Director of the Southern Historical Collection

Chapel Hill
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Created: December 19, 2012


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill seeks a knowledgeable, collaborative, intellectually creative, collegial, and service-oriented individual for the position of Director of the Southern Historical Collection (SHC). Reporting to the Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and supervising 3.5 staff members as well as student assistants, the Director will provide vision and leadership for the SHC ( by ensuring its continued preeminence as the leading repository of unique materials reflecting the society, culture, and contributions of the American South. The Director will ensure that the SHC has a vibrant profile and visibility at UNC and in the larger research and public communities through its collecting and outreach programs. Working closely with staff in Technical Services, Research and Instructional Services, Conservation, the Carolina Digital Library and Archives (, and elsewhere, the Director will promote and set priorities for the preservation of and access to SHC holdings. By engaging and collaborating with UNC faculty, students, and Library staff and with developments in Southern studies, the Director is expected to ensure the ongoing relevance and integration of the SHC's holdings, services, and programs in the academic life of the campus, the larger research community, and other constituencies.

The Director will pursue an active collecting program that supports existing and emerging areas of strength, especially as they support research and teaching in Southern studies at UNC and in the larger research community. The Director will manage expenditure of funds assigned to the SHC for acquisitions, staffing, and programs to advance its growth and visibility and will actively pursue grant and other funding opportunities. The Director will work with the Library's Development Office ( to help identify, cultivate, and participate in the solicitation of prospects, and to steward relationships with current donors to ensure regular contact and reporting. Working with the Library's Communications Office, the Director acts as spokesperson for the SHC with the media, individuals, and scholarly and community groups. The Director will also direct an active program of exhibits, presentations, information, publicity, and online presentation of holdings to ensure awareness and visibility of the SHC on campus, in the larger scholarly world, and in the broader community.

As a member of the Wilson Library management group, the Director of the SHC will collaborate with other curatorial, technical services, research and instructional, and conservation staff to plan and implement special collections goals, priorities, standards, policies, and workflows, and to promote expanded use of special collections at UNC. The Director will also participate in Library and campus committees and groups as appropriate.

The Director is expected to be active in and contribute to the library or archival profession and support the activities of the department's staff in professional organizations and working groups concerned with special collections issues. The individual in this position is also expected to be actively engaged with professional historical organizations and initiatives, particularly those with strong interests in the American South.

Welcoming professional, student, and public researchers from around the world, the Southern Historical Collection encourages the study and appreciation of the history and culture of the American South by collecting, preserving, and promoting the use of unique documentary materials of enduring historical value that reflect American life and culture between the late colonial period and the present day. Totaling over 17 million items organized in more than 4,700 collections, these materials document antebellum plantation life, slavery, the American Civil War, the Long Civil Rights Movement, and social change, with substantial holdings on family life, politics and governance, religion, business, labor, literature, sociology, and journalism. The SHC also is the repository for interviews conducted by the Southern Oral History Program ( with Southerners who have made significant contributions to a variety of fields and that will render historically visible those whose experience is not reflected in traditional written sources.

In addition to the Southern Historical Collection, the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library ( includes the North Carolina Collection, the Rare Book Collection, the Southern Folklife Collection, and University Archives and Records Management Services, holding extensive collections documenting the University, North Carolina, and the American South.


ALA-accredited MLS with coursework in archives or special collections librarianship or a Master's degree in U.S. history, American Studies, English, or related discipline with coursework or substantive experience in an archival, manuscript, special collections, or museum repository or historical program. Five (5) years of demonstrated experience working with individuals and organizations to acquire, create, or use archival, manuscript, or historical collections. Substantive experience managing a special collection, including supervising professional or support staff. Strong knowledge of U.S. history, particularly that of the American South. Demonstrated understanding of historical methodology and pedagogy, and current and emerging research and publication trends. Knowledge and awareness of current trends in the digitization of unique and rare scholarly resources for preservation and access. Demonstrated experience in establishing and maintaining relationships with faculty and scholars to support the building and use of archival, manuscript, and special collections for research, teaching, and community engagement. Demonstrated leadership, collegiality, collaboration, and planning skills in an institutional or team setting.

Experience in an archival or special collections repository in establishing and implementing collection scopes and priorities and in managing acquisitions and program budgets. Knowledge of preservation and conservation needs and practices for special collections. Experience in working with or establishing digitization priorities and programs. Experience in fund-raising, donor cultivation and stewardship, and grant administration. Advanced degree in U.S. history, English, or related discipline. Demonstrated record of scholarly publication and presentation. Experience in developing and administering exhibits, lectures, symposia, and similar public programming.

The University and The Libraries
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the country's oldest state university. UNC Chapel Hill has an enrollment of approximately 29,000 students, employs more than 3,500 members of the faculty, and offers 69 doctoral degrees as well as professional degrees in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy and law. Library collections include over 6.5 million volumes. The Library is a member of the Association of Research Libraries and the Center for Research Libraries. Together with the libraries at Duke University, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina State University, the members of the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) provide services and collections to their students, faculty, and staff in support of the education, research, and service missions of the universities.

The University Library invests proudly in its employees, strives to create a diverse environment of respect and collaboration, and encourages vision and innovation.

The Region
The Triangle region is one of the most desirable places to live and work in North America and offers its residents a wide array of recreational, cultural, and intellectual activities. The mountains or the seashore are less than half day's drive from Chapel Hill.

The University of North Carolina is an equal opportunity employer and is strongly committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff.

Salary and Benefits
This is a twelve-month academic librarian appointment; salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Standard state benefits of annual leave, sick leave, and State or optional retirement plan. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, librarians enjoy the benefit of academic status and are members of the faculty council.

Deadline for Application
Review of applications will begin on January 25, 2013. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but preference will be given to applications received by the begin review date.

To Apply:
Please visit and complete the online application. Please include a letter of application, a resume and the name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number of three professional references, one of which must be a current supervisor. Additionally, please indicate in your cover letter where you first learned of this position.


Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 15:26 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:46 UTC