Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts

 Assistant or Associate Professor of Library Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Position Available: Position available immediately. This is a 100%, twelve-month, tenure-system appointment.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign (UIUC) seeks a dynamic and thoughtful Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts to oversee and manage a large and diverse collection of rare materials.  Responsibilities include: reader services and access for special collections, instruction using primary sources, exhibition research, collection development and processing, and public outreach. This is a tenure track position.

Under the general guidance of the Director of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library and in cooperation with other curatorial staff, the Curator is responsible for:
·       fostering the use of rare materials through teaching and research and participating  in the Library’s active program of course presentations;
·       providing assistance to students and researchers in person, by telephone, and by letter and e-mail;
·       intellectual control of the collections, working to see that the diverse collections (both manuscripts and books) are well described and cared for;
·       setting collection development priorities and contributing to the growth of the collections as part of a collaborative group of curators;
·       shared leadership and active participation  in a lively program of public engagement and working on new ideas for  outreach;
·       development of new initiatives using new technologies to encourage the use of primary sources by a broad scholarly and educational public;
·       forging strong ties with relevant faculty members so that use of special collections remains a vibrant and active part of the curriculum;
·       interpretive writing (about the collections) for public programs and as part of a program of scholarship;
·       pursuing and implementing grants in areas such as improved access, conservation, and public programming.
Master’s Degree from an ALA-accredited library science program or its equivalent; PhD or Master’s in literature, history, culture or other area of specialization appropriate to our collections; Commitment to ongoing scholarly growth beyond the area of initial disciplinary specialization; Candidates should have at least two years of relevant experience and professional achievements;  Knowledge of Latin and advanced knowledge of at least one modern European language; Demonstrated understanding of current theory and practice (i.e., arrangement and description) applied to literary and historical manuscript collections; Knowledge of current descriptive metadata standards and/or other technological avenues for enhancing access to special collections; Demonstrated skills in managing programs and bringing projects to completion.

Understands the theory and practice of collection development, including establishing goals and priorities, researching and documenting provenance, and conducting assessments of collections; Managerial and organizational skills required to oversee an extensive program of acquisitions, collection management, and public engagement activities; Supervisory experience associated with the acquisition, arrangement and description of manuscript collections and/or rare books; Demonstrated knowledge of cataloging standards and familiarity with OCLC, as well as experience working with in an integrated library system, such as Endeavor’s Voyager; Experience in grant writing and development; Clear understanding and vision for the use of new technologies (digitization and beyond) in the field of rare book and manuscript librarianship; Experience with exhibition preparation, interpretive writing, and public engagement activities; Evidence of bibliographical and scholarly accomplishment.

The University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign is one of the preeminent research libraries in the world. With more than 13 million volumes and significant digital resources, it ranks second in size among academic research libraries in the United States and first among public university libraries in the world. As the intellectual heart of the campus, the Library is committed to maintaining the strongest possible collections and services and engaging in research and development activities in pursuit of the University’s mission of teaching, scholarship, and public service. The Library currently employs approximately 90 faculty and 300 academic professionals, staff, and graduate assistants. For more detailed information, please visit .  The Library consists of multiple departmental libraries located across campus, as well as an array of central public, technical, and administrative service units. The Library also encompasses a variety of virtual service points and “embedded librarian” programs.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the principal repository for early manuscripts and rare books and for literary manuscripts in the broad fields of literature, history, art, theology, technology, and the natural sciences. Established in 1936 from Professor Harris Fletcher’s John Milton collection and Professor Thomas Baldwin’s Shakespeare collection, The Rare Book & Manuscript Library has grown to nearly half a million books and over 7,500 linear feet of manuscripts. Particular strengths lie in early printing and the Elizabethan and Stuart periods in England, with works by Shakespeare, various important editions of the Bible, and renaissance school books standing out as distinctive and deep collections.  The Library is renowned for its outstanding collections of incunabula, emblem books, and drama collections.  Also noteworthy are collections in the history of science and technology, Mark Twain and his age, the history of economics, and natural history. Papers of such notable figures as Benjamin Disraeli, Anthony Trollope, William Allingham, Marcel Proust, John Richardson, Carl Sandburg, H.G. Wells, William Maxwell, and W.S. Merwin are also part of the collections.

Salary and Rank:  Salary commensurate with credentials and experience. Librarians have faculty rank, and must demonstrate excellence in librarianship, research, and university/professional/community service in order to meet university standards for tenure and promotion. For more information, see .

Terms of Appointment: Twelve-month appointment; 24 annual vacation days; 11 annual paid holidays; 12 annual sick-leave days (cumulative), plus an additional 13 sick-leave days (non-cumulative) available, if needed, each year; health insurance requiring a small co-payment is provided to employee (with the option to purchase coverage for spouse and dependents); required participation in State Universities Retirement System (SURS) (8% of annual salary is withheld and is refundable upon termination), with several options for participation in additional retirement plans; newly-hired employees are covered by the Medicare portion of Social Security and are subject to its deduction.

Campus and Community: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a comprehensive and major public land-grant university (Doctoral/Research University-Extensive) that is ranked among the best in the world. Chartered in 1867, it provides undergraduate and graduate education in more than 150 fields of study, conducts theoretical and applied research, and provides public service to the state and the nation. It employs 3,000 faculty members who serve 31,000 undergraduates and 12,000 graduate and professional students; approximately 25% of faculty receives campus-wide recognition each year for excellence in teaching. More information about the campus is available at

The University is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, which have a combined population of 100,000 and are situated about 140 miles south of Chicago, 120 miles west of Indianapolis, and 170 northeast of St. Louis. The University and its surrounding communities offer a cultural and recreational environment ideally suited to the work of a major research institution. For more information about the community, visit: or .

To Apply: To ensure full consideration, please complete your candidate profile at and upload a letter of interest, resume, and contact information including email addresses for three professional references. Applications not submitted through this website will not be considered. For questions, please call: 217-333-8169.

Deadline: In order to ensure full consideration, applications and nominations must be received by November 20, 2012.

Illinois is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity.

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