Director of Digital Scholarship and Distinctive Collections

Harrisonburg, Virginia
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Salary: $80,000 - $85,000
Created: May 11, 2022


JMU Libraries seeks an energetic, hands-on, and results-oriented leader to fill the newly created, tenure-track position of Director of Digital Scholarship and Distinctive Collections (DSDC).

The Director of DSDC will lead JMU Libraries services and offerings surrounding special and distinctive collections across media types (rare books and manuscripts, audiovisual collections, and born-digital archives), and will help to define the support we provide for creative and sustainable digital scholarship at JMU—particularly as it connects with scholar-created thematic research collections stemming from classroom and community-based work in the digital liberal arts. The successful candidate will report to our incoming Associate Dean for Academic Engagement (AE) and work closely with fellow directors and leaders throughout our closely interconnected library and educational technology organization. These partnering departments and divisions include Scholarly Communications Strategies, Research and Education Services, Metadata Strategies, Learning Innovations and Design, Libraries Technology, and more.

As a new department of the Libraries, DSDC will take a collections-focused approach to digital scholarship services and include a team of nine full-time faculty and staff as well as graduate and undergraduate student employees in the following areas: Special Collections and archives, digital archives, preservation/conservation, library-based digitization services, and digital projects consultation and support. The team will include archivists, curators, experts in digital project development, and librarians focused on Special Collections instruction and research support. Among this position’s direct reports are the heads of Special Collections and Digital Projects.

JMU Libraries’ distinctive collections are particularly rich in documentary records and oral histories related to the Shenandoah Valley (including Harrisonburg’s vibrant, past and contemporary immigrant community) and James Madison University, in artists’ books and movable/pop-up books, and in Black arts, literature, and culture. Relevant here are collections of Black comic books, graphic novels, and works of poetry; rare book and manuscript collections in support of JMU’s African, African American, and Diaspora Studies program; and the unique video archives of the distinguished Furious Flower Poetry Center—the first academic center for Black poetry in the country and the focus of a large-scale, Mellon Foundation-supported collaboration with the Libraries focused on digital collections and digital publishing. Also notable at JMU are faculty digital projects related to histories of race and place. This is a particularly exciting moment to join the Libraries, due to the opportunity to play a leading role in our ongoing partnership with Furious Flower and collaborate with other new and incoming hires in the Libraries and JMU’s College of Arts and Letters, particularly in the fields of digital humanities, digital archives and preservation, Latinx studies, and Black arts and culture. We are currently planning for the renovation and expansion of Carrier Library, to include beautiful facilities for the DSDC department and its closest collaborators.

The Director of DSDC is a full-time, twelve-month, tenure-track position with instructional faculty status at JMU. We anticipate hiring at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. Libraries faculty participate in shared governance at JMU and adhere to policies established in our Promotion & Tenure Guidelines ( and the JMU Faculty Handbook ( Faculty are evaluated annually on Job Performance, Scholarly Achievement & Professional Qualifications, and Professional Service.

Primary Responsibilities 

  • In collaboration with the Associate Dean for AE and other members of the AE leadership team, set a strategic and sustainable direction for digital scholarship and distinctive collections at JMU   

  • Provide strong, supportive leadership for members of this newly-forming department, including the heads of our Special Collections and Digital Projects teams, in building connections among DSDC individuals and groups and fostering staff development and growth  

  • Collaborate fruitfully with internal and external partners, including other Libraries departments, faculty seeking digital scholarship services, and faculty-led labs and centers at JMU  

  • Represent the JMU Libraries and its core values in campus conversations about sustainable and socially aware digital scholarship, rooted in JMU’s strengths as a teaching-focused institution 

  • Engage in relevant service and scholarly and professional development activities 



  • Demonstrated understanding of digital and distinctive collections, and the ability to offer a compelling vision for the relationship of traditional special collections to digital scholarship services  

  • Demonstrated supervisory experience and responsibility in developing services and programs related to special collections, digital humanities, and/or digital liberal arts 

  • Demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in an organizational context   

  • Strong ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with team members and across diverse audiences 

  • A graduate degree in library science or another relevant field


  • Demonstrated knowledge of and/or experience with best practices to promote and sustainably support innovative digital research and scholarship
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and/or experience with digital collections, particularly in terms of workflows, platforms, and systems along with necessary partnerships with technical services, digital preservation services, and IT infrastructure and support


Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2022 19:20 UTC

Last updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022 19:20 UTC