreign language skills (Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, Lithuanian) are a plus but not a requirement.
- Excellent problem-solving skills.
Please send a letter of application which addresses how you meet the basic qualifications for this position; résumé; and names, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of three references who can be contacted, to Roberta Newman, Director of Digital Initiatives, email@example.com.