Jobs for Medievalists

Position Announcement: Curator of Rare Books, Washington University in St. Louis

Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2017 13:09:39 -0600

Washington University Libraries are currently recruiting for a Curator of Rare Books. See the job description below for more details; and please feel free to contact me with any questions.

To apply, visit: and search Job ID 35921.
Job Title: Curator of Rare Books – Olin Library
Job Opening ID: 35921
Job Type/Schedule: This position is full-time and works approximately 37.5 hours per week.

Department Name/Job Location: This position is in the Olin Library at the Danforth Campus.

Essential Functions


The Curator of Rare Books is responsible for stewardship and promotion of the Washington University Libraries’ Rare Books collections. Under the direction of the Head of Curation for Special Collections, this position oversees the collection development, access/use, reference/instruction, and outreach for the Rare Books collection. The Curator works closely with library staff, faculty, and students to promote the accessibility and use of special collections for teaching, learning, and scholarship.


– Working with the Head of Curation for Special Collections, the Curator engages in collection development activities including establishing and maintaining a collection development policy in coordination with acquiring new collections, both purchased and donated, which fall within designated collecting areas, and cultivates relationships with potential donors.

– The Curator manages access to the collection by providing in depth reference and instructional sessions. He/she gives presentations related to the collection as well as works with the curatorial team to evaluate and establish access and use policies, ensuring copyright provisions are upheld. The Curator works with Special Collections staff to create plans for processing, cataloging, preserving, and digitizing collection materials based on professional best practices.

– The Curator promotes the collection and engages the community at large through various outreach initiatives and activities including, but not limited to, film screenings, speakers, panel discussions, teacher workshops/seminars, and exhibitions. Working closely with the Curator of Exhibitions, the Curator plans for both physical and digital exhibitions.

– The Curator seeks to improve efficiency by pursuing grant funding and strategic partnerships for the area of activities described above.

Required Qualifications

– Master’s degree in relevant field.

– At least three to five years experience in rare books collection, research, management, and development.

– Demonstrated knowledge of bibliography, book history, and the book arts.

– Experience working effectively and collaboratively with donors, collectors, and scholars.

– Ability to work effectively with a culturally diverse population of staff, faculty, students, community members, and new audiences.

– Ability to work with non-English languages and non-Roman alphabets.

– Familiarity with the antiquarian rare book and manuscript trade.

– Familiarity with best practices and procedures for acquiring, organizing, describing, preserving, digitizing, and making accessible special collection materials, including rare books, manuscripts, archives, art, illustration, and digital assets, among other formats.

– Excellent written and verbal communication skills. A demonstrated ability to speak with authority and enthusiasm on critical issues within special collections.

– Knowledge of intellectual property issues related to archives, libraries, and special collections and copyright issues associated with print and digital technologies.

– Knowledge of library preservation and conservation issues and practices.

– Ability to work in a team environment.

– Ability to lift 40 lbs.

– Ability to work weeknight and weekend hours.

– Ability to travel to on- and off-campus locations.

– Occasional travel.

– Must be able to work in an environment in which exposure to materials containing dust and mold is possible.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience teaching and interpreting rare books in an academic setting, integrating collections into formal curriculum and informal learning opportunities, including an understanding of how print materials fit into digital scholarship.

Salary Range

The hiring range for this position is $49,881 – $64,837 annually.


– Retirement Savings Plan

– 22 vacation days

– 8 Paid Holidays

– Sick Time

– Tuition benefits for employee, spouse and dependent children

– Free Metro Link/Bus pass

– Free Life Insurance

– Health, Dental, Vision

– Health Savings Account (HSA)

– Long Term Disability Insurance

– Flex Spending Plan

– Other Benefits

Human Resources website:

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