Curator of Islamic Collections
Job Title: Curator of Islamic Collections
Grade: Assistant Keeper Grade I
Reports to: Head of Collections
Location: Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland
Date: April 2017
The Chester Beatty Library
The Chester Beatty Library contains a world famous collection of manuscripts, prints, miniature paintings, early printed books and objets d’art from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. The Collection is principally focused on the written word and its associated painted and printed images.
The Chester Beatty Library is one of Ireland’s national cultural institutions. It is a public charitable trust established under the will of the late Sir Alfred Chester Beatty and is governed by a Board of Trustees. Our mission is to maintain and preserve the Library’s collections and to make them available in the most appropriate ways for the use and enjoyment of the public and for scholarly study and research, in order to promote a wider appreciation and understanding of the international cultural heritage embodied in the collections and to foster relations between Ireland and the peoples whose cultures are represented in the collections.
The Islamic Collections include over 6,000 individual items, mainly manuscripts in Arabic, Persian and Turkish and single-page paintings and calligraphies, supplemented by a small assortment of objects, dating from the late eighth to the early twentieth century. They include some of the greatest documents of Islamic art and culture ever produced.
The Library’s Islamic manuscripts are amongst the finest in existence and are internationally renowned for the overall high quality and scope of the material. Together they illustrate in exquisite form and detail the history and development of all aspects of the Islamic book: calligraphy, illumination, miniature painting and bookbinding.
For more information on the Chester Beatty Library, its holdings and a full schedule of events and activities please visit www.cbl.ie.
Summary Job Purpose:
The Library is seeking an experienced senior professional to curate and manage the Islamic Collections of the Library and to implement the Library’s strategic priorities relating to these Collections; to engage with relevant research communities; to understand user needs and reflect these needs in content development and interpretation.
The CBL is a collegial organisation and the holder of the post will be expected to work in close consultation with his/her professional colleagues.
The Curator will report directly to the Head of Collections and sit on both the Collections Team and Management Team of the Library. There is currently no assistant curatorial post in this area of the Collection.
Key Areas of Responsibility:
• develop, coordinate and rotate displays in the permanent exhibition galleries
• develop, curate and project manage special temporary exhibitions
• assist colleagues with co-ordination of outgoing loans and act as a courier when required
• facilitate access to the collection for visiting researchers and special interest groups
• keep abreast of research trends and the changing needs of researchers in relation to the collections, including attendance at relevant conferences
• make a personal contribution to the CBL’s research and publishing reputation
• oversee ongoing, and develop new, projects for the publication of aspects of the Islamic Collections
• continue ongoing documentation of the Islamic Collections in the collections management database (Adlib)
• manage the Library’s Arabic Manuscripts Project for the production of a catalogue of more than 2,600 manuscripts
• manage the Library’s Islamic Seals Database
• respond to queries from the scholarly community and general public in relation to the Islamic collections and the cultures they represent
• give public lectures on relevant aspects of the Collection
• collaborate with the Education Department in the generation of educational material and special events and provide training of volunteer guides
• advise on the prioritisation of the Collection for conservation and digitisation
• contribute to the implementation of internal audit recommendations
• engage with marketing colleagues in relation to PR and media queries on the Islamic Collections
• such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Head of Collections or Director.
• The minimum requirement for the post is the possession of a postgraduate university degree in the area of manuscript studies related to the Islamic Collections, or related discipline
• Demonstrated research interest in one of the areas covered under the Islamic Collections
• Good spoken and written Arabic and/or Persian
• Experience (minimum five years) of working in a museum, research library, academic or other relevant environment
• Understanding of the ethical issues associated with collections care
• Ability to manage complex workloads and to meet deadlines under pressure
• Excellent English verbal and written skills
• Good computer skills are necessary as is experience with Adlib or a comparable collection management system
• Flexible approach, able to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and on own initiative
• Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate diplomatically and effectively at all levels, both internally and with external contacts
• An interest in and commitment to the work of the Chester Beatty Library
• Proven record of academic publication in the field of manuscript studies
• Knowledge of the collections of the Chester Beatty Library
• Experience of exhibition development
• Experience of effectively overseeing the delivery of projects
• Experience of successfully exploring and developing collaborations with both the museum and academic sectors
• Good professional network
• Understanding of new developments in digitisation and new and emerging research trends and methodologies
In line with Department of Public Expenditure and Reform regulations and guidelines on public service pay, the salary for this position will differ for new entrants from outside the Irish public/civil service and for existing Irish civil/public servants.
New Entrants outside the Irish public/civil service:
An incremental salary scale applies and all new entrants from outside the Irish public/civil service will be required to commence employment at the minimum point of the scale which is €61,523 per annum. They will also be required to join the Single Public Service Pension Scheme.
Existing Irish public/civil servants:
For existing Irish public/civil servants, the salary scale of €58,534 to €65,793 applies, subject to approval of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. However the entrant will be required to commence employment at the minimum point of the scale €58,534 per annum.
The annual leave allowance will be 29 working days a year, subject to the usual conditions regarding the granting of annual leave, is on the basis of a five day week and is exclusive of the usual public holidays.
To apply, interested candidates should submit a cover letter expressing interest in the position and outlining relevant experience, together with a complete curriculum vitae and the names and contact information (mail, e-mail and telephone numbers) of three professional referees to:
Or by email to: email@example.com with “Curator” in the subject line
Closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday 19 May 2017
Referees will not be contacted until the search committee has informed the candidate of doing so.
The Chester Beatty Library is an equal opportunities employer.
|Primary Category:||Islamic History / Studies