Head of Special Collections & Archives

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Created: January 5, 2013


Reporting to Associate Director for Creation and Curation, the Head of Special Collections and Archives will take a leadership role in the effective management and oversight of the rare book and manuscript collections, university and general archives, and preservation operations.


1.    The head is responsible for articulating a fresh focus for the collections, cultivating new collections and donor relationships, expanding the teaching and research use of the collections, expanding engagement with the academic and general communities, and overseeing print and digital preservation operations.

2.    The head advises the Associate Provost and University Librarian on the acceptance of special gift collections, and works closely with the Director of Library Development in external advancement efforts. The head participates in developing and implementing policies and procedures that enhance growth of and access to special collections, working collaboratively to do so with the leaders of the library’s research services, digital learning and scholarship, and acquisitions and metadata services.

3.    Manage staff and projects of special collections and archives. Collaborate with staff on all levels of the organization to support the provision of library services.


Department: Work closely with Associate Director on policy issues. Supervise team members to ensure excellent service. Collaborate with staff on all levels of the organization to support the provision of library services. Work with the Associate Provost and University Librarian, associate directors, team leaders, and staff in all other units in the library as required.

University: Consult regularly with faculty and university staff to ensure that client needs are considered and served, that services and planning are coordinated, and those policies are applied and implemented consistently.

External: Engage in regular contact with alumni, faculty and students from other universities, researchers, former employees to provide research service and to negotiate gifts of collection materials. Maintain frequent contact with other archives records management programs to share practices and solutions. Participate in local, regional and national organizations to maintain a network of information professionals which enhances our services and to stay abreast of trends and changes in the profession.

Students: Daily communication with student assistants in the team to provide assistance and information resources to support their education and research needs.


Supervise exempt and non-exempt staff, student employees, and temporary full or part-time workers as follows: 2 librarians, 2 archivists, the library preservation officer, the preservation specialist, and student assistants.


Experience: Significant experience working with rare books, special collections and/or archives in a university setting

Education: A Master's degree in Library/Information Science or an advanced degree in a related discipline.


1.      Clear awareness of current relevant best practices and standards.

2.      Outgoing and persuasive personality.

3.      Excellent communication and customer service skills.

4.      Demonstrable collaborative management style.

5.      Record of success growing and promoting large and diverse collections.

6.      Prefer excellent interpersonal, communication, and analytical skills.

7.      Prefer possess commitment to exceptional user services.

8.      Prefer experience mounting exhibits and special events programming.

9.      Prefer a successful record OR strong ability to fundraise, donor development, or grant-writing.

10.    Prefer sound knowledge of library preservation and digitization practices relevant to special collections.

11.    Prefer evidence of professional service or publication.

12.    Prefer experience deploying social media and other creative technologies to increase the use of special collections.


General office/library environment.


Diversity Statement

In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity.  Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Reasonable Accommodations

Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.  Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at 216-368-8877 to request a reasonable accommodation.  Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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