Job Opening Title: Curator of Rare Books
Employer Name: Vanderbilt University Libraries
Job Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Application Deadline: First consideration by May 31
Years of experience required: 3
Job Description (if URL to posting not available). Please include instructions for how to apply.: Position Announcement: Curator of Rare Books
Vanderbilt University and the Vanderbilt Libraries are in an exciting time of transformation. With new leadership at the Chancellor, Provost and University Librarian levels, the libraries are re-envisioning the future of library services at Vanderbilt. Through radical collaboration we seek to deepen student and faculty engagement with the libraries, equip students for life-long information proficiency, increase faculty research impact, create more opportunities for interdisciplinary experimentation, and optimize access to collections and resources, including marginalized and hidden histories and cultures.
The Curator of Special Collections is part of the Vanderbilt Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives and conducts outreach and instruction utilizing rare books and other resources from the collections. This position meets frequently with faculty and students to promote the use of rare books in the classroom. The Curator is also responsible for interacting with existing and potential donors and for curating exhibitions for the libraries. The Curator acquires rare books by purchase and donation to augment the collections. The position reports to the Director of Special Collections.
Duties and Responsibilities
• Applies professional best practices to instruction using the special collections.
• Provides guidance for the development and management of rare books at Vanderbilt. Purchases new titles for the rare book collections. Manages the security and care of the rare book collections. Works with cataloging staff to prioritize rare books to be cataloged.
• In conjunction with the director and Vanderbilt development, works with potential donors to attract new acquisitions. Evaluates potential donations to the rare book collections. Works with donors to transfer materials and is the point person for stewardship of donors.
• Provides reference service to students, faculty, staff, and scholars about special collections.
• Contributes to raising the profile of rare book collections through programs and outreach.
• Participates in regular schedule of exhibitions.
• Identifies and applies for grants when applicable to rare book projects.
• Presents and publishes regularly about the rare book collections.
• Supervises paraprofessionals, students, and volunteers.
• BA in humanities field is required.
• Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from an ALA-accredited university is required.
• Master’s degree in English or history is preferred.
• Minimum of three years of experience in a research or academic library in special collections is required.
• Demonstrated capacity to work effectively and collegially with library staff as well as with faculty, students, and donors is required.
• Ability to perform effectively in and contribute successfully to a diverse, multicultural environment is required.
• Capacity to thrive in the changing environment of a major research institution and to respond effectively to changing needs and priorities is required.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills are required,
• Demonstrated project management skills is required.
• Knowledge of anti-racist archival theory and practice is preferred.
• Demonstrated knowledge of archival information management systems, particularly ArchivesSpace and Aeon is preferred.
• Knowledge of the printing and publishing history of early modern Europe, Great Britain, and the United States is preferred.
• Proficiency in Latin and at least one modern European language is preferred.
• Experience in distinctive collections development is preferred.
• Experience with the antiquarian book trade is preferred.
• Editorial or other extensive writing experience is preferred.
• Knowledge of historical and literary manuscript sources is preferred.
• Practical understanding of the crafts of printing, binding, and book conservation is preferred.
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.
Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.
Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.