Director of the Belfer Audio Archive

Syracuse University Library and the S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications seek applications for a unique and exciting position as director of the Belfer Audio Archive, one of the world’s preeminent repositories for recorded sound.


The Archive operates under the administrative purview of the Library’s Special Collections Research Center, underscoring its role as a repository for rare and unique sound recordings. The successful candidate, who will also hold a faculty appointment in Newhouse, will combine passion for recorded sound in all formats and genres with excellence in scholarship and teaching, and the leadership and vision to expand Belfer’s profile as an international research center for recorded sound. The director must demonstrate an interdisciplinary disposition toward scholarship in order to galvanize student and faculty engagement with the archive through teaching and research. The successful candidate will work closely with the Library’s and the Newhouse’s advancement offices to identify and cultivate prospects as well as secure funds to support Belfer’s operations, programs, and collections. The Belfer director will report to the director of special collections for archival matters and will hold a joint appointment as a tenured faculty member in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

About the Belfer Audio Archive

Established in 1963 with a gift of 150,000 recordings, Belfer now holds more than a half-million items. Its collection of 22,000 wax cylinders is the second largest in North America. Belfer’s laboratory pioneered the preservation re-recording of cylinders and today is capable of digitizing virtually any audio format. A 1982 gift from Arthur and Diane Belfer led to the construction of its current home, a climate-controlled facility equipped with stacks, office space, a live end/dead end digitization studio, and recording studio administered by the university’s Music Industry program. With recent high-profile gifts, including the inventory of mid-town Manhattan store Records Revisited, grant-funded projects, a Mellon Foundation supported symposium on music sampling, and the creation of a public radio pilot called SoundBeat, the Belfer Archive is experiencing a renaissance. In 2010, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Syracuse University funds to hire two full-time, professional positions — director and sound archivist — and to equip a state-of-the-art class room that connects to the facility’s recording studio.

Syracuse University offers an excellent benefit package that includes tuition, retirement, comprehensive health care plan, paid vacation, and the opportunity for continued professional development.

For a position description and online application instructions, go to, (#027547). A letter of application and curriculum vitae must be attached. Priority consideration will be given to applications received by May 16, 2011 and the search will remain open until the position is filled. Syracuse University is an AA/EOE.

Apply Here