Director, Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health
Mission of the Institution
The New York Academy of Medicine advances the health of people in cities. An independent organization since 1847, NYAM addresses the health challenges facing the world's urban populations through interdisciplinary approaches to policy leadership, innovative research, evaluation, education and community engagement. Drawing on the expertise of diverse partners worldwide and more than 2,000 elected Fellows from across the professions, our current priorities are:
To create environments in cities that support healthy aging
To strengthen systems that prevent disease and promote the public's health
To implement interventions that eliminate health disparities
The NYAM Library
The NYAM Library, which opened its collections to the general public in 1878, has a collection that includes over 500,000 volumes, 275,000 portraits and illustrations and about 400,000 pamphlets. The collection comprises primary and secondary materials in the history of medicine, public health, science and other health-related disciplines, including a rare book collection of approximately 35,000 volumes, with manuscripts and archives dating from the 17th century B.C. to the present. Books from the 17th and 18th centuries are a particular area of strength in the Academy’s collections as are materials related to the history of medicine in the City of New York. The collection is supported by an extensive reference collection of medical bibliography, biography, biographical dictionaries, dictionaries and library catalogues, as well as books on the history of books and printing. The NYAM Library was a founding member of the Independent Research Libraries Association (IRLA), which according to its criteria for membership includes libraries that “house collections of international significance that are capable of supporting sustained research in a variety of interrelated subjects and of attracting scholars from all over the world.” Currently, the Historical Collections supports a variety of different programs, including two residential fellowships and an annual lecture series.
The Gladys Brooks Book and Paper Conservation Laboratory was established in 1982 for the express purpose of caring for the NYAM Library’s materials. In addition to its preservation mandate, the Lab also plays an important role in the training of future generations of conservators through its internship and volunteer programs and offers professional educational opportunities through a robust calendar of workshops and lectures.
Summary Description and Responsibilities
NYAM is establishing a new Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health to enhance awareness of and access to the NYAM Library’s important research collections. The Center will serve to promote the scholarly and public understanding of and enthusiasm for the history of medicine and public health and the history of the book while stimulating intellectual inquiry in these fields. The aim of the new Center is to strengthen connections among and serve as a resource for an interdisciplinary community of scholars, educators, clinicians, curatorial and conservation professionals and the general public.
NYAM is seeking a founding director to establish the new Center. The director, who will report to the president as a member of the NYAM leadership team, will provide visionary and intellectual leadership for the Center while assuming administrative authority for its operations, budget, staff and extensive library collections. The director will take the lead in increasing exposure of the Library’s collections to potential researchers and donors as well as to the general public by overseeing the creation of a host of dynamic scholarly and popular programs, including the organization of conferences, research seminars, online exhibits, workshops and other educational activities in the areas of the history of medicine, public health and the study of the book. The Director will also lead the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of high-quality online and onsite programs. S/he will oversee the creation of the Center’s online presence and the enhancement of the NYAM Library’s digital profile.
The director will be responsible for developing the academic and professional collaborations necessary for the Center’s programs. S/he will act as an ambassador for the Center to a varied community of academic, professional and social organizations. A primary responsibility of the incumbent will be fundraising and donor relations, chiefly the cultivation of donors and solicitation of major gifts, as well as oversight of grant writing.
The successful candidate will be an acknowledged scholar, energetic and committed to the success of the new Center. S/he must have a distinguished record of scholarship and service in the history of medicine and/or public health. A PhD is preferred, but candidates with an equivalent record of achievement will be strongly considered. Demonstrated success and a progressive record of accomplishment as an administrator and proven fundraising capabilities are essential. An excellent compensation package, including a six-figure salary commensurate with skills and experience, is offered.
Please email a resume and cover letter with the names of three references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Director, Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health” in subject line.
For more information, visit our website: www.nyam.org.
The New York Academy of Medicine is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
Given the overall state of academic job markets in the humanities, there seem to be to me a relatively large number -- yes, 5-6 is large given the overall size of the HoM academic community and general academic market for historians -- of very attractive positions for historians of medicine and public health. Given the NYAM's own institutional history, resources, and its wonderful recent programming in the history of medicine and public health, this one is obviously at the top of the list.